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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A multiple-objectives approach to address motorized two-wheeled vehicle emissions in Delhi, India Badami, Madhav Govind


Motor vehicle activity is growing and air quality is deteriorating rapidly in Indian and other less-industrialized country cities. The contribution of transport to air pollution is increasing. Motorized two-wheeled (M2W) vehicles, mainly powered by two-stroke engines, account for a significant proportion of motor vehicle activity and emissions. These issues are important because, in addition to local health and welfare impacts, they have important implications for energy security, acidification and climate change. The challenge in terms of M2W vehicles is to address their emissions while minimizing adverse policy impacts for vehicle users, since these vehicles provide mobility to millions. The dissertation illuminates key aspects of the M2W vehicle air pollution problem, and reports on policy-relevant research related to M2W vehicle emissions in Delhi. It investigates contributory factors and the institutional setting, and explores the policy implications of critical vehicle user choices and perspectives. The dissertation proposes an analytic framework for effective policy-making and implementation, and multiple objectives and measures to characterize the impacts of policy alternatives. Information sources include published and unpublished literature on various aspects of the problem, discussions with decision makers, industry representatives and researchers, and a questionnaire survey of, and in-depth interviews with, M2W vehicle users. The dissertation demonstrates the importance of considering system-wide emissions due to vehicle activity, technology-human behaviour-political institution interactions, in-use realities and institutional constraints, and implementation issues including how vehicle users are affected by and respond to policies. In addition to these issues, the policy-analytic framework incorporates a wide range of policy impacts, and the concerns of various actors and affected groups, to address transport air pollution effectively and equitably over the long term. It is argued that policy-making and implementation should be adaptive and flexible, and promote continual learning, for policy effectiveness. While considering implementation issues will lead to robust policies, policies that minimize reliance on expensive technologies and institutional mechanisms, and that are impervious to in-use realities and constraints, should be implemented. Since technological measures can be neutralized over time, and given multiple transport impacts and constrained resources, the aim should be to achieve transport synergies, in addition to improving air quality.

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