Page 3 of 14
exhibit a similar trend. It is not surprising that Delhi, which has the highest per capitaincome in the country, accounts for a vehicle population equal to the combined strengthof Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. It is observed that, on an average, people devote a predictable fraction of their income to transportation. In developing countries, thisfraction is typically around 3-5 percent, where people rely more on non-motorisedtransport. The fraction tends to rise with automobile ownership, stabalising at 10 to 15 percent The industrial nations belonging to OECD have already completed thisautomobile transition. In future, developing countries will contribute a rising share toglobal traffic volume as their average income is expected to grow faster than those of OECD nations.In India, the sale of passenger cars has already crossed the one million mark in theannual domestic market, which is growing at the rate of 20 to 30 per cent. However, thetrend can not be explained solely by the growth of the economy, which is booming onlyat rate of only 6-7 per cent. The phenomenon has emerged primarily due to spurt in theincome of the rich, reduction in taxes and duties on cars, softening of interest rates andeasier availability of bank loans to both rural and urban sectors. According to CSOestimates the retail loans as a percentage of disposable income have increased from 3.5-4 per cent in the year 2000 to 8 per cent in March 2004.
Table 2: Relationship between transport growth and economic growth
CountryNumbers(in thousands)Per capita GDP(in US dollars ppp) Number of VehiclesPer 1,000 peopleUS132,43235,600740Japan6243826,100640Germany42,84025,900570FRANCE28,06024,400520UK25,02924,500410Brazil13.8277,400190Australia9,98124,000610Korea7,9084,00032China5,1064,30021India4,5652,50030Sourse: Anon, Transport Statistics of Great Britain,2002; Anon, CIA Word Fact book,2002; Anon,Automotive Industry2001 and beyond 2001; Anon, Asia pacific cooperation,2003; E A Vasconcellos, UrbanTransport, Environment and equity-the case for developing countries, Earthscam Publications Ltd, London,2001.
Even though many countries have tried to manage transport within the confines of ecological boundaries, it has been more than offset with a structural rise in spatialmobility. In most countries not only road traffic has more than doubled in past twodecades but the trend is particularly skewed in favour of private cars, and trucks. Since1970 fleet of road vehicles in the world has averaged 4.7 per cent for cars and 5.1 per e-mail:email@example.com