It’s Monday morning in Bengaluru. As you step out your front door, a rickshaw you ordered with your smartphone is already waiting to whisk you to the metro. After your metro trip, you emerge from the station across the city to find another rickshaw ready to take you to the office. Not a moment is wasted.
This may seem like a dream to the average citizen of Bengalaru (also known as Bangalore), who now spends more than 240 hours a year stuck in traffic jams. But new technologies and the right policies could soon make it a reality.
Across the globe, the way people move in cities is becoming more innovative and technologically sophisticated. Urban dwellers worldwide are becoming more accustomed to having mobility services on demand, to car- and bicycle-sharing systems, mobile trip-planning, and ticketing apps. The flexibility, convenience and affordability of shared mobility has had a huge impact in India, where, on average, over 6 million trips are taken with Ola, (a rival to Uber), each week.
Working from home could completely change how much we need to commute in the first place. Work hubs and quiet spaces with good wifi could be set up in residential neighbourhoods so that people won’t have to travel across a city to get to their offices.
Yet the number of cars on the road in India is growing. Every day, nearly 50,000 new vehicles hit the roads; vehicle registrations have been increasing by 10% a year. This is despite the fact that India has been introducing new metro lines in record time; over 200 kilometres have been built in Delhi, and 42 kilometres in Bengaluru, over the last decade – and another 530 kilometers is under construction across the country.
Read the full article in The Guardian.