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As cities in India see a rise in private transport, the modal share of public transport has declined. This varies from city to city but nowhere is it more stark than in Mumbai which was once famed for its accessible and affordable options such as the suburban railways and the bus system, which together ferried nearly 12 million commuters a day. However, “we now have a metro-airport-highway orientation which is not the old railway-bus-pedestrian one. The money goes where the priorities are…This idea that users must pay for essential services but everybody must pay for luxury services is how the system has been re-organised,” says activist and teacher Hussain Indorewala in this in-depth interview. As road congestion and traffic emissions become endemic, and climate mitigation actions demand a review of the transport sector, the public transport might save the city.