Thane: Transport experts have called for a more robust public transport mechanism to discourage motorists from using their private vehicles and clogging city roads owing to the worsening traffic conditions with each passing day.
Statistics from the Regional Transport Office (RTO) revealed that the city has seen a massive increase of vehicles from 1.12 lakh to 1.18 lakh or roughly 20 new vehicles being added to the streets since 2016 while the length of roads remain the same at 356km during the same period. The ongoing civic works are adding to the trouble, lamented traffic police and activists. “There was mind numbing traffic on Monday. It took me four hours to and from Thane. Forget about transforming Mumbai into Shanghai, just give us a habitable city where one does not spend half their life commuting,” said commuter Vinita Bhatia. Another commuter tweeted about the bumper-to -bumper traffic from Majiwada flyover to Anand Nagar check naka.

Sadly, the public transport system in Thane is not strong enough with commuters complaining of poor frequency and ill-maintained buses forcing residents to switch over to private mode of transport. A review by the state transport department published in the state economic survey revealed that the city transport system has reported a drop in passenger numbers in the last two years.

While the average daily carrying capacity of TMT buses was 1.59 lakhs in 2016, it dropped to 1.29 lakh in 2017. The numbers seem critical as the number of vehicles plying on roads had increased from 192 to 195 in the same year but the same showed inverse results in passenger graph. The graph also shows a downward slide for several major cities including Pune and Mumbai where the patronization for public transport is waning, reveals the report. “One needs to look at the overall dispersal of commuters right from the place of residence to work and plan adequate mode of transport that would not only be punctual but also comfortable,” said transport and town planning expert.

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