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Sanjay K. Singh, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, India


Until recently the main function of urban bus transport was to satisfy the individual needs of the less affluent members of society, but now it has to contribute for congestion relief and environmental preservation. This requires a fundamental change of emphasis to fulfill its new role of attracting enough people away from the private cars and two-wheelers. The Indian cities cannot afford to cater only to the private vehicles and there has to be a general recognition that policy should be designed in such a way that reduces the need to travel by personalized modes and boosts bus transport system. This requires both an increase in quantity as well as quality of bus transport and effective use of demand as well as supply side management measures. It is imperative that bus transport companies identify different groups of consumers and provide variety of services at optimal prices to attract people towards bus transport. At the same time, government should use market-based instruments to promote cleaner technology and fuel and encourage people to use non-motorized transport.

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