Making public transport attractive

The distance between the new airport in Hyderabad and the city has created problems and opportunities. The old airport was plumb in the middle of the city and it was like getting off a bus and joining the mainstream. This is a good 20 km’s away. The taxis are priced at the normal rate, but the buses, air-conditioned and comfortable, called Aeroexpress, are convenient and cheap – about 40% of the taxi fare.

They have thought out the little additions as well. One way to the city is Rs.175/- and a round trip is Rs. 275/- just Rs.100 more. And the ticket is valid for 10 days. It is a good way to ensure that this becomes a habit. The drop-off points are distinctive, differentiated from the regular bus stops by oval structures. Bare but functional.

The attendants at the stop also know when the next bus is going to arrive and the buses are punctual – while I was there, I saw at least 5 other people come and book tickets for trips 3-4 hours away. People have no problem with using public transport. It just needs someone to think things through and then run it well.