Transportation is one of the major sectors, which has been severely affected by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. A survey was conducted by the Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR) from June to July 2020, among experts from the transportation sector to understand their perception of the effects of the pandemic on the sector in India. A total of 15 experts consisting of academicians, practitioners, policy makers and researchers, from different parts of the country, who were closely working with the transportation sector were interviewed. As the country continues to live with the pandemic and an unforeseeable end to the crisis, many questions arise regarding the future of the passenger transportation sector in India.
- How long will the transportation sector be affected?
- How will the pandemic change the travel behaviour of commuters?
- What is the future of public transportation in our country?
The study tries to find answers to the above questions by evaluating the views and opinions of the experts who work closely with the transportation sector.
- Transport operators will face severe financial constraints in the immediate future due to reduced travel demand.
- The choice of mode will be influenced by safety concerns. Hence public transport would be a less preferred mode by the people.
- The government should prioritize investing in improving the infrastructure for Non-motorised Transport (NMT) and electric vehicles in the transport sector.
- Seven out of 15 experts are of the opinion that the pandemic will result in speedy implementation of Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA) in different cities.
- 11 out of 15 experts disagree with the strategy adopted by the government on increasing the fare of public transport during the ongoing pandemic.
- The transport sector will take atleast one or two years to get back to normalcy.
- The experts recommended that the government should support private operators in the transport sector, as they would be adversely affected by the pandemic which could result in a discontinuation of operations.
- There is a need to create an Urban Transport Fund for dedicated investment in the transport sector.
Click here to read the study Report