As the state government readies to install a Rs 56,000 crore Ahmedabad-Mumbai-Pune bullet train project, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) has decided to conduct a research that will quantify the benefits of the service.
The research, which is going to be part of an ongoing research on 'Sustainable urban transport,' is being carried out by IIM-A faculty P R Shukla. It aims to estimate the actual economical, social and environmental benefits that could be reaped through the bullet trains in comparison to the airplanes.
Shukla said that the bullet train service will lead to conversion of air passengers into train passengers which will lead to reduction of carbon foot-prints by around nine times. "An Ahmedabad-Mumbai to and fro trip by air releases 156 kilograms of carbon per person. The same trip by a bullet train will release only 18 kilograms of carbon. The carbon foot print of the bullet trains will even reduce further as the electricity starts getting generated through more carbon free sources," he said.
Drawing a parallel between air travel and travel by bullet train, Shukla said, "While boarding a flight needs a long duration of check-in and check-out, which adds up to the total duration of travelling, this drawback will be eliminated in a bullet train, making it much more convenient and probably more effective than airplanes in terms of travel duration."
The bullet train service should be offered with a leapfrogging character by arranging many stops at strategic locations in between the two final destinations, opined Shukla. "This will enable people to travel quickly to several cities between Ahmedabad and Mumbai unlike that of an airplane. This feature clubbed with a more affordable fare will make bullet trains a comparatively more inclusive mode of transportation. Facilitating a quick and efficient transportation to a large number of people will lead to significant economic growth," he said, adding that even though the short term investment of the project is high, its long term benefits will be even higher.