Scholarly article on topic 'Institutional and Financial Strengthening of Intermediate Public Transport Services in Indian Cities'

Institutional and Financial Strengthening of Intermediate Public Transport Services in Indian Cities Academic research paper on "Economics and business"

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Transportation Research Procedia
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{"Intermediate Public Transport" / mobility / "Intelligent Transport System" / "socio- economic stability" / "special purpose vehicle"}

Abstract of research paper on Economics and business, author of scientific article — Anindita Ghosh, Kanika Kalra

Abstract Within the urban transport framework, Intermediate Public Transport (IPT) like 3 wheelers auto rickshaws, tempos and Tata Magic caters to the daily urban trips in Indian cities. In the absence of an organized city bus service they provide an alternative mode of travel and where public transport is available, they act as a feeder to the system. However, due to the unorganized nature of this sector, it faces many challenges and is often neglected by policy and decision makers of the cities. None of the recent policy initiatives in India like National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP) 2006 and National Urban Renewal Mission focuses on IPT vehicles and its improvements. The recent recommendations of the working group on urban transport, both for the 12th Five Year Plan and the National Transport Development Policy Committee stresses the need to improve the IPT services as these vehicles have a potential of providing clean mobility and low emissions solutions. This paper focuses on the important role of IPT, major challenges faced by this sector and suggest solutions to organize and regularize the system in Indian cities.

Academic research paper on topic "Institutional and Financial Strengthening of Intermediate Public Transport Services in Indian Cities"

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Transportation Research Procedía 14 (2016) 263 - 272


6th Transport Research Arena April 18-21, 2016

Institutional and financial strengthening of intermediate public transport services in Indian cities

Anindita Ghosh a,*7 Kanika Kalra b

aUrban Transport Planner, Institute of Urban Transpor(India), Delhi 110092,India bUrban Tranpsort Expert, Institute of Urban Transport(India), Delhi 110092, India


Within the urban transport framework, Intermediate Public Transport (IPT) like 3 wheelers auto rickshaws, tempos and Tata Magic caters to the daily urban trips in Indian cities. In the absence of an organized city bus service they provide an alternative mode of travel and where public transport is available, they act as a feeder to the system. However, due to the unorganized nature of this sector, it faces many challenges and is often neglected by policy and decision makers of the cities. None of the recent policy initiatives in India like National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP) 2006 and National Urban Renewal Mission focuses on IPT vehicles and its improvements. The recent recommendations of the working group on urban transport, both for the 12th Five Year Plan and the National Transport Development Policy Committee stresses the need to improve the IPT services as these vehicles have a potential of providing clean mobility and low emissions solutions. This paper focuses on the important role of IPT, major challenges faced by this sector and suggest solutions to organize and regularize the system in Indian cities.

© 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of Road and Bridge Research Institute (IBDiM)

Keywords: Intermediate Public Transport ; mobility ; Intelligent Transport System ; socio- economic stability ; special purpose vehicle

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +91-8373971537; fax: +011-66578733. E-mail address: aninditagh\

2352-1465 © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of Road and Bridge Research Institute (IBDiM) doi:10.1016/j.trpro.2016.05.063

1. Introduction

India is experiencing rapid urbanization and motorization. While the urban population is growing at a rate of 3.16% per year, motor vehicles are growing at a rate of 9%. (Sharma. Jain, and Singh, 2011). In the absence of an organized city bus service, the gap is being filled by intermediate public transport (IPT) modes like 3-wheelers autorickshaws, Tempos and Tata magic etc which provide public transport services (India Transport Report- Moving India to 2032, 2014). Based on Study by the Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India (MoUD) in 2008, it is noted that due to deteriorating quality of Public Transport (PT) commuters from middle and high-income groups are switching over to private vehicles and the urban poor prefer to use IPT as an alternative mode to fulfill their travel needs.

The same study by MoUD reveals that para transit index (number of IPT vehicles per 10,000 population) is higher in cities without public transport and lower in cities with public transport. Also further study done by World Resource Institute (WRI), Sustainable Urban Transportation Policy has estimated that Tier I cities (population greater than 4 million) and tier II cities (population between 1- 4 million) have 4 to 16 IPT vehicles serving every 1,000 people, which implies that a significant number of people in Indian cities rely on IPT services for most of their trips. Very limited studies and research have been done in this sector.

