Paradigm Shift in Public Transportation

This article was published on : April 25, 2019

India is experiencing rapid urbanisation and the trend is expected to continue in the future as well. Hence, the focus on providing sufficient and quality public transport in cities is as critical as improving the inter-city connectivity. In order to sustain this growth, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs estimates that Rs 39,20,000Cr (USD600 billion) needs to be invested during the period 2011-31 out of which 44% is to be allocated to urban roads and 11.5% to mass transit systems.

Innovative technology

Smart transportation is developed on the base of smart infrastructure that includes not only multi-modal connected conveyance but also IT solutions that are important for any service planning. Smart transportation systems have created demand for solutions like modern Communication Systems, Smart Card Ticketing, GPS, ITS , access control systems, CCTV cameras, station and in-vehicle safety & lighting systems, elevators & escalators, passenger information system and programming & scheduling system.

Smart ticketing has been slow to gain popularity in India. All metro systems have implemented smart ticketing solutions for its ‘closed’ environment; Delhi Metro sells approximately 16,000 smartcards a day and 1.8 million commuters use the card daily.  Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) became the first city in India to launch the Axis Bank BMTC Smart Card – an open loop EMV contactless smartcard. However, the system is not integrated with other modes such as metro. Mumbai is another example that has various modes of public transport including suburban railway lines, metro, buses, taxis and auto-rickshaws. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) has appointed London’s Transport for London (TfL) to prepare a detailed plan for an integrated ticketing system in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. An integrated system is planned to be rolled-out by 2018.

Rising need for faster payment process owing to increase in number of daily travellers /commuters has buoyed the demand for rapid payment solutions across the country. Additionally, with smart city projects, the government is taking several key measures for the growth of rapid transport solution in India, especially in the Tier-I and Tier-II cities. With the swift development of transport solutions, the Automated Fare Collection Systems (AFC) market has registered high growth over the past few years.

According to 6Wresearch, India AFC market size is projected to grow at a CAGR of 33.1% during 2019-25. In terms of market applications, metro railway transport dominated the overall market revenues due to the ability of these systems to deliver better management, revenue generation, and fraud prevention. Additionally, with increasing adoption of public transportation primarily, metro railways and rapid bus transport systems in Tier-I and II cities by daily commuters, the deployment of AFC system is anticipated to increase in the existing facilities as well over the coming years.

Passenger information system acts as the communication link between a transit agency and passengers. It enables to deliver information related to real-time vehicle location & status updates, schedule of journey, and timely announcements.

Rise in demand for transit agencies to deliver reliable and accurate real-time transit information to passengers drives the growth of the passenger information system market. Furthermore, advancements in the telecommunication sector to enable faster data transfer capabilities, surge in IoT adoption in transportation sector, and increase in demand for intelligent transportation systems are the major factors responsible for the growth of the market. In addition, rise in adoption of cloud and big data technologies is expected to provide lucrative opportunities for the market growth.

In 2018, the global Passenger Information System market size was 990 million US$ and it is expected to reach 2090 million US$ by the end of 2025, with a CAGR of 11.2% during 2019-2025.

Public transport is one of the most popular mode of transport being used around the world. Installing an onboard video surveillance system is an effective way to secure passengers & drivers and prevent property damage. Thanks to technological advancements, surveillance cameras can now be used to deter criminal activities and help improve operational efficiency for bus operators.

There is great potential for onboard vehicle surveillance systems, demand for high-resolution cameras continue to increase, moving from analog to digital systems to enable more functions

In a bid to provide enhanced safety and security for the rail passengers, a high-level committee of South-Central Railway (SCR) decided to install as many as 218 CCTV cameras in the three main railway stations in Telangana.

In a similar move, to ensure safety of passengers, Delhi government has made it mandatory for public transport vehicles to have CCTV cameras and emergency buttons. Transport vehicles with a seating capacity of over 23 passengers excluding drivers will have CCTV cameras that will relate to global positioning system and GPRS and will be monitored by the local police control room. Such vehicles will also have a panic button.

Another important factor that plays an important role is the telecommunication system that makes railway travel safer, more efficient and more comfortable. Technological advances in optical transmission technologies have enabled converged communications with virtually limitless bandwidth. The railway sector is witnessing a tremendous change in the way it operates owing to recent advances in telecommunication technologies.

