Bangladesh's economic engine is its human resources. From a non-economist's point of view, I can sense that the relatively cheaper labour force compared to other burgeoning economies in Asia puts Bangladesh at an advantageous position in delivering labour intensive export-oriented products and services. But the efficiency in delivering goods and services to domestic and international markets depends on the efficiency in logistics within the country.
More precisely, the efficient movement of people and goods within the country is critical for the growth of our economy at the desired pace. Efficient movement of people and goods – in other words, efficient mobility – means safe, predictable, and carbon neutral trip to every destination in all modes.
It is neither simple nor easy to achieve efficient mobility in a small country with an oversized population that is hungry to make their contributions to and reap benefits from the growing economy of the country.
Fast growing purchasing power of the population means ever increasing burden on limited land for housing, agriculture, and transportation. These demands are exacerbated by increased demand for automobiles fighting for space on constricted transportation networks.
Being aware of the land use and transportation challenges the country will have to continue to overcome in the next few decades in order to maintain the pace of the economic growth, the current government has been making great strides towards efficient mobility through many mega projects.
The question remains – while these projects will definitely improve inter-regional mobility, would they be able to solve some of the endemic traffic congestion, safety, and carbon pollution? Will we be able to provide equitable mobility to ensure equal opportunity for all to participate in the economy? Let's explore our challenges.
Congestion causing irreparable damage
Unlike most economic powers, Bangladesh's economy is very much one city centric – Dhaka. It is the heart of the country's economic and socio-cultural activities, and all the mobility flowing through that heart can and does stop.
Even though the congested mobility in Dhaka doesn't completely kill the economy like a human heart does, it certainly causes severe pain and damages that can never be recouped. According to various global population data, Dhaka is arguably the most densely populated megacity (population density 44,000 per square kilometre) amongst all megacities in the world with a population in excess of 10,000,000.
In order to keep up with the housing demand – despite vertical housing growth – Dhaka will never be able to allocate the 25% land necessary for transportation infrastructure for a planned urban development. Traffic congestion is inevitable in a city of more than 15 million people living and working in a small land area of approximately 347 square kilometres.
We all are familiar with the woes of Dhaka traffic such as the virtual standstill congestion on most days during so called 'rush' hours – the irony of rush hour mobility. The traffic congestion in Dhaka has been attributed to many causes including overpopulation, unauthorised and overwhelming number of rickshaws, illegal parking, encroachment of sidewalks by vendors and illegal takeover of public spaces, inadequate or faulty traffic signals, inadequate transportation infrastructure, lack of enforcement and adherence to traffic rules, unplanned roadway excavation, too many modes of transportation with varying levels of automation, etc.
These and many other problems can be broadly classified into supply and demand side mobility factors. Most pressing supply and demand factors contributing to Dhaka's traffic congestion include
Prerequisite for uninterrupted growth
Like many other cities in the developing world, Dhaka has grown organically with insufficient planning. Even if some level of development guidelines were adopted, those weren't fully implemented due to lack of enforcement.
Had there been adequate planning and proper implementation, there would have been much greater share of land allocation for transportation networks, there would have been more orderly operation of mixed-mode transportation, and there would have been sufficient and synchronised traffic signals in operation reducing the need for traffic police on the streets.
Capacity of Dhaka's scarce transportation network already cannot support the unbridled growth of private cars, disorderly mixed-use development without proper traffic impact studies and lawlessness on the streets. How would it support anticipated economic growth of the country?
Dhaka's current mobility demand of 25 million trips a day (DTCA 2014) is only likely to get worse as the population and economic activities of the city continue to climb with time. With Dhaka's population projected to surge beyond 22 million in near future, mobility in Dhaka is fast approaching to a complete gridlock unless a comprehensive mobility plan is adopted and implemented.
The impact of Dhaka's traffic congestion is severe – to say the least – and long lasting. If Dhaka is the heart of Bangladesh's economic activities, then the transportation network within the city and that connects it to the rest of the country is the network of arteries of that economy and the mobility is the blood flowing through those arteries.
Smooth mobility in Dhaka and across the country is a prerequisite for uninterrupted economic growth. Economic impacts of disruptive mobility in Dhaka are manifold, including loss of productivity and output, severe delays in the delivery of products and services, rise in physical and mental healthcare costs, degradation of quality of life, irreparable damage to the environment, and many more.
