Bhubaneswar: In order to ensure a complete transformation of the urban public transport scenario in the city and its hinterland through use of smart technology, service benchmarking and customer satisfaction, Capital Region Urban Transport (CRUT) today rolled out its new buses under title “Mo Bus’’ meaning my bus in Odia.
Flagging off the much-awaited service for the citizens of the historic city, which has made its mark with the best Smart City Proposal in the recent years, Honourable Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik congratulated the citizens for availing such a safe, economical and smart alternative of public transport.
Later he took the ride of the first “Mo Bus’’ along with some winners of the social media contest by CRUT and also citizens from all age groups and all social strata and economic groups. He purchased the ticket from the conductor of “Mo Bus’’ and then took the ride up to the State Assembly.
Among others, Housing, Urban Development and Water Resources Minister Niranjan Pujari, Transport Minister Dr. Nrusingha Charan Sahu, Odia Language, Culture and Tourism Minister Ashok Chandra Panda, Local MP Dr. Prasanna Patsani, leading Actor and presenter Kuna Tripathy, Rajya Sabha Member Anubhab Mohanty and his wife actor Barsha Priyadarshini, Local MLAs Bijay Kumar Mohanty and Priyadarshi Mishra, BMC Mayor Ananta Narayan Jena, BMC Deputy Mayor K. Shanti, senior officials of the State Government, CRUT, BMC, BDA and Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited and Councillors of all BMC wards of the city were present at the event.
Twenty winners from two contests, held on Social Media platforms of CRUT, also joined the celebrities and the VIPs and got the chance of the first ride on the “Mo Bus’’ after the inauguration by the Honourable Chief Minister. The two contests were held on “Decoding the CRUT tagline’’ and “Features of the bus’’. One winner Rudraprasanna Rath came with his seven-year-old daughter. The little one was excited to have a ride with the celebrities.
The “Mo Bus’’ with a fleet of 125 new buses will come with many safety features like in-vehicle CCTV cameras for safety of passengers by keeping an eye on the conduct of the staff, adequate seats for women and senior citizens and deployment of women conductors. Very soon, 75 more buses will be added to the fleet. The crew would be likely to have 50 percent of women conductors. Students, young people can avail free Wi-Fi on the go while travelling through “Mo Bus.’’
Vehicles under “Mo Bus’’ are intelligently designed with urban features as they would be featured with spacious cabin space. Designed as per the Urban Bus Design Code, the buses will be comfortable for use of urban public and far better than the private-owned public transport buses.
As the most cost effective mode of transport, “Mo Bus’’ will help citizens to save a lot of money at a time when the entire country is now worried over the rising fuel prices. There would be monthly, quarterly and annual payment options. Citizens also can use their Odyssey City Card for purchasing their tickets while availing facilities in “Mo Bus’’.
“Mo Bus’’ will ensure minute-to-minute perfection in reaching destinations so that the travellers can save a lot of time and enhance their productivity ay workplace. The mobile app “Mo Bus’’ for both Android and iOS operating systems and a desktop variant can track the locations of nearby bus queue shelters, checking arrival times of buses. The service under “Mo Bus’’ will ensure almost zero waiting time as the citizens using the mobile App can also locate the bus and their exact time of arrival near a Bus Queue Shelter (BQS), where buses will be halting to take the passengers towards their destinations. BQS will also have advanced features like digital screens to display the bus route numbers and the arrival times so that the waiting passengers would benefit.
CRUT has plans to induct new buses under its ambitious Bhubaneswar City Bus Modernization Plan (BCBMP). After a detailed demand analysis by a leading transport consulting firm, it has decided to revamp the existing public transport facility in three phases spanning over 2018 to 2027.
Along with it, 200 new Bus Queue Shelters are also being developed to provide passenger convenience. 100 bus queue shelter shall have cycle stands facilities to provide last mile connectivity to the commuters. During the second phase of BCBMP it will have 300 additional BQS shall be developed during this phase. In third phase 300 new buses shall be procured in new developed or uncovered areas of Bhubaneswar, Puri and Cuttack.
Along with improving the transit infrastructure, the overall modernization of bus services would completely depend upon the use of Intelligent Public Transport System and for that city is currently building an IT backbone to support Bhubaneswar Operation Centre (BOC). BOC shall have a special cell to manage city bus services operated by CRUT. All the buses shall be fitted with Automatic Vehicle Locator System (AVLS) for tracking and vehicle information shall be shared with commuters for their convenience.
Fare shall be collected through electronic ticket machines (ETMs) only and Automatic Fare Collection System shall also be available to daily passengers in the form of Odyssey City Card. The transit app of CRUT will also cover services like PBS and E-Rickshaws.
CRUT is an SPV (special purpose vehicle) formed under the Companies Act 1956 to operate, design and manage the public transport services in Bhubaneswar and its surrounding areas. It will not only manage the city bus, but also other modes of transport i.e. Public Bicycle Sharing System and e-Rickshaws in future. Known as Bhubaneswar Puri Transport Services (BPTS) earlier, which started its operation from 10th Oct, 2010, CRUT shall now be responsible for providing public transport facilities within Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), Cuttack Development Authority (CDA) and Puri-Konark Development Authority (PKDA) area.
CRUT services are currently being maintained and operated from Pokhariput Depot and Master Canteen terminal respectively. The BCBMP study shows that average trip length in the city bus services is approximately 10 km. However, after seven years of operation the estimated daily ridership of the services is merely 23,000 (approx.), which is less than 6% of total trips. The present trend of declining ridership is due to continuously deteriorating and low use of fleets. Present Fleet Utilization rate is nearly 63%.