Ever wondered which city in the country has the highest number of workers who commute by car, van, or jeep? The 2011 Census data shows Delhi has the highest number of workers who commute by car at 10.79%. In second is Chennai at 6.14% and Mumbai in third at 4.78%. Bangalore and Kolkata among the five metros were recorded to have the least number of commuters at 2.72% and 2.93% respectively.
Delhi has a highly efficient metro system and during weekdays from 8 a.m. - 11 a.m. the trains transport nearly 1 lakh passengers. However, according to the transport ministry data, Delhi has the highest number of cars compared to any other metro city in India.
Could the reason be the overcrowding of trains during peak hours? What would you do: Board an overcrowded train, or drive your car in Delhi's congested traffic?
Dilip Singh, 49, a general manager with a private firm in New Delhi, said "Metro is not equipped to handle the massive morning and evening traffic," He also added "Also, many Delhiites view cars as a status symbol."
Chennai, on the flipside, has a poor connectivity of public transport systems, which forces many working professionals to use cars and vans. Rajiv Balaram, 26, employed at an IT firm in Sholinganallur said "Many of us who work on the IT corridor can use the trains or buses only up to a certain point. After that, we depend on shared autos, cabs or cars."
Kolkata, on the other hand, was chosen by the World Bank as the city with most sustainable transport system in India. Less than 3% of workers drive to work, and this city has a robust transport network that includes: the metro, buses, taxis, autos, and trams.
Compared to Delhi, the local railway network in Kolkata carries 35 lakh commuters a day, and the metro carries 5 lakh passengers daily. Trams and Taxis contribute to 6 - 7% of the daily commuter load, which is around 16 lakh commuters a day.
DriveSpark Thinks! India's transport system as a whole needs a facelift.