Cab aggregator Uber today said shared mobility can help de-congest roads in the city of Delhi which has over one crore registered vehicles. The US-based firm has also launched a nationwide campaign ‘Decongest India’ to promote the concept of shared mobility and how it can ease the stress on urban transportation. Uber Head of Public Policy (India and South Asia) Shweta Rajpal Kohli said it is important that private car ridesharing becomes mainstream as private car remains unutilised for 96 per cent of its time and average occupancy rates is around 1.14 people per car.
The average time spent on Delhi roads has doubled over the last six years as the speed of traffic has gone down by half, she added. According to reports, the traffic speeds in Delhi could come down to 5 km per hour in the next 10 years — which is the average speed of walking — unless immediate measures are taken.Another report by IIT Madras says the cost of congestion on Delhi’s roads amounts to about Rs 60,000 crore per year, which includes cost of loss of productivity, road accidents and fuel wastage. This number is likely to go up to Rs 98,000 crore by 2030.
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“With the launch of Decongest India, we are hoping to draw the attention of policymakers on how cars can be part of the solution – rather than the problem,” Kohli said. Asked about the rapid growth in number of commercial vehicles on Delhi streets, she said, “these account for less than one per cent of the total registered cars”. The government is looking into whether private cars can be used for ride-sharing to curb increasing traffic congestion across major cities in the country.
To formulate rules around ride-sharing, the government will have to study various aspects, including safety, regulations and taxation-related implications. Uber, which offers shared rides on commercial vehicles through UberPOOL, said its shared mobility solutions have helped save millions of kms travelled and fuel usage. “More than 30 per cent of our total trips in Delhi are POOL trips… The City has our third largest base of POOL users globally,” Prabhjeet Singh, General Manager at Uber India (Delhi and North India) said.