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Old 9th May 2011, 09:27   #166
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

Basically everything boils down to good public transport. Without that being in place, We can bring in as many laws and taxes as we like but I dont see much change in the number of private cars. Once you have tasted the comfort of a AC car, you will not budge to anything lesser in form of public transport.

The problems are all inter connected actually in our country and its sometimes not justified to compare us to other cities of the world. For starters the Delhi metro is a wonderful step in the right direction. Right from the planning and implementation to the actual product, I feel the govt and specially MR E Sreedharan deserve a lot of praise for it. On some of the busiest routes of the metro the frequency is now almost 1 train every 2 minutes during the peak hours. Basically in real life terms that translates into a train arriving at the platform within 30 secs of the last one leaving it. Isn't that awesome? Yes it is! Many people who haven't encountered it would be forced to believe that this translates into a hassle free travelling experience. But Alas! The sheer number of people travelling has exhausted the trains capacity. During the peak hours( 8-12 in the morning and then again 5-8 in the evening) its almost impossible to board the train. If you do indeed succeed in getting into one, then getting out of it at your station can again prove to be a herculean task. Its not an uncommon site where people get to exit the train only after a couple of stations later from there original station. And this too only after you muscle your way through the crowd.

If you happen to carry a bag with you the effort is just multiplied by 3. If you are planning to travel with a child or a female companion then dont even think about it (The reserved coach for women is a great step though now!).

So what I am trying to say here is that our country's working dynamics are very different and unique. The time is not far when probably metro trains will be running bumper to bumper!!

To sum up my point just a situation I encountered during one of my trips in the metro. I have been a fan of the metro from Day 1. Its crowded and everything but its still the best compared to other modes of transport available. Anyways I need to travel 25 kms everyday to reach my place of work. And ofcourse I choose to travel by the Metro even though I have to change 2 trains. Jostling with the crowd, trying to survive and to board the train with maximum self dignity possible, I was managing fine. The journey seeps out all your energy though and the idea of using my car kept crossing my mind. But I resisted it somehow. What clinched the argument in the favor of my car was when this lovely gentleman standing behind me decided to use my shirts sleeve for wiping of his forehead sweat. I was like ***(hope thats allowed in the forum). Both his hands were conveniently busy trying to hold his position in the cabin. I turned behind thinking that this might be my first road rage incident when I see him grinning like a moron at my face. The whole pathetic site grossed me out. What happens next? Next morning I am happily standing in a jam on the road, but in the comfort of my car. And I am thoroughly enjoying it!
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Old 9th May 2011, 09:29   #167
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!


I don't think extolling the virtues of Singapore for everything is not very relevant for us. It is a smaller city, a developed society that has a lot of civic sense. Public transport can be and is very efficient under such circumstances.

Moreover those who don't comply can be caned in to submission. Will our "free" society ever agree for strict enforcements? We want only carrots, stick is a strict no-no!
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Old 9th May 2011, 10:30   #168
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

This will or is turning into battle of haves and have nots. If a person has 3-4 lakhs only, what will he buy? A parking space to keep the car, or the car? The haves will say, the space! The have nots will say, the car! There is no end to this debate.

I feel this discussion is solely focused on night time parking, which I doubt will be troubling many persons. As per the question asked by OP, it is really something to see single person driving Innova or Sumo, taking up 2 or 3 bike's space in crowded traffic in daytime. Standing on Pedder road, Mumbai or any posh area, hell even station road in Pune, you will see crowded two wheelers as someone described above, full of fat wives and skinny kids, and you will see cars driving with one person alone.

The questions asked by OP has a sequel, WHICH ones of us should stop owning cars? Ones with no parking? Ones who drive alone and take up 2 vehicles space? Ones who drive gas guzzlers?

Or should we ask ourselves, should I stop owning car?
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Old 9th May 2011, 11:10   #169
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
I don't think extolling the virtues of Singapore for everything is not very relevant for us. It is a smaller city, a developed society that has a lot of civic sense. Public transport can be and is very efficient under such circumstances.
Valid point and I echoes the same view in the closing line of my last post. Civic sense is not something which can be garnered overnight. But that said, we can work towards achieving that. A disciplined public transport system clubbed with stricter rules (for all vehicles) may be the way to go.
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Old 9th May 2011, 11:14   #170
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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Originally Posted by ani_meher View Post
This will or is turning into battle of haves and have nots. If a person has 3-4 lakhs only, what will he buy? A parking space to keep the car, or the car? The haves will say, the space! The have nots will say, the car! There is no end to this debate.

