India needs to revamp its public transport system: Gadkari

New Delhi, Jan 10 (PTI) The country needs to revamp its public transport system and a good policy is needed for this task, Union minister Nitin Gadkari said today.

"For long term, we need a good policy which is going to encourage public transport... We need to revamp public transport," the road transport and highways minister said.

Gadkari was speaking after his ministry inked a pact with Transport for London (TfL) to revamp public transportation system in the country.

The minister said the policy should aim at promoting public transport run on electricity or alternative fuels like ethanol or methanol which are less polluting.

He said pollution has become a major concern and India is committed to checking it, including by curbing its huge crude oil imports.

He said after the pact with TfL, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways would act as a facilitator for states that want to reform their public transportation systems.

"To implement reforms in public transport systems in the country, we have to learn from the best practices across the world. The government has to facilitate the capacity building in public transport with learnings from the experienced and proven public transport agencies like TfL," he said.

TfL is the agency that manages the transport system for Greater London.

It has created a unique system of operating buses in public?private partnership (PPP) model with over 17 operators under a single brand. A salient feature has been its double decker buses which provide for high capacity with low road space requirement. It also operates a large number of electric and hybrid buses.

The common mobility card is another successful product launched by TfL which has made travel easy for the commuters and accounting easier for the operators.

Gadkari said the agreement with TfL "will help us adopt best practices for policy reforms in the transport sector. It will also enable improved customer services, harness scientific data analysis and implement effective IT systems in the transport sector".

The MoU can increase the use of electric vehicles in public transport and promote digital transactions for ticketing, he added. PTI NAM ABM