Transport Policy at the National and Subnational Levels
Selection and Assessment Criteria
Assessment of best practice is a popular approach, and literature has focused on different facets of best practice research. The terms “best practice” and “good practice” are also debated. The central idea for this chapter is not to look for a perfect blueprint of a policy or plan but to critically evaluate the policies implemented or under implementation that are showing initial benefits. Vesely (2011) classifies good practices into (1) those that depend on functionality that were successful and generated replicable outcomes, (2) practices that emphasized a unique methodology that helped to achieve the objectives, and (3) practices where new approaches were introduced.
For the selection of case studies, we followed a stepwise method. The first step included listing potential case studies covering major transportation subsectors. These included policies, programs, and projects at the national, regional, and city levels. We used a broad-brush method to evaluate these on the three criteria based on the information available: (1) clear vision, (2) evidence or potential of reducing GHG emissions, and (3) delivered or demonstrated the potential of economic development and/or environmental advantages. The idea was to consider diverse case studies from national and subnational levels and from different subsectors of the transport sector—passenger, freight, technology, infrastructures, as well as policies.
Few peer-reviewed studies that comprehensively examine these policies are available. The assessment in case studies therefore relies on peer-reviewed studies (where available), research, gray literature including project reports, reports from think tanks, or other organizations that analyze experiences, published case studies, as well as official documents. Six case studies were studied for impacts at various dimensions and ongoing or post-implementation issues. For developing criteria, we referred to other similar assessments available (Vesely 2011; GGBP 2014). The cases were then assessed for (1) vision and impact (whether the policy/project had clear objectives and was implemented successfully), (2) replicability (whether the practices were scaled up or replicated in other contexts or have the potential for replication), and (3) co-benefits (the intervention has delivered or has the potential to deliver co-benefits). The range of benefits includes GHG mitigation, local air quality benefits, and social and development impacts. The first three case studies are implemented, and we have attempted to draw insights on impacts and challenges. The next three case studies are emerging practices and have the potential to deliver low-carbon sustainability benefits. We believe the insights coming out of each case will enhance understanding of these interventions to enable replication and deliver the ultimate goal of a low-carbon transport transition for India.