Multi Modal Transportation System in Delhi: Good Choice for Better Mobilty

Multi Modal Transportation System in Delhi: Good Choice for Better Mobilty

Pawan Kumar, Asstt. T&CP, Town & Country Planning Organization, M/o Urban Development, Govt. of India, New Delhi; Prof S.Y. Kulkarni, Professor & Head, Department of Architecture & Planning, IIT Roorkee, and Prof. M. Parida, Associated Faculty, Centre for Transportation Systems, IIT Roorkee.


The applications of technological and scientific principle to the planning, design, operation and management of facilities, combine two or more modes to provide utility and service for safe, rapid, convenient and environmentally compatible movement of the people. This combination is known as Multi Modal Transportation System (MMTS). In MMTS, two or more different modes are used for single trip between which the traveler has to make a transfer. Transfer is an essential part of multimodal trip and travelers have to change modes at transfer nodes. Hence seamless travel is an important requirement of the system.

The Ministry of Urban Development, Govt. of India formulated National Urban Transport Policy, 2006 with broad objective to ensure safe, affordable, quick, comfortable, reliable and sustainable access for public transport to the commuters within cities. One of the objectives is to "enabling the establishment of quality focused multi-modal public transport systems that are well integrated, providing seamless travel across modes." The choice between public transport and personalized mode is an individual decision depending on trip length, duration, route, purpose, fare, parking facilities, convenient and comfort. It is further influenced by Govt. policies and Urban Local Body (ULB) decisions priority.

There are many factors affecting individual modal choice for different types of journeys. Variables can include the availability of transport technology, the relative location of homes and workplaces, and the cost of different transport modes, accessibility, routing, convenience and personal preferences. Economic theory provides a suitable framework for looking at people's purchasing behavior. Economist's model of choice is based on concept of utility. Hence, all the attributes including safety, comfort, etc act simultaneously on the mind of commuters for mode choice behavior.

Choice Behavior Techniques

Multi Modal Transportation System involves co-ordinated use of public and private modes of transport. It also involves modal shift from private to public mode and vice versa. This modal change occurs at interchange node where public mode is to be alighted. It is important to assess demand of commuters for new multimodal transport services and hence preferences and choice behavior of commuters must be evaluated throughout the trip chain and related need for transfer. However, attributes of the services (time, reliability, etc) and information about the services influence travel choice behavior. In this context, two approaches are adopted:
  1. Revealed Preference (RP) Approach: It deals with the existing choice of the commuter in which the commuter makes a comparison between existing modes of travel and the preferences is related to the chosen alternative over the rejected alternatives. In fact, it is records of travel decisions which people have already made (such as from travel diary/OD survey). These decisions are revealed in their behavior and are called revealed preferences. It can not be used to predict the demand of an innovative mode which is yet to be introduced. However, it is used to model a hypothetical travel scenario to estimate the demand of new mode.
  2. State Preference (SP) Approach: It helps operating and planning authorities to study the patronage of an innovative mode by presenting hypothetical policy options before the commuters and then asking them about the mode they would prefer if the given policy options are implemented. In fact, it is records of travel decisions which people say they will make, such as from an interview survey where people are asked to make decisions between alternatives which the interviewer puts to them. It is called Stated Preferences. Thus the effect of change in policy options can be studied to know the demand of new mode.
Multi Modal Transportation System in Delhi: Good Choice for Better Mobilty
Various studies have been conducted to analyze the passenger switching behavior from personalized vehicles to public transport mode and transfer from one to another public mode. It has been found that SP technique is an effective tool for predicting the share of modes in MMTS. Similarly, change in the share of modes in MMTS as a result of NTP 2006 and local body policy decisions can also be assessed by using the above techniques.

The demand estimate of any mode can be done by studying the switching over behavior of commuters which involves making a choice between different modes. A commuter chooses a particular mode of transport if its utility is higher i.e. maximum in comparison to other modes. The concept of utility assumes that there is a method of combining the various attributes (variables) of an alternative mode including the fare, travel time, etc to give better utility for that alternative.

It is generally the weighted sum of attributes.

