Every second person in city owns one vehicle now

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VADODARA : Once dubbed as Pensioner’s Paradise, Vadodara is fast catching up with metro cities when it comes to traffic.
Such is the steep rise in number of private vehicles over last 10 years, especially in urban areas, that every second person in the city owns one vehicle now. The data released by regional transport office (RTO), Vadodara reveals that the total number of vehicles have gone up from 9,48,091 in 2007 to 20,27,697 in 2017 in the entire district.
And, the more than double increase in vehicles has become a challenge for both the police and the civic authorities. “Such sharp increase in vehicles does affect the city and policing in many ways. The number of private vehicles have gone up as people can now buy two-wheelers and four-wheelers with easy loans. Vehicles have now become affordable,” said Manoj Sashidhar, city police commissioner.
“One of the other reasons is need for a better public transport. A small city like Vadodara cannot have metro but if there are more public transport buses than people would prefer them instead of private vehicles,” Sashidhar told TOI.
While the number of motorbikes has gone up from 5,18,244 in 2007 to 11,33,779 in 2017, cars have increased from 94,724 to 2,47,970 in the same period. The auto rickshaws too have increased from 34,023 to 87,861. Sashidhar admitted that the rising number of vehicles pose a problem in urban areas as the road width has not increased accordingly. Even vehicle parking has become a major issue in congested areas.
“The possible solution to it is making it costly to own a car. People should pay congestion taxes and parking fees on roads. Along with that we have to invest more in public transport so that people don’t buy more private vehicles for transport,” Sashidhar said and added that they are working on solutions to deal with the ever increasing traffic.
Traffic expert, Satyen Kulabker said that promoting e-rickshaws that can accommodate more passengers would help in dealing with the traffic issues. “E-rickshaws are eco-friendly, cost effective for drivers and affordable for passengers. Also, there is a need to promote bicycles as a means of transport for short routes. Such projects take time as we need to bring about a cultural change in the city.”
The Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) has currently roped in a private firm to run public buses in the city but their routes are limited to certain areas.

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