Determinants of commuting patterns in a rural-urban megaregion of India

Contemporary urbanization, as experienced in India, is accompanied by increasing motorization and commuting lengths. A spatially unequal distribution of employment opportunities leads to important differences between urban and rural areas. Making use of newly released data at the district level on home-to-work commuting, this article examines the determinants of commuting patterns in the largest rural-urban megaregion of India. This paper finds that short trips and non-motorized travel are still predominant in the region. The residents of higher-income districts more often choose to commute by private motorized modes, including cars, whereas residents of poorer areas are tied to non-motorized modes and public transport, and they often must commute longer distances. One problem seems to be the low provision of rail service in the region compared to roads, which is more pronounced in rural areas. Overall, the socio-demographic, economic, infrastructure and area-based variables help explain the variation in the commuting patterns. This paper emphasizes that policy aiming at sustainable future transport in the National Capital Region requires (i) a shift in government policies from promoting road-based transportation to promoting transit, (ii) the regional integration of rural and urban areas by public transport, and (iii) investment in the provision of rural transport (roads and rail network) for regional development.


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  • Accession Number: 01673044
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 29 2018 11:09AM