Efficient mobility through the transportation networks of Dhaka and across the country is essential for the country to emerge from lower-middle income to middle income economy and beyond. It won't be a stretch to assume that the challenges in mobility plays a part in keeping Bangladesh at 42nd position among 47 lower-middle income countries in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business ranking. Bangladesh cannot afford to have this strangling mobility problem holding it down.
The mobility in Dhaka and the rest of the country can be improved by taking simultaneous steps to better manage both demand and supply side factors guided by a national mobility policy that takes into account – among numerous other considerations – emerging technologies and climate impact.
Equity in mobility supply and demand
Creating an optimised mobility nationwide that fuels economic growth lies in the creation of equity in demand and supply of people and goods movement. Currently, supply and demand for mobility in Dhaka and across the country are off-balanced. With a carefully crafted national mobility plan combined with policies to support the execution of that plan, Bangladesh can overcome the prevailing imbalance and leapfrog into the era of mobility that the next century demands.
As countrywide mobility is dependent on the efficiency of movement through Dhaka, the economic heart, the supply and demand of mobility in the capital must be balanced equitably. That balance can be attained by managing traffic congestion in the city. As the traffic congestion reduces, so increases mobility.
There is no silver bullet for reducing traffic congestion. The idea of increasing supply through increased roadway capacity to meet the increasing mobility demand doesn't hold water anymore. Many western countries have tried to reduce congestion by adding more lanes to existing freeways and adding new freeways. Somehow the added capacity gets filled very quickly and the congestion goes back to what it was or gets worse. There are also financial and physical constraints to building new roadway capacity.
These constraints are more acute for a land starved city like Dhaka and a nascent economy like Bangladesh. For Dhaka and Bangladesh, both mobility supply and demand have to be managed in a coordinated fashion to achieve a balance that is equitable for all groups of people participating in the economy.
Experts have come up with a number of good ideas to improve Dhaka's traffic congestion problem. A few are impractical but most are attainable with proper planning and careful execution. These ideas can be categorised into supply and demand approaches:
Transportation Demand Management (TDM) has been a key strategy for traffic congestion alleviation for quite some time in the developed world with mixed success. Irrespective of the past successes, TDM continues to be touted as one of the key congestion mitigation strategies as the world tries to reduce the carbon footprint of transportation.
Encouraging alternative transportation modes such as walking, biking, and public transit along with transit-oriented development (TOD), containment of urban sprawl, imposing a higher cost of driving through increased parking fees, gasoline taxes, and roadway tolls, and ridesharing/carsharing are key TDM strategies being promoted and implemented in various parts of the world.
From time to time various strategies, as listed on the demand side, to manage travel demand in Dhaka have been tried with limited success not worth mentioning.
These strategies included the relocation of government offices in other cities only to see them come back, banning rickshaws on major city streets resulting in mobility inefficiency and inequity for a large segment of the population and creating higher congestion on other streets, late opening/closing of shopping centres and staggered weekly days of operation for shopping centres having a negligible impact on traffic, etc.
Car-free day idea is likely to create resistance among car-dependent people, hence the authorities may be reluctant to implement it. Even if it is implemented it will only mask the traffic congestion problem for some days and might create higher traffic demand in the days after.
Proper enforcement of traffic laws is a given. Without enforcement, no policy can be successful.
On the demand side, the Bangladesh government needs to implement a sustained long-term strategy to manage population growth in Dhaka and encourage shared mobility options. All past attempts by the Bangladesh government to reduce traffic demand in Dhaka were primarily unsuccessful because those were very reactive approaches and not part of a comprehensive mobility plan.
The success of TDM strategies largely depends on human behaviour changes. Desired behavioural changes in terms of transportation choices people make can be achieved through sustained implementation of policies that can influence such changes.
Policies need to support long-term mobility goals through the most efficient management of existing infrastructure in addition to building new infrastructures to support alternative active mobility choices and a low carbon transportation system.
Building expensive new infrastructure to add capacity for cars cannot solve traffic congestion problems. People must be motivated by clearly demonstrated economic benefits in adopting TDM strategies in their mobility choices.
When a country gains economic prosperity its demand for mobility, and transportation grows. For example, demand for automobiles in China has grown manifold over the last few decades with the increased buying capacity of the prosperous Chinese middle class. Chinese cities are now faced with unprecedented traffic congestion and air pollution generated from vehicular tailpipe emissions. Even though China has the land and money to build new transportation infrastructure, they are fully aware that this problem cannot be solved only through building new capacity for cars.
