Friends of Public Transport is a community dedicated to people that swear by public transport and those that are trying to make the shift. Join the ride!

Friends of Public Transport (FOPT) is Urban Design Collective’s latest initiative with a mission to create a more sustainable transportation future for the city of Chennai.

FOPT’s purpose is to make the current public transportation sector in Chennai more understandable for the city’s commuters and encourage those who are trying to make the shift. Our approach draws on the principles of openness and participation, leverages open access technology and provides citizens with the information and tools they need to ensure a safe, comfortable, dignified and sustainable urban mobility experience.

Moving around in Chennai

Chennai has a population of around 8 million and the average trip length for the city’s commuters is 11.25km[1]. Covering such a distance often requires a combination of different modes of transportation to reach the final destination. And this isn’t easy given the traffic congestion that one faces on the roads and the resultant ambiguities in journey times. Despite the fact that the city has multiple modes available- Suburban rail, MRTS, Metro, Bus, Minibus and Share Auto- none of them provide a comprehensive coverage of the city’s extents. Worse still, all of them remain physically unintegrated therefore rendering all modes as only secondary choices for preferred mode of travel. This is evident from the rising rates of private vehicle ownership in the city.

FOPT aims to improve the way commuters navigate the city’s formal and informal public transportation networks by providing them with tools that can help to transcend the gaps in physical infrastructure.

To this effect, FOPT is currently focusing its efforts to map all formal and informal transportation in Chennai digitally, and share all data openly because information is meaningful only if citizens can make use of it to improve the quality of their lives and of those around them.

[1] Source: Comprehensive Transport Study for Chennai Metropolitan area; 2008; Prepared by Wilbur Smith Associates

Friends of Public Transport is an initiative of Urban Design Collective (UDC). UDC is a collaborative platform for architects, urban designers and planners to create livable cities through participatory planning. For more information about UDC, please visit – www.urbandesigncollective.org