March 9, 2020

Sustainable Asset Valuation of a Public Bicycle Sharing System in Dwarka

Institute for Sustainable Development

A focus on the environmental, social and economic impacts of non-motorized transport infrastructure in New Delhi, India.

As New Delhi is facing mobility challenges linked to a growing city, the possibility of a public bicycle sharing program is appealing. Indeed, like many other densely populated cities in India and around the world, it faces urban mobility and transport challenges. Long commuting times, rising numbers of private motorized vehicles that result in high traffic volumes and congestion, safety concerns and air pollution are amongst the most commonly reported issues. The main two negative consequences of urban transport planning that is centred around the automobile being economic inefficiencies and negative health impacts.

In order to tackle this issue, the city crafted a Master Plan: The Master Plan of Delhi 2021 which defines targets for transformative changes in the city’s transport system to ensure safe, equitable, convenient, affordable, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly commuting for the residents of Delhi. The mobility transition is meant to address the population’s needs and enhance their quality of life.

It is interesting to note that, if taking a conventional benefit and cost factors approach, the public bicycle sharing system (PBS) is not financially appealing and cannot be considered a worthwhile investment, even if the high-demand scenario materializes and high revenues are thereby generated. However, the question of using a traditional approach when assessing a project like this one remains an important one. When assessing the value of transport projects, it is essential to assess further than benefit and cost factors such as environmental, social and economic externalities of the system. Finally, the PBS system can only be considered beneficial and worthwhile from a societal and public policy point of view if the valued externalities are integrated into the costs-benefit analysis.

Read the report

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