Apart from this, review of the recent policy initiatives at the Central Government level in India- National Urban Transport Policy 2006 (policy level document in urban transport with major focus on moving people rather than vehicles in order to make Indian Cities more livable and guiding Central financial assistance towards improving mobility), National Urban Renewal Mission (scheme launched by MoUD for a period of seven years 2005- 2012 with the focus on improving quality of life and infrastructure facilities in 65 cities of India) etc does not focus on IPT vehicles and its improvements. However, the recent recommendations of the working group on urban transport, both for the 12th Five Year Plan (Five Year Plans is monitored by Planning Commission, which determine the allocation of central resource assistance for states in the concept of planning of the various infrastructural sectors) and the National Transport Development Policy Committee (High-Power Expert Level Committee on Urban Transport formed in 2010 by MoUD to recommend the prioritization of investment in the transport sector) stresses the need to improve the IPT Services as these vehicles have a potential of providing clean mobility and low emissions solutions. Therefore the paper focuses on identifying the major role of IPT, challenges faced by this sector and suggest solutions/recommendations to organize and regulate the system in Indian cities.

2. Concept of Intermediate Public Transport

The concept of Intermediate public transport (IPT) differs in the context of developed and developing countries. In developed countries, IPT is often used as a demand responsive system such as shared-ride taxis and dial-a-ride services. In case of developing countries, lower standard of living, high population density and easy availability of cheap labour force have together provided a variety of transport modes fulfilling the gap between public transport and private vehicles. Depending on a city's size and transport characteristics, IPT modes may fall under two broad categories: (1) contract carriage services, which are flexible demand-based services where the passenger determines the destination, and (2) informal public transport (mini bus like) services, characterized by fixed-route services with intermediate stops for boarding and alighting. Both kinds of services exist in India.

This sector faces tremendous challenges in Indian cities due to un-regularized nature of operations. Case studies from the developing countries like Kombis (minibus taxis) of South Africa, the IPT system of Indonesia, Dolmus of Turkey, G-Auto of Ahmedabad (India) and Ecocabs of Fazilka (India) etc, have been studied, to understand the initiatives undertaken by these cities to improve and upgrade the IPT services. All the case studies indicate that the key ingredients for a sustainable IPT system are- (i) Strong regulatory authority fixing the routes, fares, operation regulations, (ii) Provision of proper infrastructural facilities like parking areas, stands, separate lanes etc, (iii) Provision of financial and social benefits to drivers through various government schemes and (iv) Usage of modern technologies like Intelligent Transport System (ITS) and GPS to organize the system.

3. Methodology of Study

The study was conducted broadly in three stages, i.e., literature review, field visit and data collection followed by suggestions for improvements in the IPT sector. The literature review stage included identifying the challenges faced by the IPT sector in Indian and world cities and the measures or initiatives taken by these cities to organise the system. This stage also included preparation of structured questionnaires for data collection from the stakeholders like Regional Transport Officer (RTO), Traffic Police, Operators and the Users. The questionnaires included questions relating to the operation, maintenance of IPT vehicles, socio economic conditions of drivers and opinions of users, so that the existing conditions in cities could be gauged. The second stage included field visit of 19 Indian cities across the country, selected based on different population size and regional spread (Refer Table 1) to understand the existing ground conditions. Discussion on the questionnaire was done with more than 30 city officials (RTO and Traffic Police) and primary survey of more than 1,900 drivers. The sample size for primary survey was based on random sampling, and about 0.1%-1.0% of the operators and users was interviewed, depending on the total number of registered IPT vehicles in each city. Final stage of field visit included analysis of collected data from all 19 cities based on the three categories of population size given in Table 1 below. The discussions with the stakeholders led to an understanding of the existing system and identification of gaps and problems in the sector. Final stage of study included suggesting recommendations for improving the system. The study is only limited to the three wheeler auto rickshaws, Vikrams/ Tempos (local term for 6-8 seater auto rickshaws in India) and the Tata Magic (4 wheeler IPT vehicles with 8 seating capacity) due to the paucity of time and resources.

