Mobility flows have become key to the dynamics of the rapid urbanisation process of Indian cities. Despite the increasing levels of urban mobility, access to places, activities and services is becoming increasingly difficult in terms of convenience, cost and time. In fact, urban mobility is characterised by high levels of congestion, environmental pollution, traffic fatalities and inequity.
The high prices of private transport and the lack of public transit options forces lower income groups of the urban population to walk or cycle increasingly long distances, and, consequently, suffer severe air pollution. As Indian cities continue to sprawl outward, economically weaker groups are forced to move away from central areas, and are cut off from employment, recreational, educational, medical and other activity sites they would need to access.
Sustainable transport systems make a positive contribution to the environmental, social and economic sustainability of communities. People quickly take up the opportunities offered by increased mobility with poor households benefiting greatly from low carbon transport options. The advantages of increased mobility need to be weighed against the environmental, social and economic costs that transport systems pose.
Planning and implementation of a sustainable urban transport system is improved in selected Indian cities.
The Integrated Sustainable Urban Transport Systems for Smart Cities (SMART-SUT) project follows a multi-level, multi-actor approach, strengthening actors at national, state and municipal levels. At the national level, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), which is the lead executing agency, is
supporting national level frameworks such as Mobility as a Service (MaaS), frameworks for capacity building and training initiatives in Urban Transport etc. At the state level, various campaigns have been designed to make people and institutions aware about the need of sustainable transports. Only few such initiatives are increasing safety for women in public transport and ensure safe travel for school children. Also administrative institutions are empowered and supported in optimising structures and capacities for the strategic management of local urban transport development. At the local level, the project supports municipalities and city transport agencies to implement integrated sustainable projects for urban transport.
In the partner cities such as Kochi, Bhubaneswar and Coimbatore, the GFA consulting GmbH-World resource institute India- Wuppertal Institut consortium supports the implementation of the project at local level over the entire term of the project
The project supported the MoHUA during the Urban Mobility India Conference for the years 2018 and 2019 as a knowledge partner. More than 1,000 transport experts attended conferences in 2018 and 2019. Moreover, the project invited international speakers for knowledge exchange with Indian national experts and organised Hackathons, where various young planners participated to deliver data related results for better sustainable urban transport systems.
With continuous support of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH Capital Region Urban Transport Bhubaneswar (CRUT) could enhance their capacity and the development of the organisation has achieved an average ridership of 100,000 people in less than one year.