Multi Modal Transportation System

Pawan Kumar, Asstt. TandCP, Town and Country Planning Organization and Ph.D. Research Scholar (CTRANS); Prof. S.S.Jain, Professor and Head, Centre for Transportation Systems, IIT Roorkee; Prof S.Y. Kulkarni, Professor and Head, Department of Architecture & Planning, IIT Roorkee, and Prof. M. Parida, Associated Faculty, Centre for Transportation Systems, IIT Roorkee


A professional management practice consisting of an array of services applied to construction projects and programs through the planning, design, construction and post construction phases for the purpose of achieving project objectives including the management of quality, cost, time, and scope. Project development includes various stages such as:
  • Initiation
  • Planning or development
  • Production or execution
  • Monitoring and controlling, and
  • Closing
In this context, a transport project development requires engineering expertise, technical & scientific knowledge, skilled manpower, etc. It can be approached by the following techniques:
  1. Need Standard Approach Design and engineering standards (e.g., capacity/demand ratio, level of service ratio) are set for each mode and thereby establish present conditions and forecast future demands. The difference between the standards and existing or future conditions is the need. Since need generally exceeds financial resources and hence priority projects by mode must be identified. Such approach is simple, direct, credible, and can be implemented.

    Most notably, it is not a planning approach since “plans” have to be assumed at the outset (from the present facility) so the approach does not evaluate plans but simply accepts or rejects them based on direct user benefits.
  2. Single Mode Simulation Evaluation Approach This approach is derived from the urban transport planning process. It consists of following elements i.e.
    • Statement of goals or criteria
    • Preparation of plans to improve performance in relation to goals or criteria
    • Simulation of present and future performance of the planned system and
    • Evaluation of the results
    Unlike the physically dimensioned standards in the needs standards approach, this approach relates performance by both non-users and users. It can add up costs (e.g. time) on the same basis for several modes, permitting inter-modal comparisons. Its relative complexity and difficulty in implementation are major disadvantages.
  3. Multimodal Simulation Evaluation Approach It incorporates demands for transportation by people and goods on a broad base. Demands are allocated among modes and simulations are undertaken for all modes. However, this approach permits more effective planning and coordination across modes.

Multi Modal Transport System

Multi Modal Transportation System (MMTS) explores the co-ordinated use of two or more modes of transport for speedy, safe, pleasant and comfortable movement of passengers in urban areas. It provides convenient and economical connection of various modes to make complete journey from origin to destination. Generally, MMTS has been characterized by increased capacity, efficient access and better location of both integration and nodes. Public transport is an important constituent of multi–modal transportation system and hence local and regional public transportation system must be as integral part of the same.

Multi Modal Transportation System
Figure 1: Various Stages in Project Development

Multi–modal transportation framework includes the mass transport modes of travel primarily classified as follows:

Rail based Modes

  • Metro Rail Corridor
  • Ring Rail
  • Light Rail Transit
  • Mono Rail
  • Integrated Rail cum Bus Transit, etc.

Road based Modes

  • Regular Buses
  • Mini Buses
  • Double Decker Buses
  • Articulated Buses
  • Express Buses
  • Trolley Buses
  • Guided Buses and Battery Operated Buses
  • Trams,
Poor mobility is one of the major causes to retard economic growth and deteriorate quality of life. During 1981–2001, Delhi population has grown by 2.24 times and vehicles by 6.78 times. Personal vehicles per 1000 population have grown 3 times. Billions of man hours are lost in traffic congestion, high density of vehicles, accidents on roads, low speed, etc. Similarly, the use of non-motorized modes like rickshaw, cycle and walking is not convenient as they share the same right of way with motorized modes.

The Government of NCT of Delhi has developed an Integrated Multi–modal Transit Project using modes such as the Bus Rapid Transit (HCBS), Light Rail and the Monorail in addition to the metro rail and the present DTC bus services duly integrated through multi–modal interchange points. This project has been approved by the Cabinet of GNCTD for about phased implementation by 2020. The total length of the public transit network including 250km of Metro will be 750km. To implement this project, the Government of NCT Delhi has incorporated a ‘Special Purpose Vehicle’ under the name and style of Delhi Integrated Multi–modal Transit System (DIMMTS) Limited on 19th April, 2006. DIMMTS Ltd. is responsible for all aspects of implementation, operation and maintenance of the proposed multi–modal network i.e. planning, design, financing, implementation, operation and maintenance of services and associated infrastructure.