Table 1. List of cities selected for study along with population size.

Category of cities Population size Number of cities Name of the city

(in millions)

1 (Small) 0.5-1.0 5 Guwahati, Chandigarh, Jammu, Alwar, Kochi

2 (Medium) 1.0-2.0 6 Bhopal, Indore, Ghaziabad, Jodhpur, Ranchi, Amritsar

3 (Large) > 2.0 8 Lucknow, Kanpur, Surat, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore

4. Existing IPT Scenario in Indian Cities

Based on the discussion on the questionnaire and data analysis of the 19 cities collected from the stakeholders regarding the system the following conclusions could be drawn.

4.1. IPT index

The survey analysis indicates that there is no clear cut co-relation between the city size in terms of population and number of IPT vehicles. The highest of approximately 1500- 2000 IPT vehicles per lakh population is found in case of Surat, Bangalore and Amritsar and the lowest of approximately 200 -250 IPT vehicles per lakh population in cities of Kolkata, Lucknow, Alwar and Jammu.

4.2. Role of IPT in Indian cities

In Indian cities the key role played by IPT are of two types i.e, In smaller and medium size cities like Alwar, Amritsar etc , it plays a dominant mode of public transport and in larger cities namely Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Ahmedabad, IPT acts as a feeder to the main mode of public transport like metro, BRT, suburban rail etc.

4.3. Policy/Acts and rules

The existing National Transport Policy 2006 does not focus explicitly on the role of IPT in Indian cities. Also the existing Central Motor Vehicle Act 1988 (act of the Indian Parliament which regulates all aspects of road transport

vehicles.) and the State Motor Vehicle Rules (legal instruments for the conduct of road traffic in various states of India ) do not focus on the role and the responsibilities of institutions for the enforcement of rules and regulations related to IPT. It only identifies the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) as the registering authority for all IPT vehicles. In the absence of regulatory measures, the IPT sector faces several adverse impacts like road traffic accidents, increased air pollution, rash driving practices etc.

4.4. Composition of IPT

From the primary survey it is observed that the predominant type of IPT vehicles across Indian cities are 3 seater auto rickshaws (60%) followed by Tata Magic 24%, in many cities like Delhi, Bhopal, Indore, Alwar. Tempos/Vikram constitutes only 16%.

4.5. Vehicle technology and fuel type

The city size does not have a bearing on the type or specifications of IPT vehicles. Primary survey indicates 64% of the vehicle across Indian cities is 4-stroke and 2 stroke accounts for only 36% of the total IPT vehicles. 2 stroke vehicle types are mostly found in category 1 and 2 size (small and medium) cities due to their lower capital and maintenance cost, whereas advanced 4 stroke vehicles are mostly found in big cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore etc. No age limit for usage has been fixed by the Government for the IPT vehicles. Therefore cities still continue to use the obsolete technology in vehicles leading to greater levels of pollution. About 60% of the IPT vehicles in cities use CNG/LPG as the dominant fuel type and the rest use blend of diesel and petrol.

4.6. Permits

In India the regulatory authorities for IPT is the RTA, which issues permits and licenses to the drivers. The Traffic Police is responsible for regulating the traffic including the IPT modes on roads. The permit system in India is observed to be of two types (1) open permit system, with no cap on the number of permits issued, like in case of Surat and (2) closed permit system, where there is a cap on permits, like Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi etc.

4.7. Lack of ownership / institution for IPT vehicles

This sector is considered to be unorganised and completely privately owned. Therefore, no recognition is given by the government in organising the system like improving the fleet, financing the vehicles and improving the working and social conditions of the drivers.

4.8. Routes

The routes of the 3 seater auto rickshaws (80%) are generally not fixed for operation by the RTA, except in the case of Guwahati and Kolkata. In case of vikrams /tempos (70%) routes are mostly fixed by the unions and the drivers themselves. It is also observed that drivers often prefer to drive in the most profitable routes of the city, as a result service coverage in other parts of the city are found to be poor. Lack of proper route rationalization often results in greater competition between drivers, rash driving practices and inappropriate distribution of services in the city.

