MoUD-World Bank workshop organised by EMBARQ India and AusAid in New Delhi
The Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), in collaboration with the World Bank conducted a workshop on Modernising City Bus Services on 16th June 2012 in New Delhi. EMBARQ India, under its Talking Transit workshop series initiative, served as the knowledge and organising partner of this one-day workshop, with support from AusAid. The agenda covered what is meant by the modernisation of city bus services, the effective implementation such modernisation in the Indian context, and successful examples from Indian public transport providers. The workshop also served as a forum for cities to discuss proposals for seeking grant funding to modernise city bus services under the Global Environment Facility (GEF)-5 program recently launched by MoUD and the World Bank.
Over 60 people representing government bodies, transit agencies, civil society, non-profits, private entrepreneurs and academics were in attendance at the workshop. RK Singh, Director (UT) MoUD and Hubert Nove-Josserand, Operations Advisor, World Bank opened the workshop, followed by an overview of the modernisation of bus services by Sam Zimmerman, Consultant, World Bank, supplemented by G. Menckhoff, Consultant, World Bank, and OP Agarwal, Senior Urban Transport Specialist, World Bank.
Madhav Pai, Director, EMBARQ India spoke about the organisation’s long collaboration with the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), stressing the importance of performance monitoring and analysis as a key input for creating a modern and successful urban bus service. He provided examples of how this process informed past initiatives and future proposals under consideration by BMTC. AK Jain, former advisor, PMU-SUTP shared lessons learnt from the Sustainable Urban Transport Program, funded by the Global Environment Facility, with an emphasis on the procedural aspects for cities considering applying for grants under the GEF-5 program.
The post-lunch session had presentations from representatives from city bus agencies on various aspects of service delivery and organisational efficiency. Rajnish Shrivastava, IAS, Commissioner, Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC), spoke on route rationalisation in the city of Bhopal, which runs a fleet of over 500 city buses. Ajay Bhadoo, IAS, Commissioner, Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC), spoke about Rajkot’s experiences in integrating para-transit with bus operations and the city’s vision for creating a sustainable urban transport system that is inclusive, reliable, efficient, and safe to enhance the quality of life for the citizens of Rajkot. Prashanth Bachu, Project Manager, EMBARQ India presented on behalf of Atal Indore City Transport Services Limited (AICTSL) on successful public-private-partnerships with a city bus system that carries 100,000 passengers everyday. CG Anand, Chief Mechanical Engineer (Production &Transport Planning), Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), talked about best practices in city bus support infrastructure, using examples from Bangalore’s successful programme of developing high quality bus terminals that incorporate mixed-used commercial developments. Y Jagadeesh Babu, Regional Manager, Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC), presented on Vishakapatnam’s successful driver training programme and its impact on fuel efficiency and operational performance, and Nishikanth Mishra, DTS Bhubaneshwar, spoke about institutional structuring in initiating city bus services.
The workshop concluded with a open discussion on the various opportunities and issues involved in modernising bus services in Indian cities, facilitated by OP Agarwal, Senior Urban Transport Specialist, World Bank. Amit Bhatt, Strategy Head – Integrated Urban Transport, EMBARQ India, spoke on EMBARQ India's Bus Karo Plus initiative as a peer-to-peer learning network of city bus operating agencies, stressing the importance of such a platform owing to the common issues faced by many transit agencies. Participants at the workshop agreed that this network would encourage learning and also help institutionalise the process.
Nupur Gupta, World Bank presented the GEF-5 grant funding program and, along with RK Singh, spoke about the next steps of the project.
The workshop provided a forum for urban public transport providers from across India to share their experiences and knowledge with developing high-quality bus services. All participants agreed on the usefulness and importance of such peer-to-peer learning opportunities and expressed a strong desire to be involved with similar events and programmes in the future.