WRI launches ‘Better Bus Challenge’ to improve public transport

It aims to reach out to manufacturers, technology and service providers, mobility entrepreneurs, NGOs, corporations, and transit agencies to co-create solutions in the public bus sector

GN Bureau | April 5, 2018


#Better Bus Challenge   #Public Transport   #Bus   #WRI India   #FedEx  
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In a bid to explore innovations to improve public bus system in India, WRI India Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, on Thursday announced ‘Better Bus Challenge'.  It will be an open for all competition to augment the quality, safety and efficiency of public bus system. The initiative is being supported by transportation company FedEx Express.

Through this platform, WRI aims to reach out to manufacturers, technology and service providers, mobility entrepreneurs, NGOs, corporations, and transit agencies to co-create solutions in the public bus sector, said Madhav Pai, director, Sustainable Cities, WRI India

In a scenario where around 70 million people are dependent on buses for traveling, government-run bus providers play an essential role. Transit agencies, which operate the public bus networks across India, carry more than 60% of the road passengers, competing with alternate mobility solutions that operate on-demand, and can offer greater comfort and service quality.

Highlighting the need and importance of public bus systems in India, Dr OP Agarwal, CEO, WRI India, said, “By 2021, India will need around 650,000 buses to cater to its transit needs. There is a need for decision- makers to broaden their perspective of urban transportation beyond traditional models to identify and implement strategies to meet this ever-growing demand in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly manner.”

The challenge will address one of three categories: Operations Management and Efficiency, New Service Models, and Commuter Experience.  The ‘Better Bus Challenge’ will offer the top three solutions a financial award of USD 50,000 or INR 32,00,000, each.  The cash reward will be supplemented with a year-long mentorship to collaborate with transit agencies to design and implement solutions which cater to the needs of cities.  Champions in the transit agencies will manage the year-long demonstration projects, and help measure their impact with the support from WRI India Ross Center.

FedEx and WRI India Ross Center have worked together in improving public transportation over for past seven years. The collaboration has helped nearly five million daily transit users, trained more than 9,000 transit professionals, and reduced 63,908 tons of CO2 emissions.

FedEx support for this project is part of the FedEx Cares initiative, under which FedEx has committed to invest $200 million in more than 200 communities by 2020 to create opportunities and deliver positive change around the world.
 

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