4.9. Fare fixation

Primary Survey suggests that there are no fixed rules for fixation of fares. In case of the 3seater auto rickshaws the fares are fixed by the RTA on the basis of Government notification. 70% of the cities do not have fixed fare system, the fares are decided by the unions and the drivers themselves.It is also noted that due to lack of standardized analytical framework for fare determination, implementation and revision, there is overcharging by drivers and conflicts between drivers, union's, commuters and authorities.

4.10. Infrastructure facilities

In most cities, adequate number of IPT stands, interchange and parking facilities for the vehicles are not provided. As a result, these vehicles queue along roadside leading to congestion, especially near the junctions. In some cities like Jodhpur and Ahmedabad, though stands have been notified by the Nagar Nigam( local term for Muncipal Council) and Municipal Corporation, due to lack of enforcement the stands and interchange facilities are often encroached by the hawkers. Other infrastructures like gas stations, registered repair shops, rest rooms and shelters for drivers are also not provided.

4.11. Use of intelligent transport system in vehicles

IPT, unlike cabs and private vehicles, do not use modern technologies like GPS, panic button, etc. However, it is only recently that Delhi has started the process of installation of GPS on auto rickshaws, and city of Ahmedabad (G- Auto) with only few auto rickshaws having installed GPS for vehicle tracking etc. As a result, these vehicles are usually concentrated in a place where the probability of getting passengers is the highest. IPT is not considered as a safe mean of transport especially for the females and elderly people as the vehicles cannot be tracked and the drivers often charge illegally as there is no fixed meter system in most cities.

4.12. Financing of IPT vehicles

Most of the drivers take the vehicles on rent from their owners as they are financially weak and the process of getting loans is not favourable for them. In the absence of easy loans from nationalised bank, most (about 75%) of the drivers, according to survey, resort to the private bank's and money lenders for funding or take the vehicle on rent for operations.

4.13. Socio-economic condition of the drivers

From the survey, it was observed that about two- thirds of the drivers working in this sector have only completed primary education.Most of the drivers (70%) did not own the vehicle and were operating them on rent. The average rent paid per day by a 3 seater auto rickshaw driver is Rs 250 and Rs 650 for Tata Magic/ Vikrams. The average kilometres driven by the drivers in cities are approximately 100 kilometres and the average ridership is 45passengers/day.The revenue earned by drivers per month is given in Table 2. Nearly 25% of the earnings of a driver go for payment of rent. Considering the expenses incurred by a driver on daily maintenance, fuel and rent etc the average monthly earning is Rs 7,000 per month (Refer, Table 2).This has a significant impact on the financial status and overall well being of the drivers. In some cases the earning is even lower than the minimum wages specified by the various States Labour Departments. Thus it leads to greater economic instability among drivers and his family.

Table 2. Total earnings / month by drivers-general & shared services.


Average Earning/ month after rent deduction (Rs)

Average Average of other expenses Average Fuel Total

Maintenance cost ( membership fees to cost/ month (Rs) Savings /

/ month(Rs) unions etc)/month (Rs) month (Rs)

a. General Services(3 seater autos)

Earning without rent 17,000 1,700

Earning with rent 12,500 1,700

b. Shuttle Services / Shared Services(tempos/vikrams) Earning without rent 19,500 1,300 Earning with rent 15,000 1,300

300 300

300 300

6,500 6,500

7,800 7,800

8,500 4000

10,100 5,600

This sector being unorganised, it is very rare that drivers get any social benefits like training, insurance, medical facilities, pension, education, etc from the Government. Also to earn their daily wages and to cover the operating expenses the IPT drivers work for more than twelve hours a day which leads to weakness, tiredness and thus unsafe driving practices.

4.14. Users perspective

From the survey, it is found that the average distance travelled by passengers is approximately 5.5 kms. Some of the major issues faced by the users are, high fares being charged by the operators, absence of dedicated IPT stands and parking areas which, often leads to chaos and congestion on roads, overloading in case of shared services, safety and security issues, especially for female and elderly users due to non-availability of vehicles at night.

A preference survey was done for the drivers and users regarding the improvement of the system. About 80% of the users and drivers are of the opinion that improvements should be made to upgrade the system. Hence there is a need for improvements in the sector before it becomes too late.

