In a Victory for People Over Cars, Indian Court Upholds BRT

In a landmark ruling issued last week, the Delhi High Court upheld the use of New Delhi's streets for a 5.6-kilometer bus rapid transit corridor, in a blow to auto owners seeking have it removed for use by all traffic, including private vehicles.

Dario Hidalgo and Madhav Pai report on the court's ruling, which "advanced the idea that transportation facilities are for moving people, not cars, and should favor all users, not just the minority fortunate enough to use private cars."

The suit had been brought by Nyaya Bhoomi, who claimed "that the bus corridor was aimed at harassing commuters and was a waste of public money. It said it resulted in increased travel time for car users and longer idling time due to traffic jams, resulting in wastage of fuel."

According to Hidalgo and Pai, the judges, Pradeep Nandrajog and Manmohan Singh, "reasoned that since a bus could transport up to 200 persons in the course of one journey, as opposed to a car, which would transport 3 or 4 persons, it was not irrational to assign dedicated road space for buses."

The judges also noted that the city's growing traffic congestion is a result of the increasing number of private vehicles on the road, and asserted that the only way to reduce congestion would be to improve public transportation.  

Full Story: A Developed Country Is One in Which Rich People Use Public Transport

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