'Car owners don't prefer Metro ride'

Many motorists in the Capital don’t prefer travelling by Metro due to last-mile connectivity issues, says joint commissioner of police (traffic) Satyendra Garg. In a conversation with Vishal Kant, he suggests that more autorickshaws in the city will take care of this.

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The Delhi government will issue permits for 10,000 new autos next month. Another 35,000 autos are lined up following a Supreme Court order, taking the total number of autos to a lakh. What impact will so many additional three-wheelers have on a city already clogged with traffic?
I welcome the decision. In fact, the additional number of autos would help in reducing the traffic load in the long run. The city should have a system wherein permits of TSRs are issued on demand. If there are enough autos, people would choose travelling by three-wheelers over their own cars. So in the long run, this would reduce the number of cars on the city roads.

But a survey by the CRRI (Central Road Research Institute) found that even while the ridership of Delhi Metro increased gradually, the rate of car sales in the city did not decline.
Many car owners still don’t prefer the Metro due to last-mile connectivity issues. It becomes inconvenient as well as costly for such people to take the Metro. But in the case of three-wheelers, if two things are assured — easy and timely availability of autos, and a guarantee of a fare structure as per meter reading — then more and more people would prefer them over personal cars. The additional autos will help in providing last-mile connectivity at Metro stations as well. And then, introducing some good technology in the system could make the auto service more efficient and organised.

How can technology improve things?
The idea of an integrated autorickshaw service on the lines of the radio taxi service could be thought about for the city. An integrated call centre could coordinate between passengers and drivers. GPS (Global Positioning System) and GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) technology could be used for the facility. It would also help in better monitoring of autorickshaws plying on the streets, which would provide a safer journey for passengers.

Thousands of additional
three-wheelers would need more auto stands. Are the traffic police prepared to provide more auto stands?
We are ready to provide as many auto stands as required in the city. An efficient TSR system does not require big parking space. It’s more of a stop-and-go service. The three-wheelers are not required to halt at a particular place for a very long period.

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