China is now aggressively promoting TDM strategies in combination with the development of new transportation infrastructure to satisfy the mobility needs of the future. The bottom line is that the growth in mobility demand must be foreseen and be met with efficient and equitable supply strategies.
Most of the supply-side approaches can be achieved through better management of existing infrastructure. Building more arterials and connecting roads is almost impossible in Dhaka due to mostly unplanned residential developments and the scarcity of land that would be needed for appropriate car-centric mobility.
For the sake of argument even if we believe adequate road infrastructure can be built in Dhaka to meet automotive demand, it would leave behind the vast majority of the economic workforce that cannot afford automobiles.
There is also that question - will we be able to manage congestion by building roadways when our economy will allow most people to afford personal automobiles? If we look at the developed economies, the answer will be negative. A comprehensive and coordinated long-term mobility plan for Dhaka and the country needs to address both supply and demand-side issues, supported by appropriate implementation policies.
Managing Supply Side Constraints
Dhaka is already excessively developed for housing. Unsustainable and increasing population density in the city has been somewhat supported by the high density high-rise apartment complexes, but without much thought given to the impact on mobility. Government cannot nearly provide the mobility infrastructure required to accommodate the growing population while sustaining economic activities in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country.
Though theoretically it may be possible to build new multi-level mobility infrastructures using limited land allocation, it is financially unsustainable. Otherwise, many rich countries would have taken that path to solve their endemic traffic congestion problems.
A higher mobility throughput is achievable on the existing network by employing efficient management and operation techniques. Resources invested in such efficiency boosting policies would generate higher return on investment (ROI) than expensive new infrastructure. For instance, major thoroughfares in Dhaka are reasonably wide to provide sufficient mobility if the capacity is utilised efficiently. To achieve such efficiency, a set of supply side strategies, as part of a comprehensive mobility plan, should be considered.
1. Separation of modes
The single most detrimental cause for Dhaka's traffic congestion is the mixed mode traffic battling it out for space on the roadways. Rickshaws are blamed by car owners as the main problem, whereas others on public transportation point fingers at the uncontrolled automobile traffic. The reality is - no matter which mode shoulders the majority share of the blame - none of the modes are going away any time soon.
Contrary to the common wisdom, many of these modes are needed and can co-exist through better management of roadway space. Despite growth in car ownership in Dhaka, a significant portion of the city's mobility is still provided by the rickshaw. While the demand for cars and rickshaws must be recognised, assessed, and managed, it is unproductive to put them at odds with each other.
Rather it needs to be ensured that various modes can operate without creating conflict with each other. That goal can be achieved by splitting all major streets into dedicated pathways for modes categorised into three groups – non-motorised rickshaws and bicycles, low occupancy motorised vehicles, and high occupancy buses and trucks. When buses, cars, and rickshaws are allowed to travel conflict free in their dedicated space they all have the potential to travel at their natural speeds resulting in better flow. With split pathways, even if one mode slows down due to obstructions in its path, mobility in other modal pathways will not be affected.
In a modally separated roadway, buses and trucks should travel on the innermost lane with at ground or elevated pullouts/ramps for bus stops. Bus traffic on the innermost lane and isolated stops will prevent buses from making illegal stops. Low occupancy private vehicles should travel in the middle lane(s) with access, egress, and turns allowed through dedicated ramps. This will allow cars to travel at their posted natural speed and prevent them from making illegal stops and unauthorised street parking.
Rickshaw is part of Bangladesh's cultural identity and should be preserved until the mode naturally perishes. The ecosystem of the rickshaw industry employs millions of people and provides mobility for millions more. Unless a viable mobility option for the masses is introduced as replacement, and employment for the displaced Rickshaw industry workforce can be found, rickshaws should not be forcefully removed.
In order to better manage rickshaw traffic, the outermost lanes of the roadway should be allocated for their use. Two to three lanes with appropriate width in each direction of travel for non-motorised traffic will help rickshaws and bicycles travel in their own dedicated space, free from conflict with buses and autos. When space allows, a dedicated fourth lane in between bus and car lanes should be allocated for emergency vehicles (ambulance, fire truck, police car). When space is limited, the car lane should also be designated as an emergency lane which can be used for clearing incidents on the roadway.
