Crosstown Traffic

I read an interesting debate recently about country attitudes to cars and their cities.  The main comparison was between European cities and the USA but I will throw my experience of being a seasoned Delhi rally driver into the mix.

It seems that while Europe is becoming increasingly hostile to cars, theUSA is researching better ways to help drivers have a less stressful experience – what a novel idea to actually help drivers! 

I live and work between London, Delhi and Scotland.  In London I hardly ever need my car as the Underground is super fab and during weekend engineering works (collective groan) I manage on buses.  It’s a super example of transport connectivity.  In Delhi or Scotland, however, it is very inconvenient for me to take public transport so I drive.  Taking public transport in either of these places would add at least an hour on to my journey each way and involve changing into two or three different modes of transport.  Additionally, in the case of Scotland, it is shockingly expensive: a peak time train ticket between Edinburgh and Glasgow is £24.40 for a 50 minute journey. Off peak is £19.80 – what a bargain and monthly travel cards give similar miserly savings.  I don’t think drivers should be penalised before a city has rolled out good public transport connectivity.

The debate I read had an interesting comment though from a Zurich city official who lamented that in other cities he has to wait for the traffic to stop before he can cross the road and he can’t get used to the idea of feeling worth less than a car. I think he needs confidence building therapy.


4 Comments to “Crosstown Traffic”

  1. Wow that is expensive I thought the weekly oyster card was steep.

  2. Surely an additional risk of using public transport in Delhi is having your bum pinched?

  3. I heard that public transport in Delhi is really dangerous – eg muggings are a normal hazard. Having said that I was mugged coming off a bus in London.

  4. The Delhi metro is fine it is a bit slow but it is airconditioned and clean. There are women only compartments that I wrote about in one of the very first posts on the blog as it was a funny experience. If you want a bum pinching experience I believe the buses are the place to go so ofcourse I haven’t tried.

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