Success and failure exceptions to the norm in 2008

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(Ohnmacht, 2009; Pflieger, 2009). SUCCESS AND FAILURE: EXCEPTIONS TO THE NORM In 2008, Delhi began operating a pilot project of a BRT system with a total length of 5.8km, taking design and planning cues from similar successful systems in Curitiba, Guayaquil & Bogota (Tewari et al., 2010). In a city where only 10% of the population owns a car, and over 30% use the bus, this was considered to be a logical extension of the Metro, which had been commissioned to moderate success in 2002. The subject of intense debate, the BRT was officially put on hold just a few months after it opened to the public, due to enormous traffic congestion created in the lanes meant for cars. Delhi’s influential and affluent car owning class, entrenched with a strong sense of entitlement to Delhi's roads (Dasgupta, 2015; Tewari et al., 2010), used the eager media to propagate the message that the design was flawed and did not take into account the realities of high car ownership. Rather, the facts from an inde-pendent study showed that total trips actually increased by 120% (Tewari et al., 2010) and average trip times actually decreased, due to the large ridership of buses carrying 30 or more people compared to passenger cars that were rarely carrying more than 1 person. In October 2012, after a protracted legal battle, the Delhi Government was allowed to continue running the BRT and begin planning for future expansion. Judge Pradeep Nandrajog famously quoted in his judgment that "A developed country is not one where the poor own cars. It is one where the rich use public transport”(Kumar, 2012). The BRT experience in Delhi highlights how the aspirations of good governance fail when pitted against the influence of the elite section of society that refuses to be inconvenienced for the benefit of the masses. Also, it is symptomatic of the fact that restricting access to the city’s roads presupposes the existence Page of 48
of a credible alternative - the BRT did not appeal to the car users who viewed the segregation as an impingement on their spatial rights (Jemelin, 2007; Headicar & Banister, 2009). However, transport can also be used as a tool to mitigate social exclusion, as demon-strated in the success of the zip card provided by TFL as a way to encourage uptake of public transport by younger people and also to aid in reducing transport costs for those with limited means (Jones et al., 2012) The scheme has allowed young people (12-16 year olds) to travel on the buses with no charge since September 2005. This exemption was enhanced to add 17-year olds in 2006 and now also includes 18-year old students in full-time education. Initially criticized for discouraging “active travel” modes such as walking and cycling, a long term study established increased mental wellbeing among young people, with free travel offering greater opportunities for social experience resulting in more frequent trips for recreation and education (Green, 2014). Consequently, social inclusion and independent mobility are emerg-ing as key factors in determining the impact of urban transport networks on human wellbeing,

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