Improving Transit Efficiency
A workshop by Chennai City Connect, EMBARQ India and ITDP
Published on Mar 28 2012

21st March 2012, Chennai: EMBARQ India participated in a workshop organised by Chennai City Connect, an infrastructure platform for urban stakeholders, and ITDP, on improving the operational efficiency of the city bus services offered by the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) in Chennai. Following the Talking Transit workshop held in Bangalore in February, officials from Chennai City Connect invited EMBARQ India to Chennai to present at this workshop. The officers of MTC, including the Managing Director, depot managers, operations managers and the technology officer were the primary audience for the workshop.

The inaugural speech for the workshop was given by T. Prabhakara Rao, Principal Secretary (Transport), Govt. of Tamil Nadu. He stressed the importance of route rationalisation and performance evaluation. With the imminent commencement of Metro rail services in the city, he advised MTC to focus on improving services as well as inter-modal service integration so as to enhance the travel experience of commuters.

Balchand Parayath from Chennai City Connect set the context of the workshop and introduced the speakers for the day.

Amit Bhatt, Strategy Head – Integrated Transport, EMBARQ India, gave an overview of EMBARQ and the work across the country. He also introduced Bus Karo, the guidebook on bus planning and operations, and talked about the Bus Karo Plus programme and its objectives. This was followed by a presentation by Christopher Kost, Technical Director, ITDP, who introduced the concept of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems and spoke about the design of the system in Chennai.

Pranjali Deshpande, ITDP, presented a case study of the bus operations in the Pune-Pimpri area, speaking of the various elements of route rationalisation. Nitin Warrier, ITDP, spoke about the concept of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) and Management Information Systems (MIS). Prashanth Bachu, Project Manager – Urban Transport, EMBARQ India spoke on the importance of performance monitoring and the different levels of analysis required in drawing conclusions about specific routes. Using Bangalore’s Big10 routes as an example, he analysed the level of service of 4 routes, and stressed on the use of technology as a useful tool in facilitating the process of service planning and benchmarking. Srikanth Shastry, Associate – Urban Transport, EMBARQ India explained the process of directional orientation of route planning along the Hosur road corridor in Bangalore, and its benefits to commuters and the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC).

The workshop ended with an address from Raj Cherubal, Director-Projects, Chennai City Connect and V Paulraj, Managing Director, MTC, highlighting certain aspects of the presentations made and the way forward in improving the efficiency of transport services in the city of Chennai.

In keeping with its mission of playing a vital role in bringing various urban stakeholders together onto a single platform, aiding constructive and collaborative government responses, and creating value-added partnerships, Chennai City Connect will now work on listing various areas of possible support to MTC, and recommend the role EMBARQ India could play in offering support to the corporation.