Government of India has taken many initiatives to reform in the recent past, including Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, Good & Service Tax (GST) and Demonetization. These reforms have greater impact on the transportation sector in the transportation sector. The operators will need to think about future strategies & goals in the changing environment. Panel Discussion on Key Reforms in Indian Transportation Sector & Liberalization of Public Transport Policy was organised at ASRTU ICEPTI 2017 focusing on these initiatives and the need for liberalization of Public Transport Policies and their impact on long term basis. 

The session was chaired by Mr. Krishan Dhawan, CEO - Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation and co-chaired by Dr. Dario Hidalgo, Director, World Resources Institute. The lead presentation was made by Mr. Tukaram Munde IAS, Managing Director, PMPML and Mr. Jerome Pourbaix, Director of Regional Services at UITP Brussels. Other panelists were:

1. Mr. S.R. Umashankar, IAS Managing Director, KSRTC

2. Mr. Kuldeep Ranka IAS. Managing Director, RSRTC

3. Mr. Mir Afroz, Managing Director, JKSRTC

During the discussion, the concept of "The House of Public Transport" emerged as key requisite to build sustainable transport system in the city. The house is built on 3 key pillars - LegislationOrganisation and Financing, standing on Political Support and protected by Implementation Capacity. The same is discussed in details.

Mr. Jerome Pourbaix, Director of Regional Services made presentation on "Key Reforms in Indian Public Transport Sector", highlighting the need for better legislations, organisation and financing model to develop sustainable public transport model in the cities. The key points of the presentation made by Director of Regional Services, UITP Brussels are:

1. Public Transport plays an important role for the social and economic development of the city. It is important to highlight that creation of a high quality, integrated and efficient public transport systems can be only achieved when a strong organising authority is put in place. National and local governments have a strong role to play to organise public transport as it cannot be left to market (operators)

2. Most of authorities advocate for the regulation of public transport. UITP agrees that public transport need to be regulated but foremost planned, organised and supervised. The cities can adapt to different business models for the operation but there is need to set right conditions for good public transport system

3. Some international cities like London, Guangzhou, Singapore, Amsterdam, Vancouver, Madrid and Abu Dhabi has excellent public transport system. The key factors behind their successful public transport system are: 

a. The system is well organised at city or metropolitan level

b. It is regulated and supported by appropriate regulation

c. there is well defined financing scheme in place

d. there is clear contracts with transport operators 

e. Political support and vision on the public transport 

4. The city needs to build the House of Public Transport to create sustainable mobility for its citizens. There is need to have supportive legislation in place to regulate the public transport system. The city should have appropriate organisation to implement those plan like integrated transport authority or unified mass transport authority. In last, the city should earmark clear funds for the public transport network. In short, the city needs good regulatory structure, competent organisation and funding to manage a good public transport system. 

5. All three pillars are equally important to run a good public transport system. In case of any missing components, the system will collapse. In India, some cities do not have good legislation. On the other hand, some of the cities do not have organisation to implement the plan. Financing is one of the key constraints in most of Indian cities. 

6. The city also requires to create vision into reality. In changing world, there is constant need to create and upgrade implementation capacity of authorities and organisations. This requires the need to upgrade technical knowledge of key stakeholders. This will help to protect the city in changing environment. 

7. However, all these system requires political support to stand firm. The city may have good regulation, organisation and available funding. But the city cannot develop a good system without political support. The politicians who are elected by citizens, should have vision to create safe, efficient and sustainable public transport system. 

8. The above mentioned 3 parameters are pre-requisite for good public transport system. Any city, which has good legislation, good organisation and has financial support, will have good public transport system. It is important to see how India ranks on this matrix. 

9. Any city which wants to develop good public transport system, should create new legislation on public transport (Public Transport Act), setup integrated transport agency, should setup public transport fund and should create sustainable business model. 

10. Government of India needs to work with cities to promote public transport in India. Although, transport is state subject but there is need to push more reform in this sector if India wants to make cities competitive and sustainable. 


Download the presentation on Key Reforms in India Public Transport Sector


Full speech of Mr. Jerome Pourbaix, Director of Regional Services, UITP Brussels