Round-table discussion at Urban Mobility India Conference

Round-table discussion at Urban Mobility India Conference

3 Nov 2018
Nagpur, India

About the Event

Innovation to drive reforms in the Indian public bus sector 

Bus based public transport systems in India are operated by 62 government owned State Transport Undertakings. Although these systems collectively serve over 70 million people a day, there is a huge demand higher quality and more widespread bus services that currently remain unfulfilled. The inadequacies in service are attributable to the technical and financial challenges faced by the transit agencies which limit their ability to increase bus capacity and upgrade the quality of their services. The situation is exacerbated in cities, where buses are subject to congestion and delays, affecting their reliability and attractiveness. The private mobility sector, on the other hand, has seen a huge boom over the last few years with approximately 250 new mobility start-ups being registered every year since 2015. In 2017 alone, the total investments in mobility start-ups in the country amounted to USD 3.6 billion. With more investments being made in India’s mobility ecosystem, there is immense potential for public and private stakeholders to work together, beyond traditional models of engagement, and adopt innovative solutions to transform our public bus systems.

In the research leading up to the roll-out of the Better Bus Challenge, an initiative by WRI aimed at creating a platform for transit agencies and private stakeholders to work together, co-create innovative solutions and demonstrate potential impact of these to augment the quality and services of the public bus systems in India, it was identified that bus agencies could harness the innovative solutions offered by the private sector in at least four ways:

  1. Make optimal use of the data collected through Intelligent Transport Systems for decision making to aid bus operations with the objective of making the system more efficient, reliable and cost-effective
  2. Make public transit more user friendly by leveraging the data collected, to provide information to passengers relating to buses and bus arrivals, and enable greater multi-modal integration between nodes
  3. Improve comfort and accessibility by leverage the potential of new service models which provide private on-demand bus services in cities especially in areas requiring premium services and inadequately serviced areas
  4. Adopt new cost-effective technologies which help in improving fuel efficiency and reducing emissions

Objective of the session: To bring together various stakeholders to discuss the best possible collaborative models between public and private sectors to test innovative solutions and technology being developed in India’s mobility ecosystem that have the potential to support and transform our public bus systems. Such an initiative will not just serve as a platform for transit agencies to test the impact of new technologies but also provide an opportunity for innovators to develop a proof of concept for their solutions.

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