Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu today suggested exploring innovative means of financing major public transport system in view of the huge investments required for such projects. He said more and more cities have chosen the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model for implementing urban transport projects. “Investment requirement in high capacity public transport system can be huge due to the large gap in demand and capacity. Therefore, it is important to explore the possibility of innovative means of financing,” he said. He cited Bengaluru Metro issuing bonds as an example of agencies exploring such innovative means of financing. “Issuance of bonds and financing of one corridor through Land Value Capture (a method of financing infra plans) by Bengaluru Metro is an example how agencies are trying to leverage innovative means of financing,” the VP said. Naidu was delivering the key note address after inaugurating the 10th Urban Mobility India (UMI) conference- cum-exhibition here. Observing that more and more cities have chosen the PPP model for development and implementation of urban transport projects, he said Hyderabad Metro Rail, on completion, would become the world’s largest such venture to be implemented via this partnership route.
He stressed the need to work towards “retiring old polluting vehicles, strengthening mass transportation, promoting use of electric vehicles and ensuring parking places before registering a car at least in large metro cities. “Better urban planing, a model shift to public transport and a long-term transport plan are necessary to facilitate the growth of cities in a manner that doesn’t damage the environment.” The vice-president said it is important to provide last- mile connectivity for high capacity public transport to become popular. “If the commuter doesn’t get comfortable mode for reaching the metro station or the bus stop, he is likely to use his personal vehicle,” he said.
Promoting non-motorised transport infrastructure for walking and using bicycle not only act as last mile connectivity for a well-established public transport system but also help in promoting health, Naidu said. The future of the transportation lies in sustainable smart mobility and eco-friendly alternatives, he said. Planners, city authorities and civil society have to join the mission to make the cities a better place to live in, Naidu said.