Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari has reiterated the Government’s commitment for promoting transport innovations that are pollution free and cost effective, and bring about import substitution. Underscoring the need to cut down congestion and resultant pollution in cities, he expressed hope that the government’s vision and efforts for building a safe and efficient public transport system in the country would motivate people to shift from personal to public transport.Shri Gadkari was speaking at an event in New Delhi today, where he released India’s first Ease of Mobility Index 2018. The Index offers a source of information to aid transit agencies and urban planners to make informed decisions and align solutions with the preference of commuters. The report has been prepared by Ola Mobility Institute - Ola’s research and social innovation arm.The Minister informed that the government is exploring the use of new kinds of vehicles like hybrid aeroboats that combine land, water and aviation technology and can run on land, water and air at speeds greater than 80 km per hour. He said the government is looking at the possibility of using these boats during Kumbh Mela next year and on Yamuna for a visit to Taj Mahal from Delhi.Shri Gadkari also informed that the government is also looking at the possibility of using aerial transport systems like ropeways, pods etc, especially for hilly terrains and as a last mile connectivity option in congested cities.
Further emphasizing the need for public transport Shri Gadkari said that the government will soon start a campaign to promote the use of bicycles. He said the new expressways are being built with provisions for cycle tracks. Electric cycles will soon be in use. He called upon the taxi aggregators to consider using bicycles for transporting single passengers. Shri Gadkari also expressed happiness that after the Government brought in the taxi aggregators guidelines, the number of shared taxis has risen greatly and is likely to cross the one crore mark in a few years.Shri Nitin Gadkari further advocated the use of alternate fuels in this sector. He said, by use of methanol, ethanol and electric sources, the country can save huge sums on petroleum imports. Also, people in backward areas can find an additional source of income by opting to generate bio-gas from local sources in a big way. He promised governmental support to such people by way of imparting education and training for adopting the new technology. The Ease of Moving Index, 2018 has found that overall, 80 per cent of citizens believe that the transport ecosystem has improved over the last five years. 60 per cent of respondents report using public modes of commute, signalling that integrating modes of first and last mile connectivity with mass transport could lead to improved usage. In fact, 72 per cent of the respondents believe that this integration could lead to an improved public transport ecosystem. A majority of Indians are willing to adopt electric mobility and are in agreement that electrification will reshape the transportation segment. 75 per cent of respondents believe that electric vehicles could replace conventional vehicles by 2030. Additionally, results indicate that urban mobility is going digital with 55 per cent of commuters who use public transport owning smart cards, and over 40 per cent transact digitally while using public transport including Intermediary Public Transport.