Wednesday, June 23

Flyovers bring down travel time on city roads, show data

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Despite a mammoth increase of vehicular population and no increase in road space in the city, a data tool has found that commute time on a few stretches decreased noticeably. This decrease of travel time is largely due to new infrastructure projects and inventive interventions by cops.
Traffic movement insights from the case study on the ramp joining the AJC Bose Road and Maa Flyover shows an average decrease of 20%-30% in travel time between EM Bypass and Race Course during January 2019 and the following months, February-June, 2019, after the west-bound ramp was thrown open to traffic. There was also improvement on the Ballygunge Phanri-Golpark corridor in pre-Puja shopping days.

These insights were revealed by data insight tool ‘Movement’ launched in Kolkata by cab aggregator Uber. “Movement assesses the impact of new infrastructure projects, big events and road closures on travel time so that policymakers have the appropriate data to improve the city’s mobility patterns,” said Ratul Ghosh, Uber’s eastern India head.

Inaugurating the Kolkata leg of the multi-city initiative, Bengal’s additional chief secretary and Hidco chairman Debashis Sen harped on the issue of surge pricing. He said, “Punctuality by government employees has increased not for app cabs, but for surge-pricing. People these days reach office before the surge price sets in. Similarly, drinking has increased as people stopped driving back home.”

As is typical for the last working day of the week, Fridays in 2019 saw the longest travel time between the two points during the evening commute period. Comparing data sets between Fridays in January and Fridays in May 2019, a reduction of 38.5% in travel time can be attributed to the new ramp between the two longest flyovers in the city.

‘Movement’ data pointed to a 28% increase in travel time between the Ballygunge Phanri crossing and Golpark due to last-minute shopping at Gariahat market during the Durga Puja weekend. However, a yearly analysis between 2016 and 2019 showed a small decrease in travel-time differential each year, attributed to significant improvement and investment in traffic management by police.

“We are excited to launch ‘Movement’ in the city and hope this will encourage urban planners, governments, and transport experts to take data-driven decisions and better understand the challenges and opportunities unique to Kolkata,” Ghosh said.

Kolkata will be the fifth city to gain data-driven insights from Uber’s proprietary platform, after Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. With the launch of Movement, Uber’s anonymous data from millions of trips, across Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and now, Kolkata, can be accessed by civic authorities, local governments, transportation researchers, and technology & urban infrastructure thinktanks to discover ways to address challenges and plan future investments.


Source: Times of India

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