Bengaluru may get cheaper Metrolite system; three corridors proposed

BENGALURU: A Metrolite system, a light urban rail transit system with small coaches and cheaper than the regular Metro network, could be operational here. The Comprehensive Mobility Plan, prepared by the Infrastructure Development Corporation (Karnataka) Ltd, envisages three Metrolite corridors under Phase 3 of Namma Metro — Magadi Road Toll Gate to Kadabagere (13km), Whitefield – Domlur (16km) and Katamanallur Gate (near Hoskote) to Sarjapur Road-Hebbal (52 km). In addition, a 34-km underground corridor along the Inner Ring Road and 30-km Hebbal to JP Nagar (ORR-West) is also proposed under this phase. While ORR-West and Magadi Road Toll Gate are old corridors proposed under Phase 3, the others are new ones. However, it’s unclear whether the earlier Phase 3 corridors like Gottigere to Basavapura, Nagawara to Aerospace Park, Kogilu Cross to Rajanakunte, Iblur to Carmelaram and Bommasandra to Attibele will be dropped. There’s no mention of these corridors in the CMP.

“Each project suggested in CMP will have to go through the process of alternative investment analysis, appraisal and approval,” a senior BMRCL official said. The Centre has been encouraging cities to go in for Metrolite systems as it’s less cost-intensive — nearly 50% cheaper compared to the normal network. A Metrolite can be built on surface as well as elevated tracks. “Metrolite is suggested as the rail-based public transport system has a cost-effective mobility solution for the likely ridership. The inner ring Metro suggested as the underground system as elevated system is not feasible due to smaller road width,” the CMP says. It also suggested “to plan new Metro lines aligned with the master plan of the city and its areas of growth, keeping in mind the development of economic centres and residential layouts; focus must also be ensured on core areas, where construction may be difficult”. Metrolite for PRR, NICE? A Bus Rapid Transport System or Metrolite has been suggested for Peripheral Ring Road and NICE Road. “The selection between BRTS or Metrolite will need to be done based on detailed ridership assessment and analysis. The total length of BRTS / Metrolite on NICE road and proposed PRR is 107km,” the CMP says. “PRR of 78-km length and 80-metre width is proposed on the northwest periphery of the city with complementary connectivity to NICE Road on the south-east periphery and provision in the middle for BRTS or traction guided at-grade,” it added. “The overall public transport network of 803km within Bangalore Metropolitan Area is envisaged under different modes — dedicated rails, roads, road lanes, traction-guidance, i.e. Metro, suburban rail, priority bus corridors, BRTS or Metrolite in addition to augmentation of public bus transport services,” it adds.


Bengaluru metro train network to be extended. Check new routes

  • In phase-3, the metro train service will be extended to Hoskote on Bengaluru’s eastern outskirts from K.R. Puram
  • The third phase will be ready by 2025, second phase by 2021

BENGALURU : With about 70,000 vehicles choking the roads and causing gridlocks across the city, the Karnataka government has decided to extend the commuter service of the state-run Bengaluru Metro network to 300 km from 119 km at a whopping cost of 30,695 crore, an official said on Thursday.

“To ease the chaotic traffic across the city where about 80,000 vehicles choke the arterial roads, the state government has decided to extend the metro rail network to 300 km by adding 181 km in the third phase to reach satellites towns by 2025,” an official in the Chief Minister’s Office told IANS here.

The 43-km metro network in its phase-1 is being expanded by another 76 km in phase-2 at a cost of 26,405 crore to provide efficient and punctual service to more commuters across the bustling city from 2021.

“As the Bengaluru Metro Rail Transport Corporation Ltd (BMRTCL) is a Centre-State funded project, we are approaching the Central government for its equity share and approvals to fast-track its third phase,” said the official monitoring the project.

In phase-3, the service will be extended to Hoskote on the city’s eastern outskirts from K.R. Puram, up to Electronics City in the southern suburb from Silk Board under construction in phase-2, Ramangaram from Kengeri in south-west, and Nelamengala from Nayandanahalli in the north-west and to Devanahalli from M.G. Road station in the northern suburb, connecting the city with the airport, about 40 km away.