A commuter wants to decide either car or metro to go for work. It is observed that travel cost, in-vehicle–time, comfort and convenience, etc influence his choice for car mode while fare, waiting time, in-vehicle time, no. of interchange, interchange penalty, requirement of seamless travel, etc affect his choice of metro. If total satisfaction derived from using the car is less than that of the metro, commuter will prefer metro. The utility for car and metro can be specified as below:

The overall utility consists of the measured part (V) and unmeasured part (e)

Mathematically, Umetro = Vmetro + emetro

where, Umetro = Overall Utility.

Vmetro =the part of utility that can be calculated directly.

emetro = the part of utility that can not be measured directly.

The utility function of car is as follows:

Ucar = Vcar + ecar

where, Ucar= Overall Utility.

Vcar=the part of utility that can be calculated directly.

ecar= the part of utility that can not be measured directly.

If Umetro > Ucar then the commuter will choose metro.

Choice of Multi Modal Transportation System

In metro cities, public transport modes are metro, commuter rail, high capacity bus, bus rapid transit, bus transport system (intra/inter city) along with LRT and monorail. Metro provides urban services and commuter rail serves mainly suburban traffic. In recent years, integration of MRTS and BRTS are also getting momentum in Indian cities. The National Urban Transport Policy 2006 also promotes development of bus based public transit system in Indian cities as a cost effective means of providing quality transit services.

Multi Modal Transportation System in Delhi: Good Choice for Better Mobilty

Public transport should be more reliable and attractive so that the commuter willingly abandons the use of personalized vehicle and take to public transport. It should also meet the needs of the weaker sections of the society. Further, public transport should available from origin to destination with minimum interchanges involving least time loss and stations are easy and safe to access. Hence public transport network must be integrated and multimodal. It is equally important to integrate various modes of mass transport with IPT. Integration of walk and bicycle may also be taken with public transport to enhance share of non-motorized modes.

Multi Modal Transportation System in Delhi: Good Choice for Better Mobilty

Improved integration among various modes of mass transport helps people to move around easily and reduces the cost and inconvenience of travel. Thus, it brings reduced congestion on the road, convenience to commuters, efficiency and cost effectiveness. The information regarding parking facilities near interchange station, unified ticket, co-ordinated time tables and public awareness play important role.

A well developed multimodal transportation system use applications of intelligent transport system. Smart card tickets in Delhi metro; car taxi using wireless system in Delhi, 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.

Multi Modal Transportation System for Delhi: Good Choice for Better Mobility

The share of public transport is based on the city size. It is necessary to have organized public transport for a city having population one million and above. A city with 6.0 million population needs mass transit system on certain corridors. A city with population of 9.0 million and above must have several major city modes connected by mass transit system.

Multi Modal Transportation System in Delhi: Good Choice for Better Mobilty

Public transport in Delhi carries only about 60% of total vehicular person trips but the same should be 80% as per population size of the city. The population of Delhi is estimated to grow from 13.8 million (2001) to 23 million (2021). In the same period, the intra city vehicular trips per day are estimated to grow from 10.7 to 24.7 million. If about 15% inter city trips are added, the total trips to be catered to by 2021 will be about 28.7 million per day. Thus 80% of these trips i.e. 24 million should be carried by the public transport by 2021. The present bus services, metro rail and IRBT, if implemented as planned together are estimated to carry about 15 million trips per day by 2021. Thus 9 million trips per day must be additionally catered to by other public transport. Hence it is necessary to take appropriate step for optimum use of carrying capacity of public modes and their proper integration with other modes such as monorail, LRT, etc.

Multi Modal Transportation System in Delhi: Good Choice for Better Mobilty
The Government of NCT of Delhi (2006) has developed an Integrated Multi Modal Public Transport Network for NCTD using modes such as Bus Rapid Transit, Light Rail and Monorail in addition to the metro rail and the present DTC bus services duly integrated through multimodal interchange points. This project has been approved by GNCTD for phased implementation by 2020. The total length of the public transit network including 250 km of Metro will be 750 km. To implement this project, the Government of NCT Delhi has incorporated a 'Special Purpose Vehicle'under the name of Delhi Integrated Multi Modal Transit System (DIMMTS) Limited on 19th April, 2006. DIMMTS Ltd. will be responsible for all aspects of implementation, operation and maintenance of the proposed multimodal network i.e. planning, design, financing, implementation, operation and maintenance of services and associated infrastructure. In the proposed multimodal transport framework different modes of transport such as Delhi metro rail corridor, existing bus routes, ring railway, high capacity bus system, LRT, mono rail and IRBT are to be integrated.

