The Union Ministry of Urban Development has now evolved a system for evaluating urban transport services in cities across India. All cities covered by the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) have been advised to benchmark their level of services for various parameters specified by the ministry.
The parameters on which the cities would be graded include public transportation system, pedestrian facilities, cycle lanes, and even air pollution among others. The exercise aims to generate information that will be useful in making urban transportation systems effective.
Detailed indicators have been developed to assess the level of service (LOS). The public transportation will be assessed on the basis of presence of organised public transport system, its availability, bus route network density, service frequency, level of comfort and percentage fleet of buses as per urban bus specifications. The city wide LOS of public transport parameter will be determined by summing up of LOS of all its indicators. This will indicate how good or bad the
public transport system of a city is. Four grades will be used for benchmarking. A city with a good public transport system will score one and that with the worst or no system will rank four. Likewise the city will be graded on all parameters to highlight the performance of the urban transport system in a city which would be monitored by the urban local bodies or the development authority.
Indian cities were originally designed as compact entities to reduce travel trip length. But with rapid urbanization and motorization, our sprawling cities are becoming victims of killer pollution, congestion, and a crippling oil guzzling, car dependent infrastructure that endangers our quality of life. While sprawling cities, flyovers and signal- free corridors are increasing distances, subways and foot overbridges are taking away the right of pedestrians to cross at grade; gated communities are increasing dependence on personal vehicles.