“An extended metro service and a 162-km suburban rail service will not only ease pressure on roads, highways and flyovers, but also minimise migration of people from towns and villages around the city to reduce pressure on the civic amenities,” the official said.

The metro services on the east-west and north-south routes ferry about 4-5 lakh citizens on the 43-km route, easing pressure on the state-run bus service plying across the city.

To promote public transport and discourage use of cars and two-wheelers for commuting across the city, the state government has decided to hire about 6,000 buses to be operated by the state-run Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC).

“Bengaluru Mobility Management Authority will soon be set up to jointly regulate and maintain traffic of buses, metro and suburban rail services across the city,” the official added.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.


Govt of Karnataka to develop eight multi-model transit hubs in Bengaluru

Bengaluru (Urban Transport News): The Government of Karnataka has started the process of setting up eight multi-model transit hubs in Bengaluru city to connect bus, metro or rail networks. The tenders invited from the experienced firms by the Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) to set up the transit hubs in Bengaluru.

The government has identified eight locations in the peripheral areas in North, South, East, and West directions to the Bengaluru city. The intermodal transit hubs are going to come up in Challaghatta-Mysore Road (West direction), Baiyyappanahalli- Existing BMRCL terminal, KR Puram (East direction), Peenya- Existing BMTC Terminal (North-West Direction), Bommasandra in existing BMRCL land (South direction).

The government is yet to identify the location for three more transit hubs in Old Madras road and Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) junction (East direction), Bellary Road and PRR junction (North direction), Kadugodi (East direction).

“In order to utilize the Bengaluru urban roads in an efficient way and also to help the people for the efficient intermodal transfer, the transit hub locations shall be located in the peripheral areas of the city. The intermodal transit hub locations shall also be well-integrated with the other public transport modes to ensure a smoother journey within the Bengaluru city limit”, said a senior official from DULT.

We are building the transit hub locations in all the directions to the city so that the buses coming from all the directions need not enter within the city limits as well as it will help the maximum number of users to use public transport while entering Bengaluru.

As per the technical design prepared by DULT, the facilities to be developed at the transit hubs are broadly divided into two categories: passenger amenities and physical integration. Under passenger amenities, they have planned to include a waiting room, washroom, cloakroom facility, food stalls, small shops, and help desk.

The government has given priority to physical integration, like seamless transfer between different transit modes, integration with auto and taxi services and shared mobility services, parking facility for two-wheelers and four-wheelers in the proposed transit hubs.

With an aim to provide seamless integration between metro, rail, and BMTC-Traffic and Transit Management Centre (TTMC) in Bengaluru, the state government had announced to build multi-model transport hubs in its budget for the financial year 2019-20.

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Chennai-Bangalore Expressway work to start in six months: Nirmala Sitharaman

CHENNAI: Work on the Rs 20,000 crore Chennai-Bangalore Expressway, which will pass through Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, is expected to start in the next financial year. National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has started the bidding process, according to its Chief general manager Alok Deepankar (Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka).

This comes after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced in Parliament that the work on Chennai-Bengaluru Expressway will begin soon. She said the project is likely to be started in the next six months. Sixty to 70 per cent land acquisition had been completed. The expressway is one of the 12 expressway projects being launched by the NDA government.

The 262-km-long, six-lane, access-controlled expressway begins at Hoskote in Karnataka and ends at Outer Ring Road near Chennai. The project, which is being implemented under public-private partnership, is likely to reduce travel time between Chennai and Bangalore to four hours.

Madurai-Chennai corridor to be monetised

On monetisation of 12 lots of highway bundles of over 6000 km before 2024, Deepankar said that in Tamil Nadu, NHAI has selected Chennai-Madurai-Chennai corridor. The Finance Minister had announced this. This comes after the Centre recently approved amendments to toll-operate-transfer (TOT) model for national highways.


The Expressway begins at Hoskote in Karnataka and ends at Outer Ring Road in Chennai. It is being implemented under public-private partnership (PPP)


10 new roads on outskirts to ease congestion in Bengaluru

KRDCL has floated a tender for a detailed feasibility report
With the aim of decongesting Bengaluru, which is choking with vehicular traffic, the Karnataka Road Development Corporation Limited (KRDCL) is developing a network of roads on the outskirts that connect directly to national highways. Once completed, they will negate the need for motorists to enter the city.

