Bus Karo 2.0 – Case Studies from India

Table of Contents

About the Bus Karo

About the Bus Karo

In 2009, EMBARQ India launched the Bus Karo Programme to improve city bus service in Indian cities. The programme is designed to build capacity, provide technical support and share best practices in the field of urban bus transport in India. The initiative is a best-practice and peer-to-peer learning network, where the implementation of pilot projects brings about significant outcomes. The programme has three primary aspects (Figure 1):

  • Partnering with public transport agencies through support from experts to aid the implementation of pilot projects designed to enhance city bus services.
  • Organising workshops and facilitating discussions in which public transport authorities can gather to discuss strategies and hurdles to achieving sustainable transport. This also provides an opportunity for peer-to-peer capacity building.
  • Facilitating the sharing of best practices through the documentation and distribution of international and India-specific cases of city bus services.

In 2009, as part of the Learning Transit initiative, Version 1 of the Bus Karo – A Guidebook on Bus Planning & Operations (EMBARQ India 2009), was published with support from the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India (see Figure 2). This guidebook, meant for practitioners, planners, operators and researchers, examined advancements and best practices of public bus services around the world, in order to find applications within India. The guidebook discussed in detail the key factors for implementing successful bus system reforms. This included: ​

  • Strong political leadership in the decision-making process
  • Leadership by local institutions in the technical planning for route reorganisation
  • Implementation of bus priority strategies
  • Use of technology
  • Innovations in contracting and tendering
  • Need for managed subsidies to improve quality of service
  • System performance monitoring and user feedback

Under the Talking Transit part of this programme, we conduct technical training workshops, developed guidebooks, and documented and disseminated best practices in bus operations and service planning. In the last three years, more than 300 participants and 25 public and private transport agencies participated in five thematic workshops that were organised in partnership with various public transport undertakings. The workshops covered the following issues:

  • Land banking to develop depots and terminals in partnership with Bangalore Municipal Transport Corporation(BMTC)
  • Driver training and fuel efficiency in partnership with Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC)
  • Feeder service and short route design in partnership with Brihan Mumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST)
  • Use of Telematics (Intelligent Transport Systems) in improving public transport efficiency in partnership with Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC)
  • Branding, marketing and communications in partnership with Atal Indore City Transport Services Limited (AICTSL)
  • Integrated Transport Services with BCLL

Following the launch of the Bus Karo Guidebook Version 1, EMBARQ India continues to work closely with numerous transport undertakings and participate in several of the major reforms across the bus industry.

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