Chapter 1: Urban Bus Transport In India – Status And Trends
The development of city bus systems can be significantly strengthened by lessons learnt through the implementation of innovative practices and challenges faced in urban India. We start by evaluating the relative successes and challenges of city bus reforms initiated by some of EMBARQ India’s partners - Brihan Mumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), Atal Indore City Transport Services Ltd. (AICTSL), Bhopal City Links Limited (BCLL) and the Metropolitan Transport Corporation, Chennai (MTC). While EMBARQ India was actively engaged in some of these initiatives, other observations are based on our collaboration with partners. Figure 3 outlines the case studies and examples discussed in the Bus Karo Guidebook 2.0.
Pilot initiatives and bus reforms in recent years reinforce that city bus systems will continue to be the backbone of urban mobility in India. It is therefore imperative that cities across India focus on sustainable transport and set targets to achieve a higher modal share of public transport. Buses take up over 90% of public transport in Indian cities (Pucher, Korattyswaroopam and Ittyerah 2004), and serve as an economical and convenient mode of transport for all classes of society. There are approximately 35,000 buses operational in urban areas. Of this, eight of the bigger cities - Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, and Pune - account for 80 percent of all buses. Currently, the bus
modal share of these cities varies from one percent (Surat) to 43 percent (Bangalore), as seen in Figure 4. The challenge is to retain the bus modal share and further increase the modal share of public transport through various initiatives. EMBARQ India recommends that by 2020, bus transport must comprise of at least half of the mode share of all motorised trips in Tier 1 cities and at least one-third of the mode share in Tier 2 and 3 cities.
Following the launch of the Version 1 Guidebook, EMBARQ India continued to work closely with numerous transport undertakings and participate in several of the major reforms across the bus industry. The following section highlights some of these phenomenal and unprecedented changes.
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