After taking up a project to develop roads on the outskirts leading to Kempegowda International Airport (KIA), the KRDCL has now floated a tender for a detailed feasibility report to develop 10 additional roads — with a total distance of 148 km — around Bengaluru.

The longest stretch (43 km) is the one from Bidadi on Mysuru-Bengaluru highway to Nelamangala Chandrappa Circle, Tavarekere and Sondekoppa. This network, said officials, will decongest NICE Road and provide alternative options for motorists travelling from Bidadi to Nelamangala.
In addition, there are plans to develop a 16-km stretch from NICE Road junction to Whitefield via Sarjapur Road. This will help people working in the IT corridor.

The estimated cost for the 10 roads is around ₹1,200 crore though the final figure will depend on the detailed feasibility report.

KRDCL Managing Director B.S. Shivakumar told The Hindu that the proposed roads will have four lanes. “As of now, beyond NICE Road, there is no good infrastructure that connects Mysuru Road with Magadi Road and Tumakuru Road. We want to build a network from Bidadi to Nelamangala. In addition to this, for the benefit of those who are using NICE Road to reach KIA, we are proposing a road network from Makali to Kakolu. This will help passengers to reach KIA faster. Providing an alternative road from NICE Road to the airport will help decongest the existing traffic at Goraguntepalya, Hebbal and other junctions,” the official said.

Toll collection on the cards

The network is being developed under Phase II project beyond NICE Road and the proposed Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) project. When asked about whether KRDCL will be building toll roads from Bidadi to Nelamangala, Mr. Shivakumar said, “As per our plan, it is a toll road. However, the State government will take a final decision.”

Under Phase I, the KRDCL has taken up construction of roads in the eastern and northern outskirts of Bengaluru. These include Hoskote-Budigere Cross-KIA via Budigere-Singahalli and Mylanahalli. The 20-km road is estimated to cost ₹254 crore, and it will will benefit motorists coming from Electronics City, Whitefield, Sarjapurand Hoskote.

Other roads to be developed in Phase I are the stretch from Nelamangala to Madhure, and Madhure to Devanahalli Road via Rajanukunte and Thimmasandra. The 39.24-km road is estimated to cost ₹548 crore.

KRDCL had proposed that toll be collected on these roads.


Bengaluru’s Draft Mobility Plan in a nutshell: Elevated corridors get Rs 18,480 crore

The Department of Urban Land Transport (DULT) has published a draft of the Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) for Bengaluru Metropolitan Area. The document has brought back the controversial Elevated Corridor project (road-over-road), 92 km of which has been proposed at the cost of Rs 18,480 crore.


The CMP itself is necessitated by the centre’s Metro Policy which clearly states that funding for the Metro would require cities to develop a comprehensive mobility plan.

Here is a summary of the proposals in this plan.

Many of the new three-phase CMP project proposals are there in the earlier plans proposed in 2011 and 2015, with some of them at different stages of implementation. Like the Metro rail, suburban rail system, Bus priority corridors, bus fleet augmentation and peripheral ring road.

Oft-heard concepts such as transit-oriented development, Metrolite project, multi-modal mobility fare system, congestion fees, pay-and-park system appear in the second and third phases of the old and new draft plans.

Some key projects defined

  • Transit-oriented development: The idea of concentrating development around public transit corridors (such as Metro) so that travel becomes easier for the people especially the office-goers. A separate draft TOD policy, which was published in January for public comments, had set goals of achieving a 70% share of public transport in motorized trips and 60% of the city population living within intense TOD zone.
  • Metrolite project: The passenger capacity in the Metrolite option is around a third of Metro’s. The per kilometre cost of Metrolite is Rs 180 crore compared to the Metro’s Rs 300 crore.
  • Multi Modal mobility fare system: The CMP envisages a National Common Mobility Card for public transport operators, intermediate para-transit operators, and parking stations in the city
  • Congestion fee: Towards discouraging use of private vehicles in the CBD and other high-traffic density areas, the plan proposes to charge a fee on private vehicles at peak hours.
  • Pay-and-park: The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike will collect a fee for parking spaces on designated public roads.

