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Metro and the city

Metro and the city

How will upcoming metro rail systems respond to how an integrated system to ensure the city’s traffic and architecture is preserved or enhanced?

Experts
BI Singal, Director General, Institute of Urban Transport
K Rajaraman, Managing Director, Chennai Metro Rail
NVS Reddy, Managing Director, Hyderabad Metro Rail

Are our Metro systems treated as cogs in a mobility wheel for a city or as standalone? How is your city coordinating and integrating these systems?

Singal
Metro systems at present are being tre­ated stan­da­lone and not as cogs in a mobi­lity wheel for a city. Cities are not able to integrate the transport ser­vices in the city because their is no single authority to manage all aspects of urban transport.

Rajaraman
In line with the National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP), the government has consti­tuted the Chennai Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (CUMTA) to monitor all aspects of trans­port­ation in Chennai. The basic purpose of CUMTA is to achieve integration of all modes of transport in the city to provide seamless travel facility to the passengers acr­oss the entire network.

Reddy
There has to be inter-modal integration between metro rail and main rail terminals/stations, bus depots and other feeder services so that “seamless travel facility” is available for commuters. In Hyderabad Metro, we will pro­vide metro rail connectivity to the two main rail terminal stations, six suburban rail stations and six major bus dep­ots, apart from planning feeder bus services in the colonies around every metro rail station and pro­vide pedestrian and non-motorised transport (NMT) facilities.

How can metro rail blend into the city’s architecture?

Singal
Metro rail systems will have to blend in with the archi­tecture of a city as a design exercise. It is not pos­sible to remain underground all the time due to huge costs involved. If, however, rail transit is kept at grade then it is easy for it to blend with the architecture of a city.

Rajaraman
Much of the 45.1 km of Chennai Metro runs along major arterial roads that house many heritage buildings. Around 24 km length (55 per cent) of the metro network is planned to be underground, and one of the reasons is to preserve the cultural and heritage buildings. Underground rail also minimi­ses land acquisition. Chennai Metro Rail Ltd (CMRL) has reque­sted contractors to construct elevated metro stations that blend with nearby heritage buildings.

Since metro rail changes traffic patterns, how best are cities addressing such changes?

Rajaraman
Around 65 per cent of Chennai’s road network com­prises two-lane roads. The share of public transport dwind­led from over 50 per cent in 1971 to about 31 per cent.
Currently, the commercial vehicles and IPT modes are operated by private agencies and are not well organised. As many as fourteen agencies are involved in planning, providing operation and managing existing transportation system in CMA. In many tasks, their role is overlapping. In order to utilise the available infra­str­ucture, facilities and resources for development, pro­per coordination and streamlining the activities of dif­ferent agencies, there is need for a statutory organisation.

Reddy  
There is a need to discourage parallel bus services and convert them into feeder services so as to improve the overall share of public transport. Pedestrian facilities, bic­ycle tracks and other non-moto­rised transport (NMT) facilities are being provided at metro rail stations and their catchment areas.

Singal
Traffic pattern changes are not being addressed tod­ay due to the absence of a coordinating agency in the city. 

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