Multi Modal Transportation System
Figure 2: Proposed Multi–modal Transport Network in Delhi with Major and Minor Interchange (Source: DIMTS Ltd. 2008)

In present scenario, there has been rise in the number of middle class having desire to own personalized mode. Further, the automobile companies are also coming up with new models of cars of reasonable cost. Thus personalized vehicles will increase and further cause deterioration in traffic and environmental conditions. Hence it is necessary to shift mode of travel from car to walk/cycle for short distance journey and to public transport for long journey. Multimodal transportation system demands synchronization among various modes of transport for better, advanced and efficient service. Further, it also requires need based traffic circulation plans to integrate various modes and improvement of major road stretches and intersections to facilitate smooth movements. Integration of walk and bicycle may also be taken with public transport modes to assess enhanced share of non-motorized transport and reduce use of personalized vehicles. It is also equally important to integrate underutilized railway infrastructure with other modes of mass transport.

The Ministry of Urban Development, Govt. of India ( 2006), New Delhi enacted National Urban Transport Policy, 2006 with broad objective to ensure safe, affordable, quick, comfortable, reliable and sustainable access for the growing number of city residents to jobs, education, recreation and such other needs within cities. One of the methods to achieve such objectives is to “enabling the establishment of quality focused multi-modal public transport systems that are well integrated, providing seamless travel across modes”. The planning and building of Multi–modal Transport System can be illustrated as follows:

Multi Modal Transportation System
Figure 3: Process of Planning and Building of Multi–modal Transport System

Pre-requisite of Multi–modal Transport System

The implementation of MMTS project requires the following components.

Transport Supply

It includes availability of various modes at city and regional level, location & design aspects of nodes, pedestrian flow modeling at transfer station, etc. Similarly, network structure, line density, stop density, frequency of services, etc. affect transport supply. The entire network models of both road and rail transport, and the sub networks for these two modalities must be linked by the feeder services in order to get a cost efficient solution.

Travel Demand

It estimates demands of customers for multi–modal transport services. It also assesses preferences and choice behaviour of travelers with respect to multi–modal composition of trip chains and need for interchanges. The demand estimate of any mode can be done by studying the switching over behavior of commuters. A commuter chooses a particular mode of transport if its utility is higher in comparison to other modes. Mathematically, Ujn = Vjn + εjn

where, Ujn Utility of the jth alternative for nth trip maker.

Vjn = Representative utility.

εjn = Random utility

Selection of any mode out of available alternatives can also be predicted as shown below:

Multi Modal Transportation System

Where, j = total number of modes.

Transport Services

It requires high quality time table of buses, trains and other modes. It also includes train movement network, feeder services, maximum & minimum capacity of various modes, models for predicting departure & delays, etc. The concept of multi–modal transport junction refers to a centre for passenger flow conversion on a multi–modal transport network node. It is affected by location, number of transport routes linked, scale of its radiation and services, etc.

Multi Modal Transportation System
Figure 4: Components of Multi Modal Transportation System

Traffic Operation

It is a tool consisting of operation schedule controlled by conditional bus priority at intersection/interchange to improve punctuality and regularity. It is also a synchronization control on daily operational performance of public transport services and other modes.

Travel Information and Guidance

The concept of integrated multi–modal traveler information to mixed modes and mixed socio-demographic groups of travelers is important. The research illustrates that the majority of travelers do not consider their modal choice for the majority of journeys. Rather, this choice is automatic and habitual, based upon subconscious perceptions of the viability and desirability travel by modes other than the dominant mode. Result suggests that presentation of a number of modal options for a journey in response to a single enquiry can change the perceptions.

Inter-organization Co-ordination

The co-ordination among transport operators, authorities, information suppliers, facility owners, etc. is important element of MMTS.