A roadway cannot be safe without adequate sidewalks that are properly designed and free from encroachment by street vendors and illegal parking. Pedestrian traffic in Dhaka and elsewhere in Bangladesh is significant. Walking must be promoted as an alternative healthy and active mobility option, It must be given adequate attention and accorded proper safety. Street vendors should be allocated space at strategic locations so that they can thrive without causing conflict with pedestrian or other modes of mobility.
2. Efficient high occupancy transportation
Everyone knows that a double-decker or articulated bus can carry many more travellers than cars occupying the same roadway space. From purely a transportation space utilisation perspective, cars are the most inefficient mode because they occupy more space per traveller than any other modes. It is a no-brainer that cars will occupy the most amount of space and capacity on a roadway than bicycles or buses in order to move the same number of people. In other words, buses and bikes will provide higher levels of mobility than private automobiles.
In Dhaka, cars are not fully occupied and buses are overcrowded. Hypothetically, if we took a large number of cars off the streets and introduced more buses that operate more systematically, it is not unthinkable that people of Dhaka will have far more efficient mobility.
A public bus system can be a much cheaper mobility solution than subway/metro if operated efficiently with a desired level of service and easy boarding and alighting through conflict-free stops. A carefully designed automated fare collection system and process can further improve the quality of service and operation.
Even though in recent years car traffic has grown exponentially in Dhaka, a large portion of the mobility needs of Dhaka is met by the existing bus system. A more efficient bus service operating in a separated lane will likely increase the mobility share of this mode, as a result of some people shifting from rickshaw and car.
In the future, if there is a need to provide more mobility capacity, a dedicated bus lane can be converted into a metro right away. A public bus transit system operating on a dedicated lane but not quite at the level of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) can be called Bus-only Lane Transit (BLT).
3. Better traffic flow on local streets
Unlike megacities in the developed world, traffic congestion in Dhaka starts from the local streets. Due to increased car ownership, narrow local streets that were not designed for mixed mode bi-directional traffic often get clogged from traffic caused by cars.
A significant portion of trips in Dhaka start and end within neighbourhoods tripmakers live in. These trips create lots of walking, biking, rickshaw, and short distance car traffic. When these trips are added to the longer distance commute trips, narrow local streets become chaotic causing enormous loss in productivity. Mobility on local streets in Dhaka can be improved by implementing a well-designed mix of one- and two-way streets in each neighbourhood.
One-way streets will increase the capacity and flow on local streets by allocating the full pavement width to traffic in the same direction. Where street width permits, one-way streets may split motorised and non-motorised vehicles in their own lanes. For connectivity from neighbourhood to major thoroughfares, two one-way access and egress streets can be used. These one-way on and off connectors should be designed to allow for motorised and non-motorised vehicles to enter and exit conflict free. In addition, large vehicles like buses and trucks may be restricted on certain local streets.
Implementation of these supply side mobility approaches will need to be combined with the implementation of some demand management approaches - to be discussed next.
Managing Mobility Demand
Demand for mobility in Bangladesh, especially in Dhaka - for both people and goods - will continue to grow as the economic activities continue to thrive.
Traditionally, planners and engineers have tried to meet the growing mobility demand only with new infrastructure. That school of thought has proven to be futile even for those wealthy countries with plenty of land to spare for transportation infrastructure.
Land is the most precious commodity in a country like Bangladesh, not only because every square inch of land needs to be prioritised for more important land use such as housing and agriculture, an estimated 50cm sea level rise by 2050 will likely engulf 11% of our land in the south.
Pressure on remaining land for housing and agriculture will intensify unless we can move 15-20 million people out of the country. There is no choice but to be smart and efficient in managing growing mobility demand through the use of modern technology and application of travel demand management (TDM) tools as part of a long-term national mobility management plan.
Development of new mobility infrastructure has to be incorporated in that plan with proper justification. In order to better manage mobility demand, a set of principles can be applied to reduce automobile traffic on roadways.
These principles include efficient use of available transportation space, dissemination of real-time traveller information to help choose the right mobility option, and to motivate people to switch to higher occupancy environmentally sustainable mode choices. Based on these principles, following TDM measures should be considered for adoption.
