Norms for urban transport standards identified

The Ministry of Urban Development has suggested service level benchmarks to improve the performance of public transport undertakings across the country . Some of the indicators include financial sustainability , road safety , pedestrian facilities and intelligent transport systems.

A standard set of operational guidelines would be developed after benchmarking is done in a few cities including Delhi, Vijaywada, Nanded, Patna, Jaipur, Jammu, Ahmedabad, Surat, Hubli-Dharwad, Mysore, Bhubaneswar and Kohima.

The service levels of Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) is dismal. Of the 2,100-odd buses, nearly 200 are off road every day because of poor maintenance. The PMPML caters to a population of 50 lakh, including Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad and the fringe areas.

PMPML officials admit they do not carry out preventive maintenance. Buses are re paired only they break down.On an average, about 40 buses suffer mechanical problems every day. Officials said that six of the 13 depots do not have maintenance engineers. The work is given to foremen. The bus depots do not have infrastructure facilities for repairs and maintenance. PMPML has been repeatedly sending letters to the two municipal corporations for financial assistance to upgrade facilities at the bus depots. However, there has been no response from civic officials so far. Incidentally , for the past three months, PMPML is without a chairman and managing director. Transport experts say the service level benchmarks will only help improve the services. “The organizational structure of PMPML should be internally strong. Employees and officials should be self motivated,“ said transport expert D P Saste.

“Measuring the performance of different transport facilities is necessary to identify gaps and problems in service levels,” the ministry has stated.It has suggested that the study area should not be limited to municipal limits, but it should be for the entire urban agglomeration.

With service level benchmarks in place, a city-level database can be created which will help set targets for formulating future plans. Also, it will help create a competitive environment between cities.

Source : TOI