Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Easy rider

It is not all that easy being a cycle-rickshawman these days. There are restrictions on these vehicles entering the main roads, so their trips are confined to the side streets. There was a time when they were all over the place, but from a high of 3.5% of total trips made (in 1992), their share has dropped down to 0.3% of total trips, in 2005. The drop has not just been in percentage terms, but in absolute numbers as well - from 35 lakh person-trips in 1992, to about 30,000 person-trips in 2005.

That's only to be expected, in the face of competition from autorickshaws and the growing two-wheeler population. Yet, there is still some hope for these vehicles. The II Draft Master Plan for Chennai specifically talks about using them as a viable para-transit option and specifically about encouraging cycle-rickshaws to operate between residential areas and transit routes. It may be an easy ride for the commuter then!

1 comment:

KA Iyer said...

Cycle-rickshaws can be made a shuttle service for a larger mass transit system, like the expanding MRTS. They offer a better deal when compared to auto-rickshaws, both in cost and pollution levels.