1. Facilitate biking and walking
All sidewalks and crosswalks (at grade, elevated, and underground) must be encroachment-free and designed for safe walking. This is easier said than done. It requires strong political will and strict enforcement.
Until a safe walking environment is provided, foot traffic is likely to spill over to the traffic lanes creating dangerous conditions for both pedestrians and vehicular traffic, and resulting in increased traffic congestion.
Bicycle traffic should be given higher priority with protected bike lanes and turning lanes, and safe bike parking facilities. This will allow many students and office commuters to bike.
With safely designed sidewalks and bike facilities, it is possible to support 40-50% of the mobility demand of Dhaka dwellers with these active mobility modes. Let's imagine Dhaka as the Amsterdam of Asia where travellers can pick up a bicycle anywhere in the city, pedal to the destination, leave the bike, and go on about business. Dhaka can become the cycling Nirvana of the future, maybe even better than what Amsterdam is today.
Bicycling is the pollution-free, cheapest mode of transportation with tremendous health benefits. What an achievement it would be if we could meet more than 40% of Dhaka's travel demand with active modes of mobility - walking and bicycling. Another 40% of travel demand can be satisfied with metro rail and improved bus service operating in its dedicated lanes. That would leave about 10% travel demand to be met by private automobiles.
2. Encourage high occupancy in private cars
Presently, less than 10% of mobility needs in Dhaka are met by private cars and another 10% or so by on demand cars, motorbikes and CNGs. These low occupancy modes support less than 20% of mobility needs, but they occupy a disproportionate amount of transportation infrastructure.
Not only will a justified amount of roadway space be allocated for these low occupancy modes, efforts must be made to promote higher occupancy in those vehicles. Technology can help facilitate shared use of these modes of transportation.
Also, restricting these modes to its dedicated lane may motivate travellers of these modes to share rides in order to reduce traffic in their lane. In addition, certain busy business and commercial areas can be made car-free during business hours.
It is proven that car-free zones increase safety. In Oslo, Norway, car-free business districts resulted in zero bicyclist or pedestrian deaths in 2019. In some parts of the world, higher occupancy in private cars are incentivised through special carpool lanes, tax deductions, and other monetary incentives. Careful design and implementation of similar incentives can encourage shared use of cars, taxis, and CNGs.
3. Deliver effective traveller information
Real-time information of the prevailing travel conditions can help travellers make the right choice and help reduce congestion. Knowledge of current traffic bottlenecks and status of public transit service can help travellers decide whether to take an alternate driving route, use public transit, or bike/walk.
Information systems can help travellers form ridesharing pools with other travellers with similar trip patterns. Government can either develop these information resources or encourage the private sector to deliver them by providing funding opportunities. Effective traveller information can help reduce congestion.
4. Develop policy for sustainable climate friendly transportation
A sustainable climate friendly national mobility policy should prioritise efficient use of active and public transportation modes and shift towards electric vehicles as quickly as possible. Rechargeable batteries and hydrogen electric vehicles are gaining popularity in the developed world. As those technologies gain maturity, Bangladesh must be ready to rapidly switch to those technologies.
Dedicated lanes for non-motorised and mass transit modes of transportation are essential for those modes to support a larger share of mobility demand in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country.
As the demand for mass transit grows, electric-powered light rail and rapid bus systems can be introduced to replace fossil fuel powered buses in major corridors of travel. Import of fossil fuel powered private cars should be de-incentivised through higher taxes.
Simultaneously, import and other taxes on electric vehicles can be suspended to encourage adoption of those vehicles. However, zero emission vehicles will not likely help with congestion reduction. That goal can only be achieved by reduced driving. In addition to promoting active and public transit, introduction of a VKT (Vehicle Kilometre Travelled) tax may discourage driving.
Implementation of these demand-side mobility measures can succeed only through a flexible comprehensive national mobility policy.
National Mobility Policy
The word 'mobility' in the context of transportation wasn't used until recently. Traditionally the focus of the transportation industry was on cars and other motorised vehicles. The question they tried to answer is "how many 'cars' can we move down the street?"
The underlying assumption was that moving more cars will move more people. That notion does not hold anymore due to the disproportionate use of transportation facilities by single-occupancy vehicles (SOV).
The infrastructure necessary to keep moving an ever-increasing number of SOV is no longer sustainable. In the 21st century, transportation professionals are looking at the problem of congestion and pollution from a different perspective, and trying to find the answer to the question, "how many 'people' can we move down the street?" Movability, i.e., mobility of all people irrespective of their financial ability, and not of vehicles, has to be the new focus of transportation planners and engineers.
