Dehradun is one of the premier tourist destinations of the country. Around 33 per cent of the total trips to the city is for tourism purposes. Work trips and education trips constitute 34 per cent and 10 per cent respectively. Buses function as the main public transport system with mini buses and Vikrams/tempos plying as feeder routes to public transport. Around 250 buses ply on the existing routes of the city, with an average frequency of 15 minutes against the fixed operational average of 7 minutes as prescribed by the RTO. However, there are many issues associated with the operation of buses in the city.
- Unorganized bus routing and patterns;
- lack of basic facilities like bus queue shelter and designated stop along the routes;
- due to disorganized bus services, people rely more on pollution-causing Vikrams for commute;
- lack of quality of public transport system in the city, overloading during peak hours, inconsistent fares, too less boarding and alighting time, poor frequency during non-peak hours are some more issues associated with bus services in the city;
- non-inclusion of child-friendly design and socio-economic aspect in city-wide interventions in ease of access and mobility consideration;
- lack of passenger information system to make public transit seamless; and lack of pedestrian infrastructure that disrupts first and last mile connectivity in the city.
To overcome challenges, the Dehradun Smart City has developed a plan that will encourage a modal shift to public transportation systems with feeder services and Non-Motorized Transport (NMT) across the city to reduce air pollution, road accidents, congestion and wastage of time and money for residents, students and tourists. Through the project, ‘ Child-Friendly and Commuter Centric Dehradun Smart City Sustainable Mobility Plan’, the SPV aims to integrate child friendliness in mobility-related improvements citywide.
- To revamp the existing public transport and paratransit system through strategic utilization of existing network routes, ply of buses and IPTs. This would improve traffic congestion and increase the access for everyday commuters, school going children and incoming tourists. To develop public transport boarding and alighting infrastructure to ensure safety and ease of access for users and particularly for the school children.
- To encourage modal shift to public transport and paratransit by easing journey planning via. Information on real-time vehicle arrival, boarding, alighting nodes, fares, frequency, journey time etc. The e-app will include different profile features to aid tourist, children, and other commuters alike.
- To improve the regulatory system of public and para transport by formulating a unified authority that can regulate and monitor the operation of private buses and IPTs with a fixed fare, route, and frequency.
At present, the ICT infrastructure for the proposed project is not well structured. However, the proposed Intelligent Traffic Management System linked to the Integrated Command and Control Centre proposed to be established at the Information Technology Development Agency (ITDA) will serve as the base for all ICT mobility proposals.
A universal design principle will be applied for designing the streets and affiliated infrastructure. The ICT-Passenger Information App will have a separate feature for children enabled with the privacy of user data and SOS system for safety. Security of passengers will be ensured through well-lit bus stops and footpaths. The kiosks at bus shelter will be solar powered and they will also generate revenue through advertising space. The passenger information application shall also include advertisements for revenue generation.
Pre-fabricated bus shelters and kiosks will be assembled using recycled material. The design includes retrofitting of rear-end of the shelter with greenery and the rooftop with solar panels to convert the kiosk as a self-sufficient structure for energy and lighting. Web/mobile app public information system maybe be adopted to understand everyday traffic behaviour and the traffic management system.