Research Project

Sustainable Urban Transport in Less Motorised Countries Research and Training

Geetam Tiwari, Dinesh Mohan, Anoop Chawla, Sudipto Mukherjee, S.R. Kale, Sanjeev Sanghi, Puneet Mahajan and NIladri Chatterjee

Project Details

Objective
The objective of TRIPP is to reduce the adverse health effects of transport by integrating mobility, safety and environmental concerns specific to India, in particular, and other less motorised countries in general. The establishment of TRIPP has facilitated interaction between faculty members from various departments within IITD and with professionals from organisations outside IITD (Indian Statistical Institute,
Sanchal Hazard Centre, St. Stephen's Hospital, IDS) on complex intradisciplinary problems associated with urban transport. This group is unique because it combines expertise in transportation planning, road safety, computer sciences, biomechanics,  epidemiology, medicine, social sciences and econometrics for work on transportation issues.

Vision
The shared vision of researchers at TRIPP is to produce knowledge that addresses the unique issues of less motorised countries and to set up a system of research which responds dynamically to include a heterogeneous set of practitioners collaborating on problems defined here in localised contexts but integrating international concerns in an internally consistent format. The effort is to experiment
with new forms of knowledge generation where there is continuous negotiation between disciplines on the one hand and between scientists and society on the other.

Current work
(1) Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS): TRIPP has conceptualised and designed the first 18 km BRTS corridor in Delhi. The first 6 km of the Delhi corridor started operation in May 2008. The operations of the first and subsequent corridors are being monitored and evaluated for further improvements. (2) Pedestrian safety model: Pedestrian behaviour at junctions and mid block in mixed traffic is being recorded and modelled to get a theoretical understanding of similarities and differences in behaviour in Indian compared to that reported from other locations internationally. (4) Estimation of emissions and fuel consumption of in–use vehicles.
(3) Health indicators for urban transport: Current transportation policies in megacities worldwide lead to major threats to health through traffic injuries, air pollution, noise, and reduction in physical activities, adverse impact on urban quality of life and by contributing to climate change. Transport patterns, health effects of transport and land use policies, infrastructure, air and noise pollution, accidents, and physical
activity from cycling and walking for transport are being evaluated to assess indicators for selected cities in Asia and Africa. (4) Safety and sustainable transport: Safety and epidemiological research including crash modelling to develop, safer buses, 3-wheelers, motorcycles and helmets: These items have been selected as vulnerable road users constitute more than 70 percent of all fatalities in less motorised megacities. Work on the helmet has concentrated on optimisation of the shell padding characteristics and provision of ventilation in the helmet, and work on design of helmets for children has been started. Impact  characterization of human body muscle tissues is being done to incorporate this information finite element
models (FEM) for pedestrian crash analysis. Road safety factors in urban areas are being assessed to investigate the role of land use, street layout, road widths, exposure, etc. to understand the effect of infrastructure on road safety.

Activities
The COE for work on “Sustainable Urban Transport in Less Motorised Countries: Research and Training” became operational at the Transportation Research and Injury Prevention Programme (TRIPP) of the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD) in April 2003. The first period of funding ended in 2008 and
the COE has been given additional funding of 5 MSEK for a period of three years. 

The main components of the work to be done in the next three years are: (a) Continue, expand and broaden CoE network initiatives, including networking with other CoEs. (b) Continued work with interfacing and dialogue with stakeholders and practitioners. (c) Search for additional funding to secure the long-term function of the CoE. (d) Work on topics in addition to the original poroposal.
Research in the following areas was included in the initial five years: Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS), Pedestrian behaviour at Intersections, Bicycle users profile in Delhi, Characteristics of Women in Poor Households in Delhi, Air quality in Delhi, Bus ventilation, Vehicle recognition software, Pedestrian modelling,
Mechanical properties of human issues, Bicycle crashes, Crash reconstruction, Safety and stability of the three-wheeled scooter taxi, Helmet optimisation. 

Work to be continued:

(a) Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) - The operations of the first and subsequent corridors will monitored and evaluated for further improvements. (b) Integration of access, mobility, safety and environmental policies - 
Work on integration of data and knowledge to get a better understanding of environmental, safety and societal conflicts in and methods of avoiding them. (c) Safety and epidemiological research including crash modelling to develop safer buses, motorcycles and helmets.
New initiatives: (a) Estimation of emissions and fuel consumption of in–use vehicles. (b) Assessment of freight movement by non-motorised vehicles in Indian cities (c) Health indicators for urban transport. (d) Road safety factors in urban areas. (e) Road infrastructure for safe movement in segregated lanes. (f) Motorcycle helmet design for children. (g) Pedestrian safety models. (h) TRIPP Annual Lecture on
Sustainable Transportation. (i) Textbook on Road Safety. (j) Bus Rapid Transit Design Manual. (k) International Workshop on Sustainable Urban Transport. 
One of the most significant achievements has been the conceptualisation and design of the first 18 km BRTS for the Government of Delhi and the first six km has been operational since April 2008.

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