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Sustainable urban transport in India: role of the auto-rickshaw sector

This paper examines the role of the auto-rickshaw sector in promoting sustainable urban transport in India. It develops a policy vision for the sector and presents recommendations for reforms. The study is based on the three following key strategies of the Avoid-Shift-Improve (ASI) framework: avoid unnecessary trips; shift to more sustainable transport modes; improve performance in all modes. In assessing the role of the auto-rickshaw sector in promoting sustainable urban transport, the paper looks specifically at how auto-rickshaws can contribute to the Shift and Improve strategies using a two-pronged approach: examination of the role of the type of service (contract carriage), as part of the Shift strategy; and assessment of the need for improvements in the type of vehicle (motorised three-wheeler), as part of the Improve strategy.