Previous attempts at mobility plans

In the past, the government had come up with reports such as the Comprehensive Traffic and Transportation Plan for Bengaluru City (2011) and the Comprehensive Traffic and Transportation Study for Bengaluru Metropolitan Region (2015).

While the 2011 report talks about bus rapid transit system (BRTS), commuter rail to the suburbs, and densification of corridors along the stretch of mass transport system, the 2015 report drew plans for 341 km of mass transit corridors, 231 km BRTS and development of intermodal stations. Most of these proposals still remain on the paper. For instance, the BRTS, planned on the Outer Ring Road from Silk Board Junction to KR Puram, was scrapped in favour of the Metro. There is a bus priority lane currently in place in this section.

Cost and timeline

The new plan, prepared by the consultancy firm Infrastructure Development Corporation Karnataka (iDeCK), gives a glimpse of what the government intends to do over the next 15 years.

Share your comments and suggestions by 5th January 2020The CMP 2019 is open for public feedback for 30 days from 6th December. The 226-page document is available on the websites of the Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) and Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL).

Click here for the document.

The CMP also chalks out six ways of raising funds – budgetary allocations from the state and centre, parking fees, congestion fees, PPP and so on. It also proposes the formation of a Bengaluru Mobility Management Authority (BMMA) with a legislative mandate to monitor its implementation.

The first phase, to be implemented between 2020 and 2022, costs Rs 35,835 crore. The second phase, estimated to cost Rs 69,110 crore, is to be taken up between 2023 and 2027. Implementation of the third phase will be between 2028 and 2035 at a whopping Rs 1.25 lakh crore price tag.

What is the current state of various transport projects?


While 42.3 km of the Metro is up and running, its second phase is a work in progress. This includes extensions to Whitefield from Baiyappanahalli, Mysuru Road to Pattanagere, Yelachenahalli to Anjanapura on Kanakapura Road, the Electronics City line, Nagasandra to Bangalore International Exhibition Centre and the Gottigere-Nagavara lines.

The BMRCL moved the KR Puram to Bengaluru International Airport (35 km) proposal from the Phase-3 to Phase 2(B) in order to hasten its implementation. Similarly the 18-km KR Puram to Silk Board line was also moved from Phase 3 to Phase 2(A). However, tenders have not been floated for the construction of these two lines.

Metro’s Phase 3, proposed to increase the network by over 100 km, is still in the planning stage.

Suburban rail:

The Rs 18,000 crore suburban rail project was cleared by the state government (earlier this year) and the Railway Board (recently).

Bus priority lane:

The first bus priority lane, of 18 km on the Outer Ring Road, from Silk Board Junction to KR Puram, commenced recently.

Peripheral Ring Road:

The state government allocated Rs 1000 crore in its 2019-20 budget towards this long-awaited project. While around 800 acres of land is required for the project, the acquisition process is yet to commence. Initial surveys for acquisition are underway.

Fund allocation in CMP for major projects (in crores):

  • Phase 1
Metro rail: 58 km₹ 15,950
Widening of roads: 50 km₹ 5,000
Suburban rail – dedicated track: 25 km₹ 3,450
Peripheral Ring Road (PRR): 20 km₹ 3,080
Bus fleet augmentation: 2000 nos₹ 3,000
Major junction/Section capacity augmentation: 3 nos₹ 1,800
  • Phase 2
Transit Oriented Development: 160 km₹16,000
Suburban rail – dedicated track: 62 km₹8,556
Metro rail: 30 km₹8,250
Widening of roads: 70 km₹7,000
Bus fleet augmentation: 3500 nos₹5,250
Elevated corridor (EW-01): 25 km₹5,250
Peripheral ring road (PRR): 25 km₹3,850
Metrolite elevated: 13 km₹2,340
Corridor improvements: 54 km₹1,620
Bus depots/terminals: 40 nos₹1,600
Depots/terminals: 20 nos₹1,600
Parking infrastructure: 30 nos₹1,500
Intermodal transit hubs: 15 nos₹1,125
  • Phase 3
Transit Oriented Development: 320 km₹32,000
Metro (underground): 34 km₹20,400
Elevated corridor: 63 km₹13,230
Metrolite (Elevated)/MRT: 68 km₹12,240
Adoption of CNG and electric for IPT vehicles and public transport buses respectively: 6500 nos₹9,750
Suburban rail – dedicated track: 62 km₹8,556
Widening of roads: 72 km₹7,200
BRTS: 107 km₹5,350
Peripheral ring road (PRR): 33 km₹5,082
Bus fleet augmentation: 3000 nos₹4,500
Depots/terminals: 65 nos₹2,600
Intermodal transit hubs: 15 nos₹1,125


