Research Project

Improving operational efficiency of bus systems and addressing data gaps in vehicular emissions management

Geetam Tiwari, Kalaga Ramchandra Rao and Manoj M

Project Details

Project overview: The present operations of intercity freight vehicles and intra-city bus systems can be optimized significantly resulting in reduction in GHG emissions. Higher operating performance due to adoption of upgraded technology of freight vehicles will have an impact on emissions from freight vehicles. Improved operations of urban bus systems can lead  decreased usage of private vehicles. Both operations are important for reducing future GHG emissions.
In view of the adverse energy implications, harmful impact on environment and uncertainties related to future oil imports by freight vehicles, Ministry of Roads and Highways(MoRTH) has formulated various national policies. This includes scrappage of 10-year-old vehicles, up gradation of fuel emission standards and planning of fuel economy standards. However, impact of these policy interventions are supported by weak database at present. The information about the fuel efficiency performance, annual mileage, vehicle age, emission standard, etc. is based on limited surveys in the past. This is limiting the impact assessment of various policies and implementation of key policy initiatives. 
The study collected primary data and supplemented it by secondary data of intercity freight vehicles wrt the fleet characteristics and the usage characteristics of heavy duty vehicles (HDVs). Reliable data was helpful in assessing the emission mitigation potential of various policies that promote cleaner fuels and vehicles. The study presents various scenario analysis of policy implementation and their relative impact in emission reduction. 
B)    Efficient Public Transportation:   Public transport faces a stiff competition from motorised two wheelers and in bigger and richer cities from cars in Indian cities. At present, most cities have significant share of trips by public transport (mostly bus systems). However, with increase in incomes and availability of two wheelers and cars and the car centric urban form and infrastructure can lock up enormous amount of carbon and pollution that will make sustainable growth difficult in the future. In this context, making urban bus systems affordable, efficient and attractive for commuters becomes important. 
1.Growth of cities have continued without any major discussion for urban public transport vision for the future. The national urban transport policy in 2006 followed by incentive given by the central government to states under urban renewal mission (JNNURM) initiated discussions about urban bus systems. Transport being a ‘state’ subject shall have a clear roadmap from state transport / urban development department authorities and shall guide cities of all size. This study develops a robust SUTP framework primarily based on international and national practices and a case study of Punjab State.  
2.The management of existing city bus systems, and the initiation of new ones has generally been an ad-hoc process. Introduction of urban bus services in selected cities was introduced in India in the mid-1950s by state-run transport organizations. Most other state transport undertakings continued to focus on inter-city routes and operate few routes for intra-city movement. The study developed a webtool called ‘TRIM4STU’ for easy estimation of key parameters wrt operational efficiency for STUs. 
3.Given the complexity of large cities, bus operations require a data driven exercise based on transport demand assessment together with careful analysis of service needs, preferences and expectations of the users.  The document does not provide specific guidance on implementing efficient bus operations with basic ITS equipment and data analytics such as ETM. In this study, a preliminary ETM analytics framework has been developed for important operational parameters such as boarding-alighting, schedule, headway, and critical load sections, fleet utilization,  etc.
4.Bus procurement has been a challenge for STUs/CTUs, as well as OEMs, due to non- standardized bus size, type and specifications and lack of reliable knowledge on operations and maintenance.  The Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) has attempted to address this challenge by bringing out the ‘Urban Bus Specification including Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) document. This project supported development of data driven analytics for optimal bus fleet specifications, procurement and contractual process suggestions for bus procurement. 


