Staff Reporter | The Hindu | KOCHI MARCH 10, 2017

Stress laid on improving public spaces

Over 300 cars parked on MG Road and pavements at any given time choke traffic, while at least three pay-and-park centres on the corridor operate near-empty, drawing this paradox was Kochi-based French urban planner Marion Hoyez.

She played an important role in projects such as ‘Reinventing Kochi’ and integration of public transportation modes in the city. Speaking on ‘Advantages of popularising public transport in developing economies’ at the Centre for Urban Studies under the Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR) here on Thursday, she said it was high time public spaces were given back to people. Sadly, footpaths were either non-existent or full of broken slabs in even major corridors like MG Road.

On proliferation of online taxis in the city, Ms. Hoyez said it was not a sustainable mode of transport. Ruing that cars were still the preferred commuting mode in the developed world and in many Indian metros, she said China and a few South American countries showed the way in popularising public transport. China was an upcoming model for sustainable transport, as the government had imposed curbs on car ownership. There are 20 bus rapid corridors, while another 30 are coming up. There is also emphasis on shared and new-energy vehicles.

“It is heartening that 50% of Kochi’s commuters use public transport. The share is expected to go up once the metro is commissioned,” she said. CPPR chairman Dhanuraj and academic director K.C. Abraham were present.

This news was published in The Hindu on March 10, 2017 based on the talk organised by CPPR-Centre for Urban Studies on the topic ‘Advantages of Popularising Public Transport in Developing Economies’ by Marion Hoyez (Cooperation Project Manager–Kochi (India), CODATU) at the CPPR office on March 9, 2017.

Click here to  read the published news: ‘Limit car use, rely on public transport’ ; The Hindu, March 10, 2017

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