"Car owners are the creators of wealth. Do you realise that they get exhausted sitting in their cars due to traffic jams and they reach office completely tired? It affects their efficiency. Do you want them to perform less?"
-- B B Sharan, the chief petitioner opposing Delhi's
new on-street Bus Rapid Transit system, on
the grounds that it leaves less space for car traffic.
"The problem of car users, who are in a minority, is being portrayed in the press as the people's problem. The fact is that less than 10% people in Delhi use private cars. More than 33% travel by buses and 30% walk to work."
-- Geetam Tiwari, a road safety expert and professor
at Delhi's Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)
After months of drama, Mr. Sharan's complaint is being considered by Delhi's High Court.
Note that even the professor is reluctant to note the obvious: that buses that are allowed to run quickly and reliably will be more useful, and thus likely to attract even more than 33% of travelers. Unless, of course, you assume that class boundaries are absolutely rigid, with eternally fixed numbers of "bus-people", and that nobody changes their behavior based on utility. With that assumption, you're stuck with a purely entitlement-based argument, still a very strong argument in Delhi but not the only one.
Side note: Summing up the professor's percentages, it appears that some significant share of Delhi commuters are much-besieged cyclists, riding in immensely dangerous conditions. The daily reality of the Delhi curbface is that vendors fill up pedestrian spaces, including any sidewalks/footpaths, forcing pedestrians as well as cyclists into traffic lanes. Traffic in Delhi is often slow but always turbulent, with vehicles accelerating unpredictably to jump into perceived gaps in traffic.
First photo: BBC