Motorized Two-Wheelers in Indian Cities: Case Study of Pune

India's motorized two-wheeler market is second only to China in terms of size. While two-wheelers provide several benefits to travelers, they also create several challenges. These include serious safety concerns and dependence on private motorized vehicles. As their numbers continue to grow in Indian cities, it is important to understand their role in urban transport, the motivations and profile of their users, the mobility advantages they offer, and the challenges they present, in order to create well-informed policy and planning decisions to effectively manage the sector. This research aims to inform the debate using empirical evidence and insights from Pune, a typical mid-sized Indian city where two-wheelers are a dominant form of transportation. In Pune, comfort and convenience were seen to be the main reasons for two-wheeler use. Significantly, two-thirds of the surveyed riders formerly used public transportation, and nearly 80% were willing to shift to public transport if services improved. Evidence suggests that such ‘pull’ strategies are a prime condition for ‘push’ strategies, like price mechanisms (charging real costs of use) and demand management, to be effective disincentives for two-wheeler use. Findings suggests that increases in income levels is likely to lead to car ownership, but not necessarily to a decline in the role or mode share of two-wheelers, given their relative speed and flexibility in congested Indian conditions. Results revealed a wide income distribution among two-wheeler users, and ownership was seen to increase with household incomes. Among the surveyed riders, roughly 20% had been in an accident and only 43% wore a helmet regularly, though majority were in favor of the helmet law.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee ABE90 Transportation in the Developing Countries.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Authors:
    • Mahendra, Anjali
    • Chanchani, Radha
    • Ferenchak, Nicholas N
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2015


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 16p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 94th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01555569
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 15-2056
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 27 2015 10:04AM