Chennai: People in Chennai seem to prefer public transportation the most in comparison to other cities according to India’s first Ease of Moving Index, 2018, which studied the use of public transport by people and factors influencing mobility in these cities in 2018.
Released by Union minister Nitin Gadkari, in the presence of Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO of Ola, whose research institute released the report in New Delhi, the report said that Chennai had emerged as a city with sustainable mobility as 75 per cent of the population prefer public transport. The study states that Chennai carries 1,300 passengers per bus per day which is the highest in the country, making buses the main mode of transport in the city.
Chennai’s preference for buses was credited to three important factors: High capacity, affordability and accessibility. MTC records an average daily footfall of 35 lakh. This indicates that at least two million people - one-fourth of the population - use buses every day assuming they make a return journey.
The report also provides some insights into the city’s public transport usage. More than 95 per cent of people in higher income groups do not use buses for the daily commute. Further, all senior citizens, 100 per cent of them complained of lack of last-mile-connectivity as the only deterrent to them using the government-provided public bus service.
Other metros like Bengaluru, New Delhi and Mumbai secured less than 4.5 out of 10 in the report. Unlike some of the other metros, Chennai buses are solely operated by the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) which runs 3,800 buses in and around the city.
However, a study released by the Centre for Science and Environment in August suggests that Chennaiites used the largest number of two-wheelers when compared with all other metros. According to the study, Chennai has the highest number of two-wheelers amongst all metro cities.
“This is because of last-mile connectivity,” experts say. “One could take the metro train, local bus, the MRTS trains or any other public transport, but the distance between the house and the nearest bus stop might be the reason they aren’t availing public transport in the first place. The expansion of the city has happened in such a way that the periphery is radially away from the centre, therefore reducing the last-mile connectivity,” they say.