Transport experts are worried about the surge in two wheeler population in the Mumbai metropolitan region.
There has been a sharp rise in the number of two wheelers in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai. Increase in the number of two wheelers will put immense pressure on the city’s congested road network. At a time when transport experts have been appealing citizens to opt for public transport the surge in two wheeler population will only make matters worse for the city. Even though various steps have been taken by the state government to augment public transport like introduction of metro and mono rail these steps won’t make much difference as more services will have to be started to ease the city’s traffic woes.
The scooter and bike population in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai has already touched 39.2 lakh and will soon reach 40 lakh in few weeks. India now has surpassed China to become the world’s largest two wheeler market. Within a single month, there has been a sharp rise in the number of two wheelers in Mumbai alone which has reached 6.4 lakh scooters 34,000 mopeds. As per the latest government statistics the two wheeler population in Mumbai metropolitan region will reach 4 million mark.
Satish Dusane a Andheri resident said, “I am worried about the rise in the number of two wheelers in the city. I use public transport for reaching my office at Malad. Trains and buses are affordable means of transport and the government must promote its usage.”
Sudhir Seth a BPO employee from Malad said, “Since last three years there has been a sharp rise in usage of private vehicles by Mumbaikars. Citizens are facing huge hardships due to poor frequency of buses and hence have started relying on private vehicles for reaching their destination.”
Amit Barse a Kandivali resident said, “Three years back I used to depend on public transport for reaching my destination. But now after the curtailment of BEST bus services I have to wait for one hour to board buses which is a waste of time for me. Hence I have purchased a bike so that I can reach my destination quickly.”
Avni Shah a house wife from Borivali said, “I mostly use two wheeler to drop my children to school and tuition classes. While returning home, I purchase vegetables, milk and grocery. Two wheelers have become very convenient mode of transport as auto rickshaw fares have increased drastically since last few years.”
Pawan Sinha an accountant working with a private firm in Malad said, “I own both two wheeler and four wheeler but I mostly use the former to reach my destination faster. Since it has become difficult for me to board local train during morning and evening peak hours I have to depend on my bike for reaching my office.”
“The rise in the number of two wheelers is bad news for a city like Mumbai. Time has come for the city to augment its public transport. There has been a sharp rise in vehicular population which has resulted in huge pollution in the metropolis. Already bike riders violate traffic rules like not wearing helmet, talking while driving and cutting lanes which causes inconvenience to other motorists,” said a transport expert.
Transport expert Sunil Mone said, “Two wheelers can be called as flying pollution machines. Steps should be taken to curtail their population. Often people tend to violate traffic rules while using bikes and they need to be disciplined while using these vehicles otherwise it may lead to accidents.”
Even though Mumbai lags behind other cities like Pune, Delhi and Chennai when it comes to two wheeler population but the city needs to upgrade its public transport.