Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF) has entered into an agreement with World Resources Institute (WRI) to seek possible solutions in first- and last-mile connectivity to metro transit in Bengaluru, India.
Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) with a population of around 12 million people has experienced rapid urban growth and development in part due to its status as the IT capital of India. This surge has powered the economy, but has also resulted in issues of congestion and limited access to mobility. To overcome these, the city has invested in a metro line within the city and currently aims to enhance its ridership.
TMF and WRI want to improve accessibility to metro transit in Bengaluru and increase its usage through a process of research, capacity building, open collaboration, and testing. This would provide more Bengaluru citizens better ease of movement throughout the city.
TMF and WRI will collaborate with various stakeholders in Bengaluru including the state government, public agencies, and Bengaluru’s IT industry. They will develop a project called the Station Access & Mobility Program (STAMP), also referred to as the Bengaluru Mobility Project, which will run from December 2016 to March 2018.
In the first year of the project, TMF and WRI will build a stakeholder network and invite them to identify practical and feasible solutions to first and last mile connectivity issues. They will propose these ideas through an open innovation challenge. TMF and WRI will support winning solutions and aim at scaling them in Bengaluru and other cities. After evaluating the results of the project, TMF will determine the scope of future activities in India.
Shigeru Hayakawa, President of the TMF Secretariat and Senior Managing Officer, Member of the Board of Directors of Toyota Motor Corporation, said “TMF will make efforts in the Bengaluru Mobility Project to realize an ever better mobile society by identifying opportunities to integrate public and private mobility. We will do this in partnership with various stakeholders including the city government, NGOs, and IT entrepreneurs.”
Acknowledging complete support to the project, Mr. Shekar Viswanathan, Vice Chairman & Whole Time Director, Toyota Kirloskar Motor said, “We welcome the initiative undertaken by Toyota Mobility Foundation and WRI in India. This collaborative effort to find possible solutions to improve access to mobility in Bengaluru will make the lives of citizens who face issues of congestion more comfortable. As safety leaders, we at Toyota are committed to ensuring a safer mobility experience in India. To supplement the activities of TMF and WRI, we at TKM will share our best practices with regard to road safety campaigns across India and extend necessary support to this program. Finally, we appreciate the support across all stakeholders in the city in taking this campaign forward.”
Mr. Amit Bhatt, Director -Integrated Transport, WRI India, observed, “Access to mass transit systems has often been a major issue in many Indian cities. If there is safe, efficient and seamless connectivity to and from the Metro stations, it will not only be used, but will also boost the ridership of these high capacity systems. To provide this access is our endeavor.” Pawan Mulukutla, Urban Transport Expert, WRI India, added, “Bengaluru’s Rs. 14,000 crore Metro system can be more effective if an efficient first and last mile connectivity is established providing access to a larger population. The last mile connectivity should provide safe access, offer good quality of services to the users and minimize environmental impact using technology as a key driver to achieve this.”