Step 1 – Diagnose Existing Situation

The first step is to undertake a diagnosis of the existing situation for NMVs. This involves a profile of NMV users as well as trip characteristics. It is anticipated that much of this information may be drawn from the Comprehensive Mobility Plan.

Profile of NMV Users

The variety of NMVs is a significant factor in the planning and design of appropriate facilities. Target users will tend to be from the poorer sectors of society and typically include the following:

Table 1 Typical NMV Use in Indian Cities

Type Use
Bicycle owners Commuters; working bicycles for delivery of goods and services
Tricycle owners Working tricycles used for the delivery of goods
Cycle-rickshaw owners Public transport service preferred by women who may not wish to use buses; delivery of goods
Rickshaw owners/pullers Public transport — hand-pulled rickshaws now in decline in most Indian cities (except Kolkata)
Animal cart owners Used for deliveries (but now in decline)

These users reflect a situation very different to that of developed countries and in other Asian countries, such as China, where NMVs are essentially personal passenger vehicles. In Indian cities, NMVs are working vehicles providing public passenger and cargo delivery services, but rarely used for personal passenger use (mainly bicycles). Trip characteristics may vary between types of NMV user, such as their origins and destinations, average trip lengths, timing of their trips, and journey speeds. Page top

Existing NMV Facilities

A plan of the city should identify existing infrastructure that may be classified as facilities for NMVs. Though it is anticipated that few facilities will be currently installed, the inventory may include:

  • Lanes reserved for NMVs (cycles or rickshaws);
  • Footpaths allocated for both pedestrians and NMVs;
  • NMV crossings at junctions;
  • NMV management at markets and in shopping areas;
  • Areas allocated to NMV parking
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NMV Demand

At an early stage it is important to identify existing and potential NMV demand. This may be obtained from information or data on the origins and destinations of NMV users, and traffic counts. A plan should be developed showing:

  • numbers of NMVs on key routes and classified by type;
  • desire lines of NMVs showing most popular routes (derived from either O-D surveys or known routes such as residential to school routes);
  • NMV growth showing NMV and MV data over the past five years with annual growth rates;
  • ownership and use (if available): NMVs/1,000 population;
  • likely future trends; transition between different types of NMV; transition to motorised transport

Data should be collected to the extent practical. Whilst origin-destination (O-D) data is useful to determine popular routes of NMVs and therefore the areas for implementing facilities, it is appreciated that the collection of such data may not be cost-effective. An understanding of movements based on known generators and attractors may be sufficient to plan routes and planners should use their discretion in this respect. However, volume of demand is still likely to be an important consideration to justify capital investment. Page top

Social Aspects

Social aspects may include the relation of NMVs to employment and poverty. Also, considerations may be social and cultural attitudes, costs, affordability, manufacturing and spare parts etc. Page top

Safety Aspects of NMVs

NMVs are vulnerable road users and safety aspects should be identified, including accident and casualty data related. To the extent possible, ‘black spots’ may be identified where relatively high accident rates occur. Plans may be drawn up indicating rate of accidents, typically over a 3 year period. Problem areas will require priority measures. Page top

Regulation and Enforcement

Existing NMV registration and licensing arrangements should be described as well as traffic regulations and bylaws that relate to NMV use. This may include legislation related to licensing and training of rickshaw drivers, enforcement issues, as well as requirements for NMVs, such as night reflectors for safety. Page top

Summary of Key Issues

Following the diagnosis stage, a list of key issues can be drawn up. This list will assist in the subsequent stages. The list may include the following.

  • positive factors of NMV use e.g. environmental, employment;
  • factors affecting ownership and use of NMVs;
  • impact of NMVs on congestion; reduction in V/C ratios on links and degree of saturation at junctions;
  • safety concerns in specific areas;
  • severance (where NMV users have difficulty accessing areas better served by MVs);
  • cultural issues, such as low image of NMVs and aspirations for motorization;
  • low priority given to NMVs in the travel hierarchy;
  • lack of NMV facilities;
  • poor enforcement;
  • poor road user education (RUE);
  • inadequate and inappropriate regulations related to NMVs
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