I feel this discussion is solely focused on night time parking, which I doubt will be troubling many persons. As per the question asked by OP, it is really something to see single person driving Innova or Sumo, taking up 2 or 3 bike's space in crowded traffic in daytime. Standing on Pedder road, Mumbai or any posh area, hell even station road in Pune, you will see crowded two wheelers as someone described above, full of fat wives and skinny kids, and you will see cars driving with one person alone.
+1 to that. Your opening statement answers the latter part of your post itself. The guy driving a Innova alone ( I do that many times though there is ample parking space at my workplace) will justify his choice. What makes Driving a Nano morally right and driving a bigger car immoral? It all boils down to what you can afford and what suits you. Ofcourse send me to one of the crowded streets of karol bagh market in Delhi and I will never dare to take the Innova there.
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Old 9th May 2011, 11:24   #171
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

One alternative could be if we have a zipcar kind of service. You can rent out a car on hourly basis and use it. After you are done you drop it off at some designated drop point(possible close your place of stay) and go back home.

The other alternative is you go to cities where there is less pressure on infra. believe me when i say this. After having stayed in chennai and bangalore for the majority of my working life, I am not going to go there unless i get triple the pay i am in getting in my 2nd tier city now. Staying in an indian metro and getting paid less that 20 lakhs/annum is probably not worth it unless you are a bachelor.
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Old 9th May 2011, 11:42   #172
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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Originally Posted by ani_meher View Post
This will or is turning into battle of haves and have nots. If a person has 3-4 lakhs only, what will he buy? A parking space to keep the car, or the car? The haves will say, the space! The have nots will say, the car! There is no end to this debate.
+1 to that. I think even if people want to give up on driving a car even temporarily they need a reliable and comfortable means of transport. There is no point comparing with places ike Singapore as that would mean micro management and planning of resources. That would really be the answer, but in that case, the RTA for each town would be responsible (no one knows how that would go!) and then the difficulty would be to ensure standard driving rules across all of India

IMHO the lack of driving etiquette is more irritating. Even if there is a lot of traffic, I realise I am calmer when there are no morons cutting across or creating lanes where they should not exist.
Car pooling or allotting days for even & odd numbered vehicles could address the problem on a temporary basis.

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Originally Posted by ani_meher View Post
Standing on Pedder road, Mumbai or any posh area, hell even station road in Pune, you will see crowded two wheelers as someone described above, full of fat wives and skinny kids, and you will see cars driving with one person alone.
That statement is just too much . I think it is closest to hitting the nail on the head.

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Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
+1 to that. Your opening statement answers the latter part of your post itself. The guy driving a Innova alone ( I do that many times though there is ample parking space at my workplace) will justify his choice. What makes Driving a Nano morally right and driving a bigger car immoral? It all boils down to what you can afford and what suits you. Ofcourse send me to one of the crowded streets of karol bagh market in Delhi and I will never dare to take the Innova there.
IMHO, if people carrying more than the requisite number of allowed passengers are not questioned even if they are not following the rules, people should not talk about moral indicators of solo driving. There is nothing illegal about it. Let them first enforce the rules, and then discuss what is ethical. I dont want to be solo on a motorbike and bumped by a bike carrying 5 people or mowed down by an Innova/ Qualis carrying 20. Might as well be safer in my car, even if I am solo!

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The other alternative is you go to cities where there is less pressure on infra. believe me when i say this. After having stayed in chennai and bangalore for the majority of my working life, I am not going to go there unless i get triple the pay i am in getting in my 2nd tier city now. Staying in an indian metro and getting paid less that 20 lakhs/annum is probably not worth it unless you are a bachelor.
That would be addressing the problem for self and not for the whole. Nothing wrong with it at all, just noting that we should also look at somehow improving the overall situation. After all if this is done by everyone, then the problem moves from the metros to the Tier 2 cities. It would be fine if the Tier 2 cities were planned well in advance.
I agree with you that it isnt worth staying in an Indian metro, but for me the number could well be 25L, and something else for others. The amount is more subjective, and who knows what that will be worth with all the inflation

Last edited by selfdrive : 9th May 2011 at 11:46.
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Old 9th May 2011, 13:41   #173
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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We should also consider the time and convenience that a car helps us save and convert that into money as well. For instance when I travel between my parent's place and my place of work on weekends, I usually takes me around 2.5 hours for about 120 kms. Now if I decide to go by train or bus it would take me around 4 - 5 hours to do the same trip.

The rant however is very pertinent. A few things that can be done to improve the situation
- If you live in the city limit the size of your car to the size of the parking space and traffic not to the size of your wallet.
- Want a powerful car in the city? Get a powerful hatch.
- While going for shopping in the city, park your car in some available space a little away from the city center and tramp through the city on foot, autos of buses. Return to your car when you are all done.

My two cents.

Drive on,
Shibu

Hi shibu

in cities where Meru and Easycabs are already operational, using them is actually a very real option. I used it extensively for past 3 years without feeling any problems most of the time.