5. Recommendations

Recommendations and suggestions to solve the challenges may be grouped into 4 major heads (i) Policy and Regulatory Framework,(ii)Infrastructural Facilities(iii) Technological up gradations (iv)Socio-economic stability of drivers.

5.1. Policy and regulatory framework

As discussed in the earlier sections the lack of proper policy, Acts and rules by Central and State Governments leads to un-regulated IPT services in cities. Therefore, a good policy and regulatory framework would help in solving the problem to some extent. An initiative taken in South Africa for developing a good policy and regulatory framework for organizing the IPT system called the Kombis (minibus) is a good example. Several policy levels interventions like amendment of the Transportation Act, issue of permits, routes etc were taken to improve and upgrade the IPT services in South Africa.

5.1.1. Policy

The role of IPT needs to be clearly defined in the National Urban Transport Policy, 2006 (NUTP) as suggested (i) In cities where there is no proper network of public transport like Bus, Metro, and Rail, the IPT should act as a feeder to the main modes, (ii) In case of cities where public transport is completely absent, the IPT can act as a main mode till a suitable PT option is developed for the city, (iii) In cities where the PT system has a skeletal framework, the IPT should act as a complementary mode in only those areas of the cities where public transport supply is not available and in other areas it acts as the feeder to main PT services.

5.1.2. Acts and rules

There is a need for the review of the Central and State Motor Vehicles Acts and Rules. Some of the features that can be included in the central and state Acts and rules are the roles and responsibilities of various institutions, standard clauses for the State Motor Vehicles Rules relating to issue and cap on permits, fares etc.

5.1.3. Institution for IPT

In order to solve most of the challenges faced by this sector in cities, the IPT services should be organized under an umbrella of an existing Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) or a new SPV may be set up, in case there does not exist any (consisting of staff taken on deputation from the government, representatives from the RTA, Municipal Corporation, Traffic Police and others recruited from the open market as per the required skills) to ease the Government from heavy financial burden. To ensure good quality of service, operations of vehicles can be done on Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis. The SPV, while selecting the operator, can specify the number of permits, routes, fares, technology etc for the system. Recently this kind of initiative has been taken by Atal Indore City Transport Services Ltd, Indore (India) an SPV was set up to operate and manage the public transport system on PPP. This SPV apart from running the city buses also provides auto rickshaw as last mile connectivity to commuters.

5.1.4. Permits

In order to bring consistency in the issuance of the number of permits and to stop the illegal growth of these IPT vehicles there is a need to fix the same. Table 3 below giving details about the number of permits is based on the assumption of the kind of public transport existing in Indian cities. This would ensure that the supply of IPT vehicle meets the demand and at the same time controls over supply, so as to check unhealthy competition and congestion on the streets.

Table 3. Number of permits to be issued under various scenarios.

SL. No


As % of the seating capacity of the bus #

Tempos or Tata Magic (8 seater) / lakh population

Auto rickshaws (3 seater) / lakh population

A. Medium and small size cities

i. Absence of Public transport 100 %

ii. Presence of a skeletal form of Public 25%-70% transport

iii. Presence of Public transport (acting as 23% feeder services)

B. Megacities more than 4 million population

i. Presence of Public transport (acting as 23% ##

feeder services)

200 approx 50-140 approx

50 approx

500 approx 125- 350 approx

120 approx

140 approx


Seating capacity of standard bus in India is assumed to be 40 passengers per bus and a minimum of 40 buses is required as per lakh population.

Source: Transforming City Bus Transport in India through Financial Assistance for Bus Procurement under JnNURM ##23% of users use IPT as a feeder to main mode. Source: Business plan for operations of feeder services DMRC (2009)

5.1.5. Route rationalization

Based on findings of the primary study following are the three options that can be used for route rationalization although drivers continue to drive in those routes that are profitable to them. (i) Modification of the existing routes in order to delete maximum overlaps and competition, so as to help in bringing efficiency and reliability in the system for commuters and reducing competition leading to better earning amongst drivers. Such type of initiatives has been taken in organizing the IPT system in Turkey called Dolmus, Fast buses in Dakar (Senegal), (ii) Route wise permit fee variation for the IPT services, to incentivize the drivers with poor financial conditions. Higher the demand of a route more could be the permit fee and vice versa. Permit fee can thus be fixed as per Table 4 and (iii) Clubbing the profitable routes with the non profitable routes and developing a cluster system in which operations for certain routes are tendered to private operators, so that every operator in its own cluster has both the routes to equalize the variation in earning. This kind of initiative has been recently implemented for cluster based bus system in Delhi for providing efficient city bus service. All these methods would be possible only if an SPV is set up to regularize IPT operations.

