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Are private cars the ideal transport? photos attached

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  • Eric Britton
    From: Robin Chase [mailto:rmchase@gmail.com] Sent: Monday, 8 September 2008 19:28 I spent two weeks in Delhi and Rajasthan this last August. I was reminded of
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 15, 2008
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      From: Robin Chase [mailto:rmchase@...]
      Sent: Monday, 8 September 2008 19:28

      I spent two weeks in Delhi and Rajasthan this last August. I was reminded of the versatility, small footprint, high mileage and potential for low CO2 emissions, in what feels like a perfect vehicle -- the auto rickshaw or tuktuk.

      In its own economy, where driver wages are low, these vehicles are used for transporting:

      8 school children to/from school
      3 adults, often as many as 6 in some versions
      freight of all kinds

      It turns on a dime, is very light, has a narrow and small footprint, has top speeds of ..25 mph?, meaning that is seems relatively compatible with bicycles (and bike rickshaws), as well as pedestrians.

      I had a fantasy that maybe the US (and other countries) should have a new category of roads, and vehicles that can travel only on such roads. i.e. roads on which maximum speed is 25mph, and vehicles are of a certain light weight.

      The reason for the fantasy is that I could well imagine clean fuel efficient auto rickshaws (Delhi has only CNG rickshaws) being of great use in NYC. Passengers can get in and out quickly, lots of space to put big luggage and/or other stuff; easily accomodates shared rides. But right now, such vehicles are surely illegal in the US, and people would find them dangerous if vying against SUVs and buses in the same lanes.

      But they are such work horses!

      Lee -- tell me what I am missing.

      Robin

      .

      Error! Filename not specified.

       

       

    • Sujit Patwardhan
      15 September 2008 Sorry to barge in like this (before Lee responds) In the Asian high density context it is not enough to thik of low speeds but also low
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 15, 2008
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        15 September 2008



        Sorry to barge in like this (before Lee responds)

        In the Asian high density context it is not enough to thik of low speeds but also low capacity. The auto-rickshaws even if run on LPG (liquid petroleum Gas) or CNG will soon become a big problem in terms of congestion. The shift has to be to efficient buses (they can carry 70 to 100 people as against the auto-rickshaw that can carry only 3 (max).

        They are OK as intermediate public transport (to take people from bus stops to their doorsteps (though Velib like cycles are far better even for that) but not as a mode of Public Transport. And while we are on the slow moving seemingly "safe" vehicles (auto rickshaws are rarely driven safely in Indian cities - they often swerve in and out of lanes) it may be more appropriate to think of human driven cycle rickshaws but many upper class Indians consider them "inhuman".

        And meanwhile, the best option - improved bus (BRT in short) is not considered sexy enough by our decision makers, and allowed to languish while they crave for the white elephant called the Metro Rail.

        --
        Sujit Patwardhan
        Parisar/PTTF
        Pune
        India

        On Mon, Sep 15, 2008 at 2:56 PM, Eric Britton <eric.britton@...> wrote:

        From: Robin Chase [mailto:rmchase@...]
        Sent: Monday, 8 September 2008 19:28

        I spent two weeks in Delhi and Rajasthan this last August. I was reminded of the versatility, small footprint, high mileage and potential for low CO2 emissions, in what feels like a perfect vehicle -- the auto rickshaw or tuktuk.

        In its own economy, where driver wages are low, these vehicles are used for transporting:

        8 school children to/from school
        3 adults, often as many as 6 in some versions
        freight of all kinds

        It turns on a dime, is very light, has a narrow and small footprint, has top speeds of ..25 mph?, meaning that is seems relatively compatible with bicycles (and bike rickshaws), as well as pedestrians.

        I had a fantasy that maybe the US (and other countries) should have a new category of roads, and vehicles that can travel only on such roads. i.e. roads on which maximum speed is 25mph, and vehicles are of a certain light weight.

        The reason for the fantasy is that I could well imagine clean fuel efficient auto rickshaws (Delhi has only CNG rickshaws) being of great use in NYC. Passengers can get in and out quickly, lots of space to put big luggage and/or other stuff; easily accomodates shared rides. But right now, such vehicles are surely illegal in the US, and people would find them dangerous if vying against SUVs and buses in the same lanes.

        But they are such work horses!

        Lee -- tell me what I am missing.

        Robin

        .

        Error! Filename not specified.

         

         




        --
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        Sujit Patwardhan
        sujitjp@...

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