[sustran] Re: A number that takes your breath away!

Cornie Huizenga cornie.huizenga at slocatpartnership.org
Tue Jan 31 12:00:14 JST 2012

Dear Sudhir,

I fully agree that spending by countries and cities on transport is much
larger than that by development banks. This was also extensively discussed
last week at Transforming Transportation 2012 in Washington DC.

We have often spoken about the next decade as a critical window of
opportunity in which the future of transport systems in several countries
will be determined. Reading the news about India this seems to be very much
the case. We have a situation in which the problems *and *the solutions are
clear.  Continued unrestrained motorization will further clog the cities
and result in the equivalent of "brown outs" to the transport system in
many cities.  This is also becoming increasingly clear to at least part of
the decision makers for urban and transport planning.  In addition there
are now tested and proven solutions e.g. BRT. Metro, NMT etc. The challenge
is however that the motorization process is not taking a break so that we
can put in place our sustainable transport solutions. It continues at a
breakneck speed encouraged by the $ 21 billion advertising machine.  And
transport pricing is overall still largely in favor of individual transport.

The news that is coming out of India is very interesting. I see an
administrative system, parts of which are starting to mobilize against the
business as usual scenario. Increasing amounts of money are being mobilized
in name often for sustainable mobility but in reality large parts are still
in support of the old paradigm of creating additional road space for the
growing number of cars (see the reports on Pune which you quote and which
were very nicely documented by Parisar last year).

One interesting remark by Sophie from CAI-Asia last week in Washington. "We
were very happy to have over 1,000 persons at the urban mobility meeting in
Delhi in December, yet the India autoshow in January attracted over 10,000

Coming back to the window of opportunity argument.  It is almost impossible
to go a sustainable transport meeting these days which does not have
scaling-up and mainstreaming as key theme of the meeting.  The organizers
of Transforming Transportation tried this time to go beyond the well known
faces and to bring in fresh ideas in support of the scaling up required.
This included for example people working on a project to bring in the
sovereign wealth funds and pension funds to radically scale up sustainable
transport financing.

The challenge that I see for the coming years in countries like India are
three fold:

 (a) how to re-orient urban (transport) financing to more sustainable
transport systems in a manner which is quick and large enough to create an
alternative transport reality which will crowd out private cars.  This most
likely will need and national and city funding as well as MDB funding and
additional inputs from new sources of funding (think private sector).  It
is interesting to see that while we all speak about scaling up that
estimates of required funding for (sustainable) transport systems are still
relatively imprecise and a closer look in many cases will tell you that the
trillions which are said to be necessary are in many cases a mixture of
traditional road based infrastructure and what we label as sustainable
transport infrastructure and services;

(b) how to fund the sustainable transport infrastructure and services we
are constructing. My view is that not having a clear understanding and
policy on that actually holds back the quick roll-out of sustainable
transport systems. Would you as a city administrator be go-hung on
expanding a system which you are not certain how to maintain and operate?
At the same time however because of current flaws in taxing and fuel
pricing private motorization continues to rapidly expand;

(c) how to physically restrict the growth in the number of vehicles while
expanding sustainable transport infrastructure and services. This is what I
would call the Beijing lesson.  Beijing tried first to build its way out of
congestion (it now has 7 ring roads) and after that it tried to solve the
problem by rapidly expanding public transport (Metro, Bus, BRT) and
lowering its price.  They are realizing however now that unless you
restrict the number of new vehicles coming onto the road that you will not
be able to make a real difference. Similar situations can be found in other
cities like e.g. Mexico where the number of trips in newly constructed BRTs
are overshadowed by the rapid year on year growth in number of cars which
in the case of metropolitan Mexico City is 500,000 per year.

Through the SLoCaT partnership we expect to make financing of
*sustainable*transport infrastructure and systems one of our focal
points of activities
in 2012. This in support also of two intergovernmental meetings on
sustainable transport which are planned for Asia and Latin America under
the umbrella of the regional EST Forums in these two continents.  In
addition we understand that ITF and UITP are also making (urban) transport
financing one of the main themes of their flagship events in 2013.


PS  Can you send me the IUTINDIA report, it does not download here in China.

On Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 10:09 AM, Sudhir <sudhir at cai-asia.org> wrote:

> Dear Cornie,
> Continuing this further...
> The investment by cities on urban transport are many times more than the
> development banks. Metropolitan cities like Bangalore are seeking like 1
> billion USD/year for next twenty years. Delhi invested more than 2 billion
> $ for 'improving' transport within 4-5 years for commonwealth
> games. According to the latest estimates, India is planning to invest like
> 15 billion USD/year on urban transport. If you scale this up for the entire
> Asia and look at massive investment on intercity roads... you would be
> looking at a very very big number.
> See - http://www.iutindia.org/ntdpc/draftrep_onNTUD_3rdjune11.pdf
> http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/city-needs-rs-125-lakh-cr-for-infra-says-gowda/454718/
> How it ends up being actually used is entirely a new challenge - see
> http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_central-funds-used-to-just-widen-pune-roads_1642975
> regards
> On 30 January 2012 23:27, Cornie Huizenga <
> cornie.huizenga at slocatpartnership.org> wrote:
>> Dear All,
>> >From time to time you come across a number that takes your breath away. I
>> just had another one of those. The last few months we have been working on
>> getting sustainable transport on the Rio+20 agenda.  As part of this we
>> looked at the current spending by Multilateral Development Banks on
>> Transport projects.  We were quite impressed by the total number that came
>> up at the end: somewhere between $ 25 and $ 30 billion in 2010.  Mind you
>> this includes all transport spending, the sustainable projects and the
>> not-so sustainable ones: the BRTs, the metro's, the rural roads and the
>> highways.   Then just now I came across the estimated advertising budget
>> of
>> major auto companies in 2009 in a recent EMBARQ report:
>> $ 21 billion dollars (mind you that does not include advertising for
>> fuel).
>> You can see the smile on the face of the auto manufacturers and the
>> advertising agencies when they see our efforts to promote sustainable
>> transport :-(
>> Cornie
>> --
>> Cornie Huizenga
>> Joint Convener
>> Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport
>> Mobile: +86 13901949332
>> cornie.huizenga at slocatpartnership.org
>> www.slocat.net
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Cornie Huizenga
Joint Convener
Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport
Mobile: +86 13901949332
cornie.huizenga at slocatpartnership.org

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