Though Dhaka seems to be in complete traffic chaos already, we are yet to see the worst of it. As the mobility demand on the scarce city road network continues to grow with the growth in population and economic activities, traffic is expected to become more chaotic.
But there is still time to plan and prepare for the future mobility needs before it gets completely out of control. That plan has to be comprehensive, coordinated, and sustainable.
A forward-looking comprehensive national mobility plan must take into account everything that has an impact on, and is impacted by, transportation. It must identify the players and the processes for execution of the plan, both from capital development and long-term operation perspectives. Implementation and operation should be based on sustainability. It is not enough to simply implement something if it cannot be sustained.
The success of a national mobility plan begins with setting relevant policies and directions by the legislature, first. Bangladesh has taken an important step in the right direction by creating the Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) and the Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority Act of 2001, following a recommendation of the World Bank-funded Dhaka Urban Transport Project (DUTP).
DTCA was created with the right intent, but it is dependent on many other government agencies for the implementation of its mission. For DTCA to be effective in its mission, it needs to have an independent governing body that can focus on its activities without bureaucratic dependence on other entities. DTCA must also have the right and adequate staff resources for planning, promoting, funding, coordinating, and managing the execution of mobility-related projects in Dhaka.
Bangladesh has a strong centralised governing system that operates from Dhaka where all government and most economic activities take place. It is inconceivable how the population growth resulting in growing mobility demand in Dhaka can be eased without creating strong multiple urban centres around the country where people can participate and enjoy similar economic and social activities that Dhaka offers.
Strong local and regional governments with jurisdiction to set, collect, and spend certain tax revenues, develop and execute regional land use and transportation plans, and create business and job opportunities can help redistribute the urban population resulting in healthy population growth and manageable mobility demand in Dhaka.
Dhaka's traffic woes are the result of a lack of proper land use and transportation planning and have been exacerbated by a lack of traffic management and law enforcement. Though Dhaka's traffic situation is desperately anarchic, some level of order can be restored with innovative traffic management approaches.
But fast action is necessary to set a long-term plan that lays out gradual implementation. Mostly unplanned development in Dhaka didn't leave much room for new transportation infrastructures. In addition to the current development plan for the new Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) metro lines, planners and policymakers can implement a few immediate traffic management approaches to bring some order to Dhaka's traffic.
The traffic problem in Dhaka is unique because of the complex mixed-mode (motorised and non-motorised) mobility demand for arguably the most densely populated urban area in the world.
There isn't any off-the-shelf solution that Dhaka can readily adopt. Dhaka has to come up with its custom solution. Solution approaches may include the separation of modes in their dedicated lanes, one-way traffic movement on narrow local streets, and a set of travel demand management measures, all tailored for Dhaka.
Effective separation of modes with equitable lane width allocated to non-motorised and public transportation will likely generate the most traffic management benefits by providing conflict-free movement.
Mode separation will also remove unauthorised roadside parking and ensure bus stoppage at conflict-free dedicated spaces. One-way street networks within the local neighbourhoods will help traffic flow more efficiently in the very limited transportation space.
Other TDM measures such as real-time traveller information, and financial incentives for ridesharing and adopting alternative fuel vehicles should be included in the long-range mobility plan. Bangladesh must adopt a comparatively inexpensive and sustainable mobility plan that proportionately emphasises both high occupancy motorised and non-motorised transportation.
21st-century innovations in transportation are happening in autonomous driving systems (ADS) and electric vehicle technologies. Bangladesh must plan not just for their natural arrival in the long run but to proactively adopt them as fast as possible.
The promise of these technologies is huge and Bangladesh can play an active role in contributing to them. For example, the adoption and implementation of hydrogen fuel cell technology can help Bangladesh leapfrog over the fossil fuel-based transportation system.
Partnerships with Asian giants in fuel cell technology like Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai to produce low-cost automobiles in Bangladesh can mutually benefit both sides. Besides being aware of, and being ready for, modern technologies, the national mobility plan must ensure that mobility is available equitably, creating equal access and opportunity for everyone to participate in the economic prosperity of the country.
Nisar Ahmed is a mobility specialist working for a transportation policy and planning agency in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of The Business Standard.