Hardeep Singh Puri speaking at 13th Urban Mobility Conference in Delhi, said that COVID-19 will lead to shifts in urban mobility patterns, and this will give an opportunity to align our urban transport systems towards long term development goals.
The theme of the conference he was speaking at was, “Emerging trends in Urban mobility”
Puri said, the future mobility is about striving towards environmentally friendly, integrated, automated and personalised travel on demand, and newer developments like intelligent transport systems, and traffic applications are in the pipeline for enhanced development, PTI reported.
He said, the ongoing pandemic crisis helps us with an opportunity to align urban transport towards long term development goals, in terms of job creation at present and boosting productivity and growth in future.
We are already witnessing new behavioural patterns in urban mobility, with norms like social distancing in place, and concern of pandemic, traffic in public transport has substantially declined, and several cities have seen bicycle sales spike.
In the new advisory issued by ministry of urban affairs, detailing how India should move ahead in these testing times, Puri has mentioned, non-motorised transport will be the prime and non-negotiable option in all urban mobility and related discourses.
Several surveys and studies show that, 16-57 per cent of urban commuters are pedestrian, 30-40 per cent are bicyclers, these numbers can be leveraged upon, to promote individual and personalised transport which is safer, sustainable, economical and healthier option for commuters as well.
In October, government has also issued guidelines for expanding cycling infrastructure across several major cities as part of smart cities mission.
Puri said that, India is in seeing new mobility discourses, which are nuanced enough to provide sustainable urban mobility.