5.2. Infrastructure facilities

Lack of proper infrastructural facilities and the problem of IPT vehicles queuing on roadside could be solved by following measures like halt and go facilities to be developed along roadside and interchange points at bus stands and metro stations, as have been created in Delhi near the bus stations or metro stations. Similar initiatives have been taken to improve the service of Daladalas (minibus) in Tanzania. Secondly, parking areas should be identified for the drivers to safely park their vehicle at night on payment basis. The same area should also be provided with common repair and maintenance facilities. Such initiatives are taken by cities of Indonesia to reduce chaos on roads. Thirdly, creation of new auto stands with various amenities like rest shelters, drinking water and toilet facilities to improve the working conditions of drivers. Such an initiative is taken in Fazilka a small town in Haryana (India) Also setting up of gas stations is necessary for vehicle refuelling. Lastly, strict enforcement measures should be taken by Traffic Police for stopping and halting of IPT vehicles near intersections, as in case of Daladalas in Tanzania.

Table 4. Estimated route permit fees*.

Description Less profitable routes fee (Rs) Average (Rs) Profitable routes fee (Rs)

Earning /day by drivers(30 working days) 200 600 1000

Earning over 5 years by drivers 3,60,000 10,80,000 18,00,000

Ratio of permit fees 1 2.5 5

Price of the 5 years permit 200 500 1,000

*For implementation if the amount is considered to be too less, then the fees can be reviewed based on the price index.

5.3. Technological up gradations

In order to solve the problem of outdated technology leading to increased pollution level and to meet emission

standards and for improving operations and reliability of the system the following suggestions are given:

• In order to replace the old polluting vehicles plying on the roads, the government needs to provide financial incentives to drivers such as sales tax exemption, interest subsidy on loans, for retrofitting the existing vehicles with latest technologies. Few cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, etc have already taken the lead in this regard. Also financial and technological initiatives were taken by several other cities of world e.g. Fast Buses in Dakar(Senegal) and Daladalas in Tanzania .

• Measures should be put in place for the creation of a single nodal agency specifying the standards and norms for the vehicles as well as emissions. State governments should restrict the age of IPT vehicles to a maximum of 8 years, so that it runs in good condition.

• Setting up of more CNG/LPG stations and research into alternative fuel and vehicle technology.

• For improving efficiency in operations, the various components of ITS that can be implemented are - installation of GPS on vehicles so that the IPT vehicles are not concentrated in one area only, panic button, "hired/vacant" status panel, security camera and smart-card reader for fare collection. Apart from this a Traffic Management Centre should be set up on PPP basis, to monitor the movement and dispatch of vehicles. Alternatively, the existing control room for the public transport system in the city can also be integrated with the IPT vehicles. A new initiative by G autos of Ahmedabad, India has started where ITS technology like GPS is installed on vehicles for tracking. Also a control room has been set up to manage fleet operation.

• For installation of the ITS devises on existing vehicles, subsidy may be provided by government to the owners of these vehicles to partially meet the cost of GPS/GPRS. Similar initiates have been taken by Delhi Government where drivers have to install GPS in the vehicles in order to get their fitness certificate. Also G -Auto rickshaws of Ahmedabad have installed GPS/GPRS.

• Ride sharing app for IPT needs to be developed for providing the last mile connectivity to commuters. Such an app for IPT services have recently started in Delhi, where the vehicles are organised under an umbrella body Ola (private radio taxi service) and commuters can book their IPT vehicles through the Ola app which is becoming popular day by day.

5.4. Socio-economic stability of drivers

In order to bring economic stability to drivers the following recommendations are made:

• Maintenance cost can be lowered by providing the drivers a shared repair workshop along with a proper training to do the basic repairs, so that every time for minor repair work the drivers do not have to go to the private workshops.

