The action continued, on the second day of Prawaas 2019, India’s most definitive conference on passenger mobility.  The penultimate day of the event powered on with with greater numbers of sessions, speakers and participants.

The highlight of the day included the BOCI Excellence Awards ceremony which was attended by a packed house. The awards recognized extraordinary contribution in various categories for promoting best practices, showcasing achievements and encouraging innovation. Individuals and companies that redefined the paradigms of passenger mobility were felicitated.   

Shri Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Government of India addressed the delegates on day two of Prawaas 2019.

The session about Stage Operations and its changing role has eminent speakers articulate the changing paradigms of public transport. Mr. Jalaj Gupta, Head Sales Global Buses Ashok Leyland said,” Government, OEMs, Operators and aggregators are the 4 stakeholders playing important role in transportation sector. Government must play important roles in basic things like implementation of bus body code or uniform implementation of AS153. So, the code must apply to OEMs as it should to bus body builder.”

An interesting Session on School bus challenges, chaired by Mr. Siddiq Gandhi, Vice President BOCI had panelists like Mr. Sanjay Kumar, Head Marketing (BUS) Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles Ltd., Mr. S N Dhole, Scientist C, Vehicle Certification Safety & Homologation Division, CIRT, and Ms. Kalpana Dwivedi, Principal St. Joseph CBSE, Panvel among others. They spoke about the opportunities in running school buses as against challenges. One of the key concern is safety and everyone needs to treat it like a state of mind more than just a gadget on the vehicle. The authorities have introduced guidelines to ensure children’s safety, the buses must be fitted with features like Panic Button, Tracking System and cameras that can be monitored. AIS143 is an eye opener, which will increase safety however this will increase initial cost.

 YUVA BOCI was one of the most sought-after sessions in this edition of Prawaas. The session encompassed the spirit of BOCI in the next gen mobility solutions. The new age entrepreneurs working towards easing commuters pain and solving day to day problems that would help take the public transport to the next level. Host of startups presented out of box solutions on Accessibility and Inclusivity, Sustainability and Carbon Footprint, e-mobility solutions and use of innovative technology such as IoT in transport.

The session on Public Private Partnership in Delivering Bus Transport was chaired by Mr. SK Lohia, Managing Director, IRSDCL. The panelists included Mr. Shashi Verma, Chief Technology Officer and

Director of Customer Experience, Transport for London, Mr. Gerard Ollivier, Lead Transport Specialist, The World Bank, Mr. Shivanand Swamy, Executive Director, Centre of Excellence in Urban Transport, Research & Development Foundation among others. The audience were in rapt attention while the panelist discussed the important roles Government, OEMs and Operators and aggregators play in forming an ecosystem for seamless passenger connectivity and mobility.  

“The most effective cities in urban mobility like Singapore, Paris or Hong Kong, leverage buses for 30 to 54 percent of their public transport trips, as a core component of their mobility system,” mentions Gerald Ollivier, Lead Transport Specialist for the World Bank. “They design services that are frequent, reliable, simple to understand, service all and are cost effective like in London. With backing of clear laws at state or local level, clear planning and funding responsibility can be established, like in Lyon with the use of a metropolitan level agency, Systral. Since fare-based revenues typically only cover part of bus operating costs, their authorities need to create non-fare based revenues and subsidies to supplement those, reflecting the positive impact of bus services on overall mobility. For India, such experience can be helpful in upgrading urban bus services by combining a clear vision for mobility backed by law, institutions with clear planning, funding and performance monitoring responsibilities, and balanced contracting with private operators backed by secured funding and key performance indicators monitored through IT systems.”

One of the topical issues on Shared mobility: A game changer or trouble maker? was chaired by Ms. Shreya Gadepalli, Director South Asia, ITDP and the panel included Mr. Ashish Kumar Singh (IAS) Principal Secretary, Transport & Ports, Maharashtra, Mr. Ramnath Subramaniam, Executive Director, Maha Metro Rail Ltd and Ms. Iravati Damle, Head Public Policy, Uber among others. The panel discussed various aspects of shared mobility. The panel pointed that shared mobility is the ultimate solution to increasing congestion and pollution in our cities today. The policy needs to address taxation in a way that shared mobility is economical and affordable thereby reducing the need for personal vehicles. Good infrastructure and safety are also some of the key concerns that become prohibitive to shared mobility.                 

The session on Role of mobility in promoting tourism was chaired by Mr. Kanwarjit Singh Sawhney, Managing Director, Bakshi Transport Service (P) Limited and Mr. Radhakrishna Holla, Chief Executive Officer, Cauvery Cars, Bengaluru. The panel included Shri. Abhimanyu R. Kale, Managing Director Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation Ltd and Mr. Mr. Jenu Devan, IAS, Managing Director & Commissioner of Tourism, Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Ltd. The panel iterated that mobility plays a crucial role in tourism promotion. In a country like ours, which is richly endowed with culture and heritage, tourism has largely underperformed due to inadequate connectivity. Ensuring safe and secure transport would positively impact tourism both from within the country as well as foreign tourists. The government and private operators must come together to make tourism viable through better mobility options. 

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