By Prarthana Mitra
Following in the footsteps of several developed nations, India is deliberating on making public transport easier for millions who avail of buses, suburban trains and the subway on a daily basis.
Commuters in India, much like their counterparts in London or Singapore, will soon be able to use different modes of public transport with a single card. Popularly referred to as the “One-nation-one-card” policy, the system may herald a much-needed connectivity to India’s mobility market. In England, for example, every commuter is assigned one card, which can be replenished with credit from time to time, and used to pay fares on the bus, in the metro or on local trains.
Towards a robust mobility system
To build a shared mobility system, improving the travel experience for daily public transport users must be given its due emphasis. Millions of Indian travel the length and breadth of their towns or from cities to villages to earn wages or attend schools and colleges.
“For building a robust mobility ecosystem in the country, it will be important to strike joint venture agreements between the Government and the Industry to build on the infrastructure requirements and to improve the quality of transmission of power of charging stations,” Manoj Kohli, Chairman, CII Task Force on Electric Mobility and Battery Storage and Executive Chairman, SB Energy (SoftBank Group) said.
Amitabh Kant, CEO of Niti Aayog, spoke to Business Standard, saying, “The focus of our mobility strategy is on sustainable modes of public transport, transport oriented planning, digitisation, among others.”
“The objective of the strategy is to plan for the citizens of India first, rather than focussing on vehicles alone, by providing sustainable mobility and accessibility by switching to a cleaner mode of transportation such as electric, ethanol, methanol, CNG, LNG and hydrogen fuel cells,” he further said.
Why it matters
The transport sector around the world is going through some massive disruptions, in terms of shifting to battery storage, autonomous (auto-piloted) vehicles, and encouraging electrification and sustainable fuel to tackle abysmally high levels of vehicular pollution in some of the biggest metropolises. The Indian government has been trying to adopt some of these latest trends in the country’s sprawling public transport system as well, and this single card is the first step towards modernising the existing system.
Prarthana Mitra is a staff writer at Qrius
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