India is witnessing the arrival of a new generation of Elevators & Escalators which have been equipped with innovative technologies offering energy efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and ‘smartness’. Moreover, the growth in the construction and infra sectors will provide further impetus to the market. Escalator business is growing in a big way. The Railways alone offers huge potential in the near term as the Ministry has planned to improve amenities in all the railway stations. With these plans, they will require 4,000 escalators by 2020. Metro rail is another segment that has been spurring the growth of escalator business. For eg., there is a requirement for about 1,000 escalators in Metro stations for 2017 alone. The demand is likely to stay robust as every city with a population of 15-20 lakh is expected to build a Metro project. There have been  little over 2,500 escalators installed across Metro stations. With strong order outlook, size of escalator market (annual installations) has the potential to double every year in India

Metro is emerging as key solutions to fulfil demand for urban transportation in India.  As per Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) more than 500kms of Metro rail is under construction across the country. As per industry estimates, there will be a demand of 2000 metro trains in India in the next five years (2015-2020). The Delhi Metro currently operates with a fleet of 227 train sets comprising of 128 six coach, 58 eight coach and 41 four coach trains across all its corridors. A total of 924 coaches have been ordered for the forthcoming phase of Delhi Metro including 504 coaches for the new Phase-III corridors.

Further, new metro systems like Ahmedabad, Vijayawada, Kanpur etc. will release tender in coming months for the procurement of rolling stock.

According to industry estimates, with 15 lakh buses in private sector and 1.5 lakh buses in public sector, India has about 16.5 lakh buses. The bus industry is currently growing at the rate of six to eight per cent every year, adding 50,000 buses per annum. “Buses are going to be the future of public transportation in India, being cheaper and more convenient than both rail and air travel. While South Korea, Japan, China have 70, 30 and six buses respectively per 1,000 persons, we have just 1.5 buses per 1,000 persons. Also, the share of state road transport undertakings (SRTUs) in buses is very low as of now. Buses being the vehicle for the common man, many STRUs are planning to increase the number of buses, which will ultimately lead to growth in the number and the size of bus industry

Currently, there are around 1.6 million registered buses in India, out of which only 170,000 are operated by public bus operators. Only 5,000 buses are operated under PPP model for city bus operation. There is need to increase the supply of buses in Indian cities to develop sustainable public transport. However, the cities should have a larger vision to curb dependence on fossil fuel and reduce CO2 emissions. It is right time that public transport vehicles shift their source of power from diesel to electricity.

The Department of Heavy Industries (DHI) had launched FAME (Faster Adaptation and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles ) in April 2015 to promote manufacturing of electric and hybrid vehicles in India. As a part of the National Electric Mobility Mission Plan, FAME has a corpus of about Rs 8 billion (US$ 123 million) to invest in electric mobility-based initiatives.

Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport (NMMT) has placed an order with Volvo to procure 8400 Hybrid City Bus. Volvo has delivered five buses under this contract to NMMT. The Volvo 8400 Hybrid Bus also complies with the central government’s Faster Adoption & Manufacturing of Electric and hybrid vehicle (FAME) scheme that has helped provide a subsidy of Rs 6.1 million (US$ 100,000) on the total cost of Rs 23 million (US$ 375,000)

Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is procuring 25 Hybrid buses from Tata Motors. Tata Starbus Diesel Series Hybrid Electric Bus can run without the requirement of external charging infrastructures, due to integration of on- board charging, via a BSIV compliant engine & energy storage through advanced Lithium Ion Nano-Phosphate Batteries.

BEST Mumbai has received funding for the retro-fitment of six buses and procurement of 30 seater six electric busses with a range of 210 km. BEST has placed an order for retro-fitment with AV Motors and  Impact Automotive Solutions Limited (a subsidiary of KPIT) with a grant of Rs100 million from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). Further, the corporation has placed an order with BYD-Goldstone and will be used the buses as feeder services to the train and metro stations.

Thane Municipal Transport (TMT) has approved the plan to introduce 100 electric buses on PPP model. The private operator will purchase and operate these buses for 10 year on selected routes. The operator will have the first right to select the routes. TMT banner and the ticket rates will be the same as approved by the Metropolitan Transport Authority.

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