Tuesday , 7 April 2020

Surat: Smart City in the making

Surat Municipal Corporation has initiated to deliver public transit services at affordable rates. The fare structure will provide cost effective travel option. The commuters will be able to experience a ‘single ticket’ travel to and fro any location, i.e. immediate transfer from BRTS to city bus or city bus to city bus routes, ensuring low fares.

Automatic Fare Collection System: With planning of single ticket for multiple system, SMC is also in the process of developing integrated smart card which can be used in all type of public transport services, paid parking, bicycle sharing or rental scheme, retail purchase, payment of local taxes, etc. The smart cards shall be introduced with fare discounts for senior citizens, students and industrial workers.

Proposal

Water transport has been an unexplored mode in the city of Surat. This mode of transport is affordable, eco-friendly and offers substantial time savings as it avoids the city traffic. Exploring the capacity of Tapi River to improve city mobility, a ferry system is proposed to be developed in the near future. The pipeline project shall support in decongesting city traffic as well as improve urban environment by reducing traffic pollution. The proposal looks forward to developing two urban water-transit corridor (east & west) of 5-6km in project period which can be extended to 12-15km in future. The infrastructure requirement of ferry vessel is proposed on PPP model. Commercial development and recreational activities are proposed to make the project financially sustainable.

Surat City is now developing into a smart city; where provision of Public Transport facilities is imperative. The attempt to create an integrated mass transit approach in order to solve the transportation issues of the city, shall provide relief from congestion, improved safer streets, affordable city mobility, options for economically weaker society as well as reduced pollution. This will provide opportunities for transit-oriented development promoting compact city and enable integration with other modes.

The project shall be implemented by Surat Sitilink Ltd. (SSL), which is a special purpose vehicle (SPV), developed under Surat Municipal Corporation for management and operations of Surat BRTS system. Sitilink is a regulatory agency and all its operations are planned through a set of PPP arrangements.

This article is prepared by Centre of Excellence in Urban Transport (COE-UT),team lead by Prof H M Shivanand Swamy, Executive Director, COE-UT,CRDF, CEPT University.

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