Executive Summary of Para-transit Study (Share auto and Maxi Cabs) in City of Chennai, India

Chennai economy has been successful in enhancing the well-being of the state and its people.Most recent is the transformation to information based, knowledge-driven economy has yielded the state with the highest average household incomes compared to other states. Now, as the twenty-first century unfolds, the association between economic growth and infrastructure investment is becoming a key public policy issue as the state faces a challenge of diminishing transportation resources. Therefore, it is important to observe the periodic economic progression in Chennai on transportation infrastructure.

share auto

Mobility has become an important prerequisite for economic growth in Chennai and has altered the transportation land use pattern. Public transport plays a vital role in enabling sustained economic growth. There exist strong linkages between economic growth, efficient mobility system, accessibility and standard of living. The MRTS and rapid rail systems in Chennai was developed as an integral part of mobility but the cities expansion has resulted in connectivity issues and has led to demand for alternative modes of transport. The growing travel congestion and long travel hours have resulted in feeder system. The predominant feeder system in Chennai is the share auto services which exist in various popular pockets of the city.

Share auto have significantly contributed to passenger mobility in Chennai since 1998. The share auto market way back in 1998 had only one predominant player (Vikram) but with the increasing passenger demand the market has 5 players and more are getting added. There are around 1200 of such vehicles plying as share autos, out of which only 200 are given share auto permits. The revenue capacity of the share autos have also increased many folds from when they were initially introduced. Hence it becomes important to promote share autos towards introducing sustainable well-connected public transport system and discouraging the growth of private modes of transport.

The feeder service provided by the share autos in Chennai is unparalleled and they help public transportation modes such as MTC and Suburban Railways to increase their patronage. As Chennai is moving towards more modernized MRT system of transportation by introducing Chennai Metro and BRTS, share autos can definitely bridge the connectivity gap and provide the missing link. Today share autos rank second in number of passengers served per day catering to around 1.8 million passengers by any mode of public transportation in Chennai (next only to MTC). The share auto industry generates nearly ` 2 Crores per day which is 66 times more than the collection of MRTS and giving employment to large number of people.

Though the government encourages share autos by giving licenses they pose lot of restrictions in terms of boundary limitations and considers Para transit services as the major reason for traffic congestion and increasing pollution in the cities. The National Urban Transport Policy does not recognize the share auto sector as a major public transport mode, inspite of it being one of the major mass transportation modes.

Paratransit service is demand driven. The purpose of this project is to understand the demand profile of the share auto, demographic trends of commuters which include frequency of usage market, the key parameters that drive commuters to use share auto service etc. This report also studies how several approaches that are being used successfully by share auto providers to manage growing demand and escalating costs. There shall be a policy level change to integrate share auto sector into the formal transit sector and utilize it as a feeder system for buses, suburban trains and proposed Metro Rail. This can be achieved by having formulating a single coordinating system by implementing Chennai Urban Metropolitan Transport Authority (CUMTA).

Integration can be achieved through phases, in the initial phase all forms of share autos shall be recognised and categorised into a single entity. Further by providing facilities for share autos and help in catering to the transit requirement of the people. Thirdly, integration with MRTS, Metro Rail etc shall be done through a revenue share basis. Once, Share autos are integrated and accepted as a major transportation mode it will bring relief to a large section of people.

Read the full report from here… Study on Para-transit in Chennai