In the 70’s, right after independence, MCB and Barclays Bank visitors during business hours could seamlessly park their cars alongside employees’ on Sir William Newton Street, the vehicles left in diagonal fishbone parking layouts. 40 years later, 40% of vehicles driving around are in search of a vacant parking slot.
After suffocating the streets with stressful bumper to bumper traffic, the automobile cancer grows and attacks many downtown buildings, the latter pulled down to be turned into paid parkings.
Uncontrolled vehicle proliferation has dealt Port Louis congestion, gridlock, pollution.
The upcoming railway service invites Mauritians to altogether rethink urban mobility offers.
Port Louis proper will be served by three Metro Express stations: St-Louis and, closer to the central business district, Victoria and Immigration Square. Last mile services to work or first mile commutes therefrom to catch the train need to be organised. A single digital ticketing system may serve as integrator for an innovative multimodal and sustainable urban transportation network. From duration-based bicycle rentals, the same payment system for semi-electric bicycles or scooters, complemented by electric three-wheeler cabs, new modes of urban mobility are called upon to redesign town users rapport to urban space.
Based on smartphone-assisted services’ digital booking and accurate schedule predictability, smart mobility is liable – even with gas fired vehicles – to significantly cut down greenhouse gas emissions.
Besides, car mutualisation patterns will also reduce hard-currency exports and save capital-expenditure, the millions now going to the dogs on the roads liable to be invested in job creating activities.
A novel mobility pattern is at the heart of the upcoming new economic paradigm. It will also contribute to halt urban decay in the capital city, while connecting people and places, hence building community.