'Public transport key to curb vehicle explosion'

'Public transport key to curb vehicle explosion'

A commuter hailing a taxi.

The government will give a push and shove to public transport as the number of people hailing taxi aggregators may swell to 1 crore daily in the next two to three years from 35 lakh at present, Union Minister for Road Transport Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday.

The government also wants to discourage people buying private cars due to rising pollution levels and, instead, promote public transport, the minister said.

The government will also focus on promoting alternative fuels like ethanol and methanol, besides giving a push to electric vehicles. Four pilot projects were on the anvil in Pune, Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Guwahati for buses run on methanol, he said at the launch of 'Ease of Moving Index India Report' by Ola Mobility Institute.

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He said aggregators should come out with bike services for single travellers that could provide employment to people. They could also look into investing in aeroboats in view of the upcoming Kumbh Mela at Allahabad.

The minister released the Ease of Moving Index 2018 report which suggested that around 80 % of citizens believe that the transport ecosystem has improved over the last five years.

It said 60 % of respondents reported using public modes of commute and a majority of Indians are willing to adopt electric mobility and are in agreement that electrification will reshape the transportation segment.

Connectivity the key

Total 80 % of commuters feel first-and-last-mile connectivity holds the key to improve public transport ridership. The report surveyed more than 43,000 respondents from 20 cities across the country.

Cab aggregator Ola, in a statement, said 75 % of respondents believed that electric vehicles could replace conventional vehicles by 2030.