It was only when Meru went on a strike (and we had a baby) that I finally bowed to my wife's constant pressure to buy a car.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that you should never buy a car, but for many it may not be as necessary as they think, and in cities like Bangalore/Hyderabad/Mumabi/Delhi owning more than one car even for a moderately large family may be a total waste - the one car can serve in emergencies (when Meru is not available) very well, while all other times taxis will help.

Of course this doesn't hold good in towns where radio taxi is not available.

Last edited by vina : 9th May 2011 at 13:49.
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Old 9th May 2011, 16:13   #174
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

But running in a meru cab is costly. Whats the fare currenty? 12-15 rs/ km?
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Old 9th May 2011, 16:20   #175
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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Originally Posted by vina View Post
Of course this doesn't hold good in towns where radio taxi is not available.
Agreed. But don't you think that the situation is still manageable in small towns?
And I believe for a family, if its affordable, there should be one car in case of an emergency. With efficient management, most people can manage with one car, like in your case.


Unfortunately, in our country cars are a parameter of affluence and directly affect the social standing . I know first hand as I have been mocked by people for turning up at meetings in an auto or on foot so much so that I might just buy a hatchback and be selfish.
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Old 9th May 2011, 16:28   #176
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

Dear ani_meher and others:

Its not about a battle of have and have-nots. Nobody is restricting anybody's right to own cars or to drive them. I use a car everyday and often use it when an alternative is available.

It's just that given the current scenario in the bigger cities, the traffic and parking situation is a mess. In order to reduce usage of cars, we need better public transport. The discussion has veered on to what sort of city-planning / city-form is conducive to creating a good infrastructure of public transport.

My point of view is that most of the solutions we discuss are only short-term options unless we change the way our cities function.
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Old 9th May 2011, 16:33   #177
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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Dear ani_meher and others:

Its not about a battle of have and have-nots. Nobody is restricting anybody's right to own cars or to drive them. I use a car everyday and often use it when an alternative is available.

It's just that given the current scenario in the bigger cities, the traffic and parking situation is a mess. In order to reduce usage of cars, we need better public transport. The discussion has veered on to what sort of city-planning / city-form is conducive to creating a good infrastructure of public transport.

My point of view is that most of the solutions we discuss are only short-term options unless we change the way our cities function.
So one thing that can be deduced is that if the public infrastructure is decent one can stop using cars. I am not talking about the current transport system for ex- the current local trains of bombay where you have to fight for few inches of space. Even the public transportation needs to be good enough. I am not saying I want buses and trains to be empty but atleast they should be some free space. For Bombay I think the metros will ease the pressure on buses and trains. Hopefully the situation might improve.
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Old 9th May 2011, 16:34   #178
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

2 cars at home, the bigger one stays at home 90% of the time because I get stressed out even thinking about taking it out in Bangalore's traffic. The wife uses the smaller car and I take the Pulsar to work. Around the neighborhood, I use a cycle and believe me, the stress saved is far more than the irritating "can't you afford a car" questions from insecure people who just don't know better. Tried the bus, getting to work is no problem, but getting back is a whole different story. When the Metro comes (finally), I'm jumping on!
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Old 9th May 2011, 16:42   #179
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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But running in a meru cab is costly. Whats the fare currenty? 12-15 rs/ km?
Rs. 15/km in most places 20 in Delhi.

But this is still cheaper than a car, once you take into account the fact that you pay for the car too (not just maintenance, fuel etc.).

If your total annual mileage is less than 5000km Meru is cheaper no matter what, at 10000km it becomes a personal decision, at 20000km/year owning a car is cheaper.


None of the above includes the salary of a trained driver.
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Old 9th May 2011, 16:45   #180
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Default Re: Should a few of us stop owning cars?!

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Agreed. But don't you think that the situation is still manageable in small towns?
And I believe for a family, if its affordable, there should be one car in case of an emergency. With efficient management, most people can manage with one car, like in your case.


Unfortunately, in our country cars are a parameter of affluence and directly affect the social standing . I know first hand as I have been mocked by people for turning up at meetings in an auto or on foot so much so that I might just buy a hatchback and be selfish.

In small towns (as well as large ones) there are other things - your neighbours car for example if you have good relations that can help, at least in emergencies.

But for day to day travel taxi services are not very reliable (and they are more expensive than Meru/Easycab for short runs due to their fare models) in small towns and you may need a vehicle.

Good thing is in most small towns a two wheeler is enough due to short distances to be traveled. Also for tier-3 cities a two wheeler is actually better for daily travel - traffic patterns are really nasty and streets invariably too narrow.



I totally agree with the affluence part. That is what made my wife nag so much throughout last two years - and even now. She is not happy I didn't waste more money than I did - she wanted a Honda City which I can well afford but why should I?

Last edited by vina : 9th May 2011 at 16:50.
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