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Wipro to shift all Bengaluru employees to new 50-acre campus in 2 years

With the tax holiday window that Wipro has so far enjoyed at its Electronic City unit coming to a close soon, the company is reportedly planning to shift to a new place in Bengaluru soon.

With the tax holiday window that Wipro has so far enjoyed at its Electronic City unit coming to a close soon, the company is reportedly planning to shift to a new place in Bengaluru soon. The move makes sense because without the tax rebates, operational costs would shoot up.

According to The Economic Times, Wipro has planned a new 50-acre campus at Kodathi on Sarjapur Road, and the entire workforce from its Electronic City unit as well as the hired facilities spread across the city will be shifted here in the next two years. The company calls its proposed 2-million sq ft facility, with a capacity for over 30,000 workers, an “agile workspace aimed at the digital worker” and it will be located around 6km away from its present headquarters. The new campus incidentally, is aimed at digital workers, too, and will have an initial capacity to accommodate 4,000 employees.

“We will start moving people from this calendar year-end. The new campus is a special economic zone [SEZ],” Saurabh Govil, chief human resource officer, Wipro, told the daily. To remind you, businesses operating from the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) – including software services exporters – get 100 per cent Income Tax exemption on export income for five years and 50 per cent deduction for the next five years.

Given that the company in its latest annual report claimed that the tax holiday resulted in a decrease in its tax expense by Rs 1,159.8 crore and Rs 1,192.7 crore for the year ended March 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively, it’s not surprising that the new campus is also an SEZ. “The tax holiday period being currently available to the Company expires in various years through fiscal 2030-31,” Wipro added in its annual report.

According to experts, the growing focus on digital and increasing automation is putting pressure on margins, while the sector continues to battle growing protectionism and, as a result, companies are trying to squeeze costs where they can. And consolidating real estate assets is one way to do so.

Gearing up for the upcoming shift, Wipro’s chairman even met Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy last week. The agenda reportedly was to solicit help in upgrading the Sarjapur Road so that traffic congestion is reduced.

The meeting is already bearing fruit. The city corporation Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) told the daily that it will widen the 5km stretch from Iblur junction to Carmelaram junction, near the new campus. “We are in the process of widening it into a six-lane road. It will not take much time as the land on either side of the road belongs to us. We are hoping to finish the work in 4-6 months,” said Manjunath Prasad, Commissioner, BBMP.

Of course, there’s no dearth of critics pointing out that large companies also need to step up and take responsibility for local infrastructure, instead of leaving it all to the government. “IT services companies should have done more to make sure that their host city’s infrastructure is looked after. I do not understand the IT services companies that have chosen to make Bengaluru their home and not played a larger role in improving the infrastructure.” technology consultant Siddharth Pai told the daily, adding, “If they say they are paying income tax that is not enough.”