Management and Challenges Ahead

Multi–modal Transport System is fragmented due to
  • Multiple agencies
  • Multiple jurisdictions
  • Multiple modes, and
  • Multiple disciplines being responsible for various aspects.
Hence integrated, well designed and co-ordinated multi–modal transport system is required.
  1. Management of system integration is one of the challenging tasks for MMTS. System integration has three levels viz., institutional, operational, and physical.
    • Institutional integration is an organizational framework in which joint planning and operation of transit services are carried out. There are four types of organizational arrangements for implementing institutional integration for transit operation. These are traffic associations, transit communities, transit federations and merging of companies.
    • Operational integration involves the application of management techniques to optimize the allocation of transit resources and to coordinate services. The techniques of operational integration are elimination of wasteful duplication of transit service by competeting systems, higher utilization of capacity, long haul modes on high density corridors, establishment of unified fare structure, subsidy in fare, ticket checking of boarded passengers and coordination of public information system.
    • Physical integration is the provision of jointly used facilities and equipment. Techniques of physical integration are inter-modal transfer, provision of weather protection structures at stops/stations/transfer points, provision of symbols and display techniques, provision of parking facilities and comfort and safety of pedestrian movements.
  2. MMTS is a composite system and management of transfer time, waiting time, seamless travel, etc are in top priorities. A commuter while choosing a bus route/rail corridor prefers minimum travel time, maximum comfort and proper connections to reach the desired destination. The options may be either a direct bus route from origin to destination or transferring to MRTS at certain interchange points for the final destination .The commuters always prefer the route which connects the destination directly. Therefore, commuters prefer MRTS if the trip requires minimum effort for interchange and shorter travel time and provides maximum comfort, even if its composite fare is high. The commuter satisfaction is possible only when proper integration of different modes are provided with minimum waiting time at bus stops/MRTS stations during peak hours.
  3. The various aspects of modal integration in terms of connectivity, unified fare system, information integration, physical integration, network integration, etc require proper planning and high skilled management techniques.
    • Connectivity - The two ways mass transfer of passengers from road based transit to rail based transit are possible only if the connections between bus stops and railway stations are available through feeder bus services.
    • Unified fare system - A single ticket system is necessary for a passenger to reach from origin to destination. It reduces the travel time from origin to destination. The single fare system attracts passengers to use buses and MRTS because of the comfort and also saving of time in buying separate tickets for travel at bus Stops and MRTS stations.
    • Information integration - A common bus-MRTS guide booklet with complete information regarding various services should be available to a passenger at every major transfer locations. The information should be properly advertised through various information agencies, radio, TV, etc.
    • Physical integration - Adequate space needs to be provided at the ground for interchange facilities around bus stops and MRTS stations for smooth transfer of commuters from bus route to MRTS. Park-n-Ride facilities need to be provided at the MRT stations to promote the transit rider for parking of personalized vehicles to use MRTS.
    • Network integration - Restructuring of bus routes to reduce wasteful duplication of services between bus routes and RTS are essential at network level. The surplus can be utilized for feeder services to the RTS stations.
  4. Hi-tech surveillance and management of development along MMTS corridors having influence zone of 500 mt wide belt on both sides must be planned as intensive development zone and accordingly development control norms must be formulated. Higher FAR, density, mixed land uses, etc must be permitted for the same. City structures of Delhi had been conceived in terms of hierarchies with CBD, District Centers, Community centers, places of historical importance, etc. It is important to integrate theses places of importance and connect through proper development of MMTS corridors for smooth and convenient movements. A well developed multimodal transportation system use maximum application of ITS. Smart card tickets in Delhi metro; car taxi using wireless system in Delhi and Chennai; vehicle tracking and monitoring system using GPS/GIS in Bangalore; automatic vehicle tracking system using GPS technology by DTC in Delhi; etc are good examples of ITS applications.
  5. Management of Intermediate Para-transit (IPT), Non-motorized Vehicles (NMVs) and their parking areas near MMT stations are challenging task. The planning response to NMVs is closely associated with the delivery mechanism of urban basic services to the growing number of inhabitants by the urban local bodies. It follows that urban services and activity centres need to be distributed in conformity with the characteristics of these modes in both new settlements and in the redevelopment of the older part of the existing cities along MMTS corridors.
  6. The security of massive capital intensive projects like MMTS need special provisions of safety and security both at the stations and routes. Transport Security sometimes called transit security, is a scientific method of understanding realistic adversaries and designing systems to prevent them from doing harm. The aim of designing the system is to prevent, protect, prepare and recovery mechanism. However, fiscal base of transport security should support the cost of security measures and consequences of security failures. Hence a separate “Transport Security Regulatory Authority” must be created to bear responsibility and costs for carrying out security measures.

Concluding Remarks

Multi–modal Transport System (MMTS) explores the use of multiple modes of transport for safe, convenient and efficient movement of passengers. Generally, MMTS has been characterized by increased capacity, efficient access and better location of both interchange and integration nodes. Additionally, presence of MMTS in metro region enhances accessibility, economic growth, public health, environmental protection, security & safety, social cohesion, etc. In this connection, it is desirable to establish a single authority for planning, development, implementation and enforcement of the policies.

Multimodal transportation system demands better synchronization among various modes of transport for better, advanced and efficient service. Further, it requires need based traffic circulation plans to integrate various modes and improvement of major road stretches and intersections to facilitate smooth movements. Hence, management of such mega projects requires expertise of both traffic engineering and transport planning.