• In order to increase the income of the drivers, options like advertisements, renting of the vehicles for rallies, to schools, to the tourism department etc can be explored.

• In order to solve the problem of financing the IPT vehicles for the drivers, the most appropriate option would be institutionalizing the services under the umbrella of an SPV (as in case of Indore) or tendering the operations of the vehicles on PPP. The drivers can form a consortium and bid for the services. The finances would be much

more easily available to the consortium as compared to individual drivers, as they will be known by the SPV/ government, therefore the system would continue to work regularly and provide economic stability to drivers.

As stated earlier, the average earnings of an IPT driver are less than Rs 7,000 per month. The Minimum Wages Act, 1948 of the Indian Government has stipulated an average monthly wages of a semi skilled labour to be approximately Rs 9,000. The existing earnings of an IPT driver are much lower. If the minimum wages are considered as the earning after excluding the other expenses like maintenance cost, fuel cost etc, the expected fare per kilometer works out to be much higher when compared to expected fare per kilometer when financing is available for the IPT drivers under the SPV (Table 5). It therefore calls for revision of fare in most of the cities as is done in case of Dolmus in Turkey. Also, this fare would need to be reviewed periodically - say quarterly or biannually to reflect the changes in fuel price or wage rate.

In order to avail the social benefits like finance, education, medical facilities etc, IPT Unions should make aware the drivers about various schemes of the Government like Janta Personal Accident Insurance, Swavalamban Pension Scheme and Sarva Siksha Abhiyan etc. Providing social benefits and drivers training is also proved to be an important measure in cities of Ahmedabad, South Africa and Tanzania

Table 5. Per Kilometer expected fare with and without SPV funding (based on 2013-2014 prices).

Sl.No. Heads Autos (General Service) without SPV funding (Rs) Tempos/Vikrams / Tata Magic (Shared Service) without SPV funding (Rs) Autos (General Service) with SPV funding (Rs) Tempos/Vikrams / Tata Magic (Shared Service) with SPV funding (Rs)

1. Total Earnings 24,000 35,300 20,000 24,000

2 Cost per kilometer 5.8 1.7 4.2 0.9

3 Earnings per kilometer 3.5 0.6 3.5 0.6

4 Fare per kilometer 9.2 2.3 7.7 1.5

6. Conclusion and Way Forward

Use of IPT is extensive in Indian cities and it plays an important role in providing mobility at low cost. However, in spite of the important role that it plays there are various challenges related to the sector. In order to address the challenges, developing a policy and regulatory framework, technological and infrastructural up gradations etc would go a long way to improve the system. A framework for implementation of various recommendations by the concerned agencies is given in Table 6.

Table 6. Proposed implementation framework.

Sl. No Recommendations for improvement Implementing Bodies

1. Policy and regulatory body

a. Policy Central Government

b. Acts and Rules Central and State Government Transport Department

c. Institution for IPT SPV for cities urban transport

d. Permits Regional Transport Office and SPV

e. Route Rationalization SPV

2. Infrastructural facilities

a. Provision of IPT stands, parking areas , gas stations etc Municipal Corporation/ Municipal Council of cities

b. Enforcement City Traffic Police

3. Technological up gradations SPV

4. Economic & Social Benefits like fare fixation , medical facilities etc SPV

It would be seen from Table 6, that the SPV plays an important role in this system ranging from routes rationalization, fare fixation to providing socio economic benefits to drivers. In order to solve most of the problems faced by this sector organizing the IPT under the umbrella of an SPV is important. Creating a stakeholders group with representatives from the government, Municipal Corporation, RTA, Traffic Police, Auto Unions and other staffs would help to develop the sector more sustainable (economically, socially and environmentally) rather than tackling each of these recommendations separately.


The authors would like to extend their gratitude and sincere thanks to Mr. O.P Agarwal, Mr. B.I.Singal (Former Director General, IUT) and the entire team of Institute of Urban Transport (India) for their constant guidance and support who have been very important source of inspiration and mentor for the conduct of this study. The author's would also like to thank all the stakeholders (RTOs, Traffic Police, Auto Unions /drivers, and User's of concerned cities) for their constant cooperation and assistance in providing information as well as granting in-person interviews.


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