Wistron to invest 3,000 cr in Kolar iPhone plant

Apple Inc’s Taiwanese contract manufacturer Wistron Corp, on Tuesday, said it would invest close to Rs 3,000 crore in two phases to set up a greenfield smartphone manufacturing plant in Karnataka.
A high-level team of officials from Wistron Technologies led by its Chief of Staff Frank Lin and accompanied by A Gururaj, managing director, Wistron Infocomm Manufacturing India Pvt Ltd, a 100% subsidiary of Wistron, met Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy in this regard. The proposed manufacturing plant will generate around 10,000 jobs after the completion of Phase 2, official sources said.
Wistron has already acquired 43 acres of land at Narasapura industrial area, about 65 km from Bengaluru, in Kolar district. The company will commence civil work on August 15.
During the first phase of its investment, Wistron will invest Rs 650 crore and employ 2,500 persons. It will manufacture selected models of iPhone depending on the orders placed by Apple. The production will be increased based on demand from Apple, although the plant is designed to manufacture 100 million units a year. Apple intends to export iPhones produced at this factory to various markets around the world besides selling them in the Indian market.
Welcoming the company’s move, Kumaraswamy asked the company to set up a mobile repair and technology facility also in Bengaluru as there is a huge demand for technicians.
Gururaj said the proposed factory will be one of the biggest of its kind in the country and manufacture selected models of Apple iPhone and related components.
Wistron started assembling Apple’s low-priced smartphone iPhone SE at its Peenya facility in May 2017 and the product was launched in Indian markets in June 2017. Apart from manufacturing smartphones for Apple, Wistron also manufactures components and products for various other brands.
According to industry analysts, Apple is looking at manufacturing iPhone 6 or iPhone 7 Plus, which are widely used for social media, browsing the web, emails, games and watching videos. Apple is keen on manufacturing these smartphones in India as it is looking to increase its market share in the country.


New draft mobility policy envisages transport network of 803 km by 2031

To address the growing traffic congestion in the city and get citizens to shift to public modes of transport, the Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) and the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) have come out with a draft Comprehensive Mobility Planning (CMP) policy.

The policy envisages a public transport network that will cover 803 km by 2031. It will include a 317-km metro network, suburban rail network of 177 km, priority bus lane corridors in different stretches totalling 202 km, and Bus Rapid Transport System and Metrolite for 107 km on NICE Road and the Peripheral Ring Road.

It also envisions an integrated mass transit system where the suburban rail network will integrate with Namma Metro and BMTC services. This multi-modal mobility has the potential to provide affordable and reliable mass transit services. The report talks about providing rail services to people living on the outskirts, including Bidadi, Ramanagaram, Tumakuru, Hosur, Bangarpet, Doddaballapur, and Devanahalli. The report has been made available for the general public on BMRCL’s official website and citizens have been invited to give their suggestions.

Incidentally, in May this year, the BMRCL had come out with a draft policy on Transit Oriented Development Policy. A senior BMRCL official said, “The report has been prepared as per the direction of the State government. Citizens can give their feedback by sending an email.”

The policy, which was prepared by the Infrastructure Development Corporation (Karnataka) Limited (iDeCK), proposes a light urban rail transit system, Metrolite on Magadi Road; Whitefield – Domlur line; and Katamanallur Gate – Sarjapura Road – Hebbal.

“The metro rail network is a mega-infrastructure project, which has the potential to reshape the city and its mobility patterns, and to contribute to cleaner urban transport,” claims the report.

‘Bengaluru needs 2,000 buses in two years’

The CMP policy highlights the shortage of buses to meet the needs of the growing population. It states that BMTC should increase the fleet size to 15,000 by 2031. The number of buses should increase to 8,634 by 2021 from the existing 6,634 vehicles. Suggestions have also been made on operating smaller capacity buses (10 to 12 seats), and electric buses.

Improving major junctions

Fifty high-density traffic junctions have been identified for improvement. “Hebbal junction, Central Silk Board junction and common sections of the Outer Ring Road and Old Madras Road between K.R. Puram railway station and Tin Factory have traffic volume of more than 3.5 lakh Passenger Car Units (PCU) per day. The capacity of these junctions is much lower leading in average traffic speed of less than 10 km per hour during peak hours,” according to the report. It proposes construction of 154 of foot over bridges to facilitate safe and efficient movement of pedestrians.

‘Review elevated corridors’

The report states that there is a need to review the elevated corridors project. “The length of the proposed elevated corridors is 88 km. Some of the elevated corridors, such as North South Corridor (NS), Central Ring Corridor (CC) and 2nd East West Corridor (EW 02), should be reviewed as there is a conflict with the metro corridors. The most cost-effective system from the perspective of efficient and sustainable mobility solution should be chosen,” acco9rding to the report.