Multi Modal Transportation System in Delhi: Good Choice for Better Mobilty

In MMTS, integration of various modes should be in such a way that most of commuters do not have to walk more than 500 mt. to reach public transport, make more than two or three interchanges to reach their origin/destination and spend too much time at interchange. Coordination between Delhi Metro, DTC buses, Ring Railway System and High Capacity Bus System should ensure a well-integrated system that will take care of entire journey of commuters. The transfer time at transit interchange must be reduced and a shift of passenger from private and intermediate transport of public transport is expected. Reduction in congestion and delay along with better level of service and conservation of energy are the main features of multimodal mass transportation system.

Multi Modal Transportation System in Delhi: Good Choice for Better Mobilty
Improved integration among various modes of mass transport helps people to move around easily and reduces the costs and inconvenience of travel. Thus a coordinated integration of different modes brings about reduced congestion on the road, greater convenience for commuters, efficiency and cost effectiveness.

The information regarding parking facilities near interchange stations, unified tickets, co-ordinated time tables and public awareness play an important role in achieving the coordination among various modes.


In the present context, there has been a rise in the number of middle class families having desire to own personalized mode. Further, automobile companies are also coming up with new models of cars at reasonable cost. Thus personalized vehicles will increase which will further cause deterioration in traffic and environmental conditions. Hence it is necessary to change travel behaviour of the commuters from personalized vehicles to IPT, shared taxi, etc for short journey and to public transport for long journey.

Choice of MMTS is primarily based on demand level of a corridor, available ROW and the capacity of mode. Similarly, land use along the corridor, development along transit route and near by transit node, potential for increasing the ROW, etc affect choice behavior. Car owner and chartered bus commuters are reluctant to switch over to metro while bus commuters prefer to save time by availing metro. Feeder bus service to pick up and drop the passengers from MMT stations to CBD/major work centre can promote to choose multi modal transport.

Multi Modal Transportation System in Delhi: Good Choice for Better Mobilty

Multimodal transportation system demands synchronization among various modes of transport for better, advanced and efficient service. Further, it also requires need and demand based traffic circulation plans to integrate various modes and improvement of major road stretches and intersections to facilitate smooth movement. In mixed land use areas and intensive development zones, there is need to prepare integrated land use transport plan as per availability and operation of constituent modes of MMTS. It is also equally important to integrate underutilized ring rail with other modes of mass transport for better mobility in Delhi.


  • Davidson, Peter and Teye-Ali, Collins (2008), the Fundamentals of Discrete Choice, Journal of Traffic Engg. & Controls, October 2008, pp 325-328.
  • Delhi Development Authority (2007), Master Plan of Delhi for 2021, Ministry of Urban Development (Delhi Division), New Delhi.
  • DIMMTS Ltd. 920080, Overview of Transport Scenario in Delhi: Delhi Vision 2021, New Delhi.
  • Friedrich M. (1998), A Multi Modal Transport Model for Integrated Planning, 8th World Conference on Transport Research, Antwerp, 1998.
  • Govt. of India (2006), National Transport Policy, 2006, MoUD, Govt. of India, New Delhi.
  • Hoyle, B. and Knowles, R. (Editors-1998), Modern Transport Geography (2nd Edition), Wiley, Chicester.
  • Khisty, C. Jotin and Lall, B.Kent (2008), Transportation Engineering. : An Introduction, PHI Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi.
  • Kshirsagar, J.B. (2008), Transit Oriented Development: Pros and Cons in context of NCT Delhi, Proceedings of Annual Conference and Exhibition on "Urban Mobility in India," Dec 3-5, 2008, New Delhi.
  • Kumar Pawan, Kulkarni, S.Y. and Parida, M. (2009), planning of Multi Modal Transportation 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, pp 205-209.
  • Pooley, Colin G. and Turnbull, Jean (2000), Modal Choice and Modal Change: The journey to work in Britain Since 1890, Journal of Transport Geography 8 (2000), pp 11-14.
  • RITES (2005), Integrated Multimodal Public Transport Network for NCT of Delhi, RITES New Delhi.
  • TCRP Report 118 (2007) Bus Rapid Transit Practitioners Guide, TRB of National Academics, sponsored by Federal Transit administration, USA.

NBMCW June 2009

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