  • Delhi Development Authority (2007), “Master Plan of Delhi for 2021,” Ministry of Urban Development (Delhi Division), New Delhi.
  • Govt. of India (2006), “National Urban Transport Policy,” Ministry of Urban Development, Govt. of India, New Delhi.
  • Kenyon, Susan and Lyons, Glenn (2003),” The Value of Integrated Multi–modal Traveler Information and its potential contribution to Modal Change,” Transportation Research Part F 6 (2003), pp 1-23.
  • Kumar, Pawan; Kulkarni, S.Y. and M. Parida (2009), “Multi Modal Transport System in Metropolitan Region, “Proceedings of 57th National Town & Country Planners’ Congress, January 23-25, 2009, Goa, India.
  • Kumar, Pawan; Kulkarni, S.Y. and M. Parida (2009), “Planning of Multi Modal Transport System in Delhi: Need of the Hour,” Proceedings of 6th International Conference on “Good Urban Governance for Making Cities Work” January 29-31, 2009, Mumbai, India.
  • Kumar, Pawan (1999), “Building Economics and Construction Management” Journal of the Institution of Engineers (India), Architectural Engg. Division, Kolkata, Vol. 78, September 1999, pp10-14.
  • Kumar, Pawan; Kulkarni, S.Y. and M. Parida (2009), “Multi Modal Transport System in Urban India, "Proceedings of National Conference on “Developing Harmonious & Sustainable Cities in India for a Better Urban Future “March 20-21, 2009, New Delhi, India.
While materials count for a considerable amount of construction costs, the way materials are managed seems to be improvised rather than approached methodically. In the construction industry, one of the common challenges people face

Read more ...

With an ambition of providing housing for all citizens in India, the drive towards resource efficiency building operations is all-time high given the constraints in allocation of resources and their utilization, writes Mamta Rawat of Conserve

Read more ...

During the past couple of years, India has enjoyed the privilege of being amongst the most favored investment destinations of the world. With the sharp vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and compelling

Read more ...

In a significant development for Indian arbitration law, the President of India has formally adopted the Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Ordinance 2015 (the "Ordinance"), which will bring about major and long-awaited reforms to arbitration in India. The Ordinance amends Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996 and seeks in particular to eliminate

Read more ...

Raj Kalady
In the last two decades, India has emerged as one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. According to a Citi group report, following the reforms undertaken by Government of India, the GDP is

Read more ...

The increasing levels of competition and the introduction of manufacturing concepts within the industry led to specialization. Such specialization led to the separation of design and construction facilities. The increasing complexity of many projects makes it more and more difficult for the designers to be fully aware of all the implications of their

Read more ...

Construction Claims
With growing standards, advanced technologies, and owner-desired additions and changes, construction projects are becoming more and more complex, while the successful completion of projects has been thought to depend mainly

Read more ...

Construction contracts usually contain notice-of-claim provisions. The contractor must, within a stated period of time, notify the project owner in writing of any occurrence which may give rise to a claim for additional compensation under the contract. The policy behind these requirements is sound. Owners should have the opportunity to respond to

Read more ...

Termination of Contract
Most commercial construction contracts include provisions allowing either party to terminate a contract for cause (also referred to as a termination for "default"). Unlike terminations for convenience,

Read more ...

The engineer is generally responsible for issuing the completion certificates and supervising any tests that have been contractually agreed as well as establishing that payments to the Contractor can be made, in funded

Read more ...

The KPMG in India – Project Management Institute (PMI) study was initiated on the request of MoSPI, which highlights the major reasons for schedule and cost overruns across major sector's infrastructure

Read more ...

Purnima Bajpai, Reliance Infrastructure, Pune.A contentious issue in the context of PPP arrangements and their audit relates to the scope of audit by Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI), in

Read more ...

It is now well established that decision on maintenance, rehabilitation and upgradation/ improvement measures needs to be based on an objective assessment (with an analytical approach) to

Read more ...

Management is the need of today. Management has been included in various specialised fields now like environment, tourism, hotel, information technology etc. apart from traditional courses like finance, human resource, operation and marketing. In the management concept, management sets the goals based on quantities for individuals and performance

Read more ...

The world is expanding and indeed expanding at a breath neck pace, Expansion of our world requires construction of new Industries and Production process from commissioned industries. No

Read more ...

India is only second among the emerging economies next to China. With an average GDP rate of 7.5% and upside, the demand to improvise infrastructure is magnanimous. The average spending capacity

Read more ...

Theoretically Safety means the absence of danger at work which is made possible by eliminating hazards that create danger. ILO, in one of their documents, state "A thing is provisionally categorized as safe if the risks are deemed known, and in the light of that knowledge, judged to be acceptable. However, generally, safety is adjudged in terms of an

Read more ...

The contractor under a construction contract is invariably required to carry out and complete the project by a specified date. This requirement is often accompanied by an obligation to produce a construction programme and to keep it up to date. There may be a contract administrator with powers to approve the programme. This paper identifies matters in relation

Read more ...

The termination of a relationship in a construction contract can often come as a surprise causing both confusion and resentment. Negotiations can escalate into protracted and costly disputes. Employers believe their

Read more ...

The topic under discussion has two aspects: (1) Construction of road tunnel, (2) its operation after completion of the job. It is understood that the present issue which is under examination pertains to Rohtang Pass Highway

Read more ...

Sign-up for Free Subscription
'India Construction Week'
Weekly e-Newsletter on Construction Industry
Get the latest news, product launches, projects announced / awarded, government policies, investments, and expert views.
Click here to subscribe.