‘Need to address Metro commuters’ last-mile connectivity concerns’

April 4, 2017, 8:50 AM

BENGALURU: A citizen’s initiative this time will look into plugging the issues of first-and last-mile connectivity at Namma Metro stations. Last week, Toyota Mobility Foundationand WRI India launched a Station Accessibility and Mobility Program (STAMP) challenge to identify the best ideas from citizens on plugging the connectivity issue. As citizens gear up to bring their best ideas to the fore, TOI spoke to Prasanna Ganesh , programme director at the Toyota Mobility Foundation, Tokyo, Japan, on the initiative. Excerpts:

What is the STAMP challenge and why Bengaluru?
Namma Metro is great for the city but it needs to be integrated with first/last mile connectivity. No single stakeholder can make the difference and we need each one to be collaborative and work towards these issues. The STAMP initiative provides a platform for citizens, entrepreneurs and the government to work together and improve access to and from the Metro. As part of the contest, the best four ideas will be mentored by entrepreneurs; citizens will work with the government to implement them. Entrepreneurs can help streamline the winning ideas and mentor citizens to come up with more comprehensive solutions, putting their ideas to practical use.

What did you find out from the data collection activity that took place during the past few months?
We found that each Metro station has a different characteristic. The MG Road station is nearer to shopping outlets and restaurants which are more or less walking distance. So we may be looking at better walkways or more pavements. On the other hand, Byappanahalli station is at least three to four km away from the nearest catchment area, so there may be a need for integrating more transport systems there like feeder services or car-pooling. But these are only examples, the contestants are the ones who will be bringing up the ideas for different stations.
How is first/last mile connectivity handled in other cities like Delhi?
The issue of last-mile connectivity is not plugged in Delhi and there are a lot of people working towards it. But Metro is still nascent in Bengaluru. So, we need to start thinking that a Metro user is thinking of the most optimal way of travelling from points A to B. While Metro may facilitate half that commute, we need ideas on what to do about the rest.
How are you planning to boost this sense of collaboration among citizens and the government?
The aim is to focus on the end goal. There’s significant civic engagement in Bengaluru. The BMRC and BMTC are progressive in their ideas for bettering the transport system. Entrepreneurs are insightful on how to make the system more effective for citizens and our implementation partner, WRI India, has on-ground knowledge of the issue. We have evangelists of civic engagement like V Ravichandar, Ashwin Mahesh and B.PAC. We are trying to encourage this collaboration. But we also believe the government has its own rationale in viewing how and why something needs to be done. There are different factors that need to be considered by them as well.

Source – TOI

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