“Talking Transit” workshop catalyzes commitment for new bus services for Gurgaon, India
“When we plan a city, the plans are usually restricted to land-use. But we need to move beyond land-use. What’s more important is how to move people” –Vikas Gupta, Municipal Commissioner of Gurgaon, India
Vikas Gupta, the Commissioner of the city of Gurgaon, spoke at the opening session of Talking Transit, a bi-annual workshop for city bus transport agencies in India, highlighting the importance of public transport within city planning. Beyond his point on people-centric transportation he also added that it is important to educate the public about high-quality, sustainable transport in order to increase ridership and reduce dependence on private vehicles.
As a result of the workshop, Gurgaon’s administration committed to setting up a special agency to roll out a new bus service for the city. When implemented, this bus service will benefit hundreds of thousands of people who currently depend on auto-rickshaws and skeletal bus services run by the state of Haryana for public transport.
Former Gurgaon Commissioner, Rajendra Kataria, spoke from his experience in the city administration and drew examples from cities in Karnataka where he now leads the state transport agency, KSRTC. Using the example of Mysore, he said, “We need to create systems that attract, rather than discourage users. The brand image of a city bus system should also be considered”. Kataria also commended Mysore’s use of advanced intelligent transport systems (ITS) for monitoring and evaluating its operations, which have improved services and increased ridership.
Talking Transit, from the EMBARQ India sustainable urban mobility initiative of WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, was held on 2-3 July 2015, bringing together national experts to design a new bus service for the city of Gurgaon. The workshop was held in collaboration with the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG), and was attended by close to 80 people from Mumbai, Bangalore, Bhopal, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Pune, Chandigarh, and Indore.
More resources can be found in “Bus Karo 2.0: Case Studies from India” which outlined significant advancements in bus transport in India. The guide includes examples of pilots and case studies to assess the successes and challenges of projects around the country, and will be a key resource at the event.
You can also read a recap of the event on Storify.