Welcome to Straphangers United

This blog is for those who ride transit, or just look at people riding transit from wherever. Let us face up to the fact. Riding transit is going to be a necessity for many people in the coming years. As traffic goes haywire, a lot of options will start appearing more sensible.

I have been writing a lot on transit in my other blog, but it now seems to make sense for me to provide my two cents worth in a separate blog dedicated to mobility issues.

First off, there is this editorial in the Economic and Political Weekly, which talks of the impact of the Tata Nano on our cities and the whole question of mobility. Strangely, the EPW editorial seems constrained by some of the market concerns of the day and fails to make a sharp point, preferring instead to praise some aspects of the innovation and calling rather weakly for alternatives such as walking and cycling.

We welcome the overall tenor of the editorial, which is to prioritise public options including green options such as walking and cycling. It also makes the important point about existing car owners crying foul over congestion, because the cities are on the cusp of the next round of motorisation. The two-wheeler boom started in the 1980s and now, it seems destined to be repeated with a four-wheeler Nano-led growth curve. Why deny the middle class the benefit of personal choice, the editorial argues…

What about a policy of common neighbourhood schools for all children and the provision of safe space for walking and cycling?

An eminently debatable issue, one that environmentalists have been demanding for long.

While visiting this blog, expect anecdotal stories about life in the commuter trains, buses and autorickshaws, mostly in Chennai, but with some glimpses of other travels thrown in.

Cheers!

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