CHENNAI: There is an urgent need to expand the public transport system in the city, said former managing director of Metropolitan Transport Corporation and traffic consultant R Krishnamurthy.
He was delivering the Engineer R Thillainayagam Endowment Lecture on ‘Transportation scenario and Road Safety in Chennai’ here on Friday.
According to statistics provided by the Comprehensive Traffic and Transportation Studies (CCTS) of which Chennai Metropolitan Development Agency (CMDA) was a client, the vehicle population in the city has increased from 28.14 lakh to 41.6 lakh from 2009-2014.
From 1970 to 2008, the share of public transport has fallen from 53 per cent to 32 per cent, pointed out Krishnamurthy.
“There has been a three-fold congestion from 1992-2008 in the city’s arterial roads,” he added.
Presenting the suggestions he made for road development, when he was part of a consultative committee, he said that there was an urgent need for expansion in the modes of public transport in the city, especially the Metropolitan Transport Corporation, which faced a shortfall of buses. “Around 5,500 buses will be required by 2016 and 6,600 by 2021,” he said.
He recalled how in the 80s, other State Transport Corporations such as the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation used to consult Tamil Nadu, which had an excellent track record. “But today, the BMTC, with its regular fare revision, is outperforming us,” he said.
Suggestions like a separate Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) and Monorail, of which the latter is being implemented with some changes, were given in the Comprehensive Traffic and Transportation Study (CTTS), he said.
Though the specifics of a bicycle network in Anna Nagar, which has a large number of schools, were provided, Krishnamurthy said the study was not comprehensive on cycles, given the alignment of roads in the city.
The team had also proposed skywalks in certain areas of the city like NSC Bose Road, T Nagar and Tambaram on the lines of those in Mumbai.
He pointed out that suggestions had been given for ‘cordon pricing’ and ‘pricing parking’ for private vehicles entering certain areas of Chennai. “This would curb private transport and encourage public transport,” he said.
According to Krishnamurthy, there was a greater need to have separate freight corridors, like the Chennai Port-Maduravoyal project, for seamless flow of goods.
A 190-kilometre stretch of Satellite Town Ring Road (STRR) starting from Mamallapuram to Gummidipoondi, which would bypass Chennai city altogether, had been proposed in the CTTS.