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Fewer private cars used during odd-even scheme in Delhi : Report

Fewer private cars used during odd-even scheme in Delhi : Report

An assessment by DIMTS, Delhi’s nodal transport agency, says 23% fewer private cars plied during the scheme in November, also overall traffic went down by 2%

 

A new report analysing the impact of the Delhi government’s odd-even road space rationing scheme said that there were 23% fewer private cars on city roads during the initiative than after it was called off. The number of two-wheelers and public vehicles were 9% higher too, it said.

According to the study, there was 2% lower traffic on the roads, and average peak hour speed of vehicles improved by at least 5% in over half of the evaluated radial and arterial roads.

The study was conducted by the Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS) Limited, which is partly-owned by the state government. The traffic impact study was sought by the Supreme Court on November 4 when the two-week scheme began.

The study “Traffic Impact Assessment of Odd-Even scheme in Delhi” analyses daily traffic average over eight days— four days during the scheme and four days after — at 10 arterial locations viz. Ashram Chowk, Noida Link Road (near Akshardham), ITO-IP Marg, GT Karnal Road, NH-8 (Mahipalpur), LBS Marg, Link Road (Nigam Bodh), Ring Road (South Extension), Shashtri Park Junction and Tagore Garden.

According to the report, there was a similarity in the trend followed by taxis and two-wheelers, both saw an uptick of around 33,000 units soon after the odd-even scheme was called off. This despite Delhi having close to 7.3 million registered two-wheelers and only 101,200 registered taxis.

The odd-even drive was implemented in Delhi from November 4 to 15, 2019 during which two-wheelers, commercial vehicles (cabs, trucks, etc.) and women only cars were exempted.

An important figure is that of the passenger car unit (PCU) analysis. The PCU is a metric used for assessing traffic flow rates by giving specific weights to a vehicle and translates to the space they occupy on the road. For example, a bus that can carry more people has a PCU between 3 to 4, and two wheelers that carry fewer people will have a value between 0.3 to 0.5.

This value too was 5% lower during the scheme than after.

According to the study, there was 2% lower traffic on the roads, and average peak hour speed of vehicles improved by at least 5% in over half of the evaluated radial and arterial roads.

According to the study, there was 2% lower traffic on the roads, and average peak hour speed of vehicles improved by at least 5% in over half of the evaluated radial and arterial roads. ( harikrishnan.nair )

The report noted that congestion too had improved in the roads it studied. Considering speeds below 10 kmph (collected from GPS data of taxis and autos) as instances of congestion, the study reads, “It has been determined that incidences having speed less than 5 kmph reduced from 13.7% to 12.4% and incidences having speed between 5-10 kmph reduced from 13% to 11.3%. On the other hand, incidences having speed more than 30 kmph increased from 21.2% to 24.1% showing lesser congestion and lower duration of congestion during odd- even scheme implementation.”

As half of the private vehicles remained off city roads during odd-even, a modal shift to public transport was also observed. The average daily ridership in the state-run buses (DTC and cluster) was higher by 280,000 (5.39%), whereas, the Delhi Metro saw 170,000 (3.05%) more ridership daily when compared to the non-odd-even days.

Traffic queue lengths were also evaluated in eight locations including ITO, Ashram Chowk, IIT Gate and Moti Bagh and it was found to be shorter during the odd-even days. The average reduction in queue length was observed to be 29.5% at these locations. For example, the highest reduction in queue length via-a-vis the non-odd even scheme days was seen at Peeragarhi Chowk during evening peak hours in the traffic coming from Peeragarhi metro station which was 83.6% shorter in its queue length.

A user perception survey was also conducted across the city to assess the impact of the odd-even scheme. Around 5,000 responses were collected with 52% being in the age group of 25-40 years. About 77% of the respondents said they did not shift their travel timings in order to manage their travel by car or to avoid crowding in public transport. About half of the respondents, reported a decrease in their travel time and out of this, a majority reported a decrease of up to 30 minutes. Yet, 34% of the respondents said there was no change in their travel time.

In terms of cost, 81% of the respondents said there was no change or decrease in their travel cost. In terms of problems faced during the odd-even scheme, 67% of respondents said overcrowding in the Delhi Metro and buses were biggest issue .

Experts said the impact of the odd-even drive on traffic in Delhi gets marred because of inadequate public transport. “The study has found that the number of taxis and two-wheelers increased exponentially during the odd-even drive which nearly negated the fact that some 36,000 personal cars went off roads. What needs to be done? Provide AC buses where the metro is not there. Increase last-mile connectivity,” said Subhash Chand, head of traffic engineering and safety division, Central Road Research Institute (CRRI).

Chand added that the CRRI had conducted a similar during the second odd-even drive held in April, 2016. “But, during that drive, the impact on the traffic was found to be negligible,” he said.