Ahmedabad: Urban planners are themselves confused about lack of adequate parking facility at the Ahmedabad metro rail station. It is expected that on 30% stations will have proper parking system. Out of 32 stations, only 8 stations will have a proper parking system whereas, Two other stations, Gandhigram and Sabarmati, will share parking facilities with the railways.
One urban planner, Utpal Sharma, feels that the provisions are inadequate, while another, Shivanand Swamy, says “parking should be arranged for only at the terminal stations.”
Sharma said, “We need more parking facilities to convert road vehicle commuters into metro rail passengers. In Ahmedabad, there are few stations where there can be parking facilities. I personally feel that no survey for parking requirements have been carried out.”
Authorities are also speaking to traffic police for understanding more about different areas and it’s traffic condition.
Sharma added, “Parking is a major issue in Ahmedabad, and even without the metro rail, 40% of road space is occupied by parked vehicles. We need multi-level parking areas close to the stations.”
A senior Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) officer said, “If the metro fails to provide commuters adequate parking facilities, it will turn out to be another BRT. Instead of adding public transport users, the BRT reduced their numbers. The BRT had promised last-mile connectivity but failed to provide it as the proposed feeder buses are now plying on Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service (AMTS) routes. If we fail to provide adequate parking facilities at stations, the project will not convert car or two-wheeler users to metro users.”
Swamy, however, said, “You don’t need parking at each station. One cannot provide adequate parking for cars anywhere on the route. Across the world, parking facilities are being removed and people are made to use mass transport system.”