This article addresses issues of the development of transport systems taking its examples from Delhi and Stockholm. The introduction of the first bus rapid transport corridor in Delhi and the congestion tax in Stockholm is presented and discussed in terms of modernisation and sustainable transport. This paper explores the perceptions of politicians and examines some transport plans in the search for the driving forces for transport policies. The continuing presence of a high proportion of non-motorised modes of transport and use of public transport in Delhi over the past 50 years gives it a greater political opportunity for creating a more inclusive city than Stockholm. Whereas, in Stockholm, awareness of the influence of emissions on climate change makes the inhabitants more inclined to accept fees for the use of city streets where sustainable transport and modernisation of transport systems are seen as key activities, but are perceived and operationalised differently in Delhi and Stockholm. Despite all the differences, some similarities in the development of their urban transport projects have been found. This paper inquires into the planning and operationalisation of transport modernisation and the politics of sustainable transport.