Delhi's Car Ban Experiment Didn't Improve Air Quality That Much, But it Should Still Be Permanent
Earlier this year Delhi's
The "odd/even" scheme allowed drivers to use their
Although the tiny improvement in air quality improvement is a nice reason to keep the ban going, it's not what's motivating Anumita Roychowdhury, director of the city's Centre for Science and Environment, to make it permanent.
She told CNN
that even if the ban wouldn't impact pollution levels right away, forcing half the population to get out of their cars every day would guarantee that the government would fix the public transit problems-including
accommodating lower-income and female riders
"You are actually making it cheaper for me to use my car than to take public transport," Roychowdhury said. Bus ridership has dropped from 60% in 2000 to 41% today. "The irony here today in Delhi is that cars are carrying about 14% of the travel demand, but 80% of transport investment in the city is tied to roads that facilitate car movement, not public transport."
That imbalance of investment is the problem in most cities, but in Delhi it is literally killing people. The air quality is so bad in
There are bigger reforms that need to be made, too-coal-fired plants should be taken offline, and the widespread burning of wood and trash needs to be regulated-but I think I agree with Roychowdhury that extending the car ban would force a radical reshifting of daily behavior and the city would have no choice but to change quickly to support it.
[See the entire story and video at CNN ]
Tsering Topgyal/AP Photo
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