Connecting the Last Mile

Unreliable last mile connectivity impacts the overall quality and usage of mass transit, resulting in a shift in the mode share of public transport. While efforts need to be made to improve mass public transport, it is essential to improve last mile connectivity and link these services into an integrated system to aid ease of access for users. The challenges to effective, reliable and affordable last mile connectivity solutions include poor quality, unorganised auto-rickshaw and taxi services; and a lack of public bicycling services and infrastructure.

EMBARQ India catalyses and helps implement entrepreneurship based models in the auto-rickshaw, taxi and bicycling sectors to address the current challenges of last mile connectivity. Enabling such services to scale up through appropriate finance, regulatory, and institutional environments will be critical in helping them achieve triple-bottom-line economic, social and environmental benefits. This will be done by:
• Researching and publishing high quality documents.
• Facilitating partnerships with city governments and other stakeholders to help implement entrepreneur-driven organised fleet auto-rickshaw services.
• Convening events with stakeholders such as entrepreneurs, investors and regulatory decision-makers towards catalyzing entrepreneurship initiatives in the auto-rickshaw, taxi and bicycling sectors.
• Influencing policy at the State and National level.

EMBARQ India has partnered with the city of Rajkot to implement an entrepreneurship-driven fleet auto-rickshaw service for the city; researched and published a comprehensive study of the role of the auto-rickshaw sector in sustainable Indian urban transport; is producing a literature review and case study compilation on the auto-rickshaw sector; and conducted a market analysis on bicycle rentals in Indore and Jaipur. EMBARQ India has convened workshops facilitating entrepreneurs, investors, government officials, driver unions and civil society; is helping implement a bicycle sharing initiative in a university campus in Bangalore; and is engaging with the Ministry of Urban Development to promote public bicycling in cities. EMBARQ India is also influencing policy at the state level to promote entrepreneurship in this sector.

In 2012, EMBARQ published Sustainable Urban Transport: Role of the Autorickshaw Sector