Tactics pursued and outputs to date: Tactics and outputs should match those documented in the proposal, and may include things like workshops/conferences, publications/reports, etc. Progress should be explained using indicators identified in the proposal. Share reports/website links for all material developed under the project. 
IIT Delhi’s interdisciplinary Transportation Research and Injury Prevention Programme (TRIPP), with support from Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation worked on a five-pronged approach, in this study. The focus of the project is to develop critical tools and analytics /model to complement the efforts of the Government of India and its states –
1.Freight Fleet based policy paper is developed for various scenarios that are based on national programs and strategies, that highlights: 
•The policy of scrappage of vehicles greater than 15 years old is not going to result in significant reduction in the total amount of emissions.
•Also, the vkt reduction in the road freight VKT is too slow to realise any significant reduction in the total amount of emissions.
•Introduction of BSVI standards is going to play a critical role in the reduction of NOx and PM emissions. Thus, it is clear that much of the benefits in emission reduction can be achieved if BSVI emission standards are nationwide and timely implemented.
(a)Fleet usage characteristics (LCV and HDV) data base in Northern India National Highways (2 arms of Golden Quadrilateral) and East west corridor along with related State Highways and Major district Roads and Other district Roads for supporting development of Indian freight vehicle and emission policies.
(b)The data is cross checked and verified with VAAHAN database as well as additional collected Trip Diary data  to cross check and estimate the  annual kilometres, mileage, working hours, speed, delay and dwell time etc.
(c)Freight Vehicles (LCV and HDV - intercity) fuel consumption and survival rates are estimated. Subsequently, nationwide fleet emission calculations are performed based on key scenarios (2018-2030) for both Survey based survival rates and Vaahan based vehicle survival rates for - 
•Scrappage of vehicles greater than 15 years
•Introduction of BS VI in 2020. (This automatically takes into account the introduction of Diesel Particulate filters in all the new vehicles after 2020)
•Freight road VKT is reduced over years
•EV vehicle penetration—both for passenger as well as freight vehicles
•Combination of above scenarios
2.Development of Electronic Ticketing Machine (ETM) data analytics framework to support efficient Public Transport in lieu of expensive and cumbersome GPS data. ETM data provides for the time and location stamp (for scheduling, headway, bunching and other operational issues of fleet utilization and planning) through the first tickets issued along with rich data on boarding-alighting, critical load sections, coefficient of passenger exchange, coefficient of flow variation, vehicle occupancy ratio etc. This helps provide cheap and simple solutions to small and medium STUs, lacking niche control centres and technical expertise for data analysis and planning.  
(a)    This is based on Python and SQL based analysis developed over month long ETM data provided by MCTSL (Meerut) for all routes and 2 boarding-alighting and delay, dwell time and lag surveys conducted under study.
(b)    ITS analysis of Performance of five selected State Transport Undertakings (STUs)- APSRTC, KSRTC, RSRTC, MSRTC, and UPSRTC has been documented to identify specific areas for intervention in terms of ITS related support analytics. Automatic Vehicle Location system (AVL) and other Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) employed by these organizations, have been studied. All five have pioneered various data management systems, yet, Electronic Ticketing Machine (ETM) seems to be the most basic and common initiative amongst all of them. 
3.Web toolkit ‘TRIM4STU’ based on performance indicators, is developed for ASRTU and  can be used by STUs to report and compare Operational, Financial, Human Resources, Materials, related data, etc.  ASRTU now can evaluate the fleet data indicators collected by different STUs, monthly, quarterly or annually and provide the solutions, which can help STUs to improve performance of their fleet. 

(a)The performance indicators are categorised as relevant for passenger, operator and society respectively. In the other dimension, they are categorised as indicators which are useful for evaluation by ASRTU (or at the National Level comparison between STUs), at the STU level (comparison between depots) and at the depot level (comparison of performance parameters with other depots or past years). Additionally, it will also help ASRTU develop benchmarking for different indicators, allowing comparative evaluation, and setting practical targets for improvement.
(b)This web-based toolkit has been discussed and evolved by having multiple interactive sessions and reviews at various occasions with different stakeholders (workshops at IIT Delhi in October 2018; MSRTC, APSRTC, DIMTS, MTC, BSRTC, TSRTC and BMTC have given feedback to fill the web-based forms; two meetings were held at TRIPP, IIT Delhi and two at ASRTU office). The tool has been handed over to ASRTU for further improvement and launching in different avatar for STU and shall gradually replace the Annual databook by CIRT.  
4.The need of research in bus design and procurement for varying Indian cities and develop rational for specifications and cost estimation was discussed with government offices and experts. As a result, the study focused on Urban and Regional Bus sector to provide technical base for standardized procurement process and bus models through concept of rate contracts and life cycle costs analysis. This is primarily based on qualitative interviews, stakeholder interaction and collected RFP or proposals in response of Bus procurement in STU /CTUs. 
(a)Short report was developed on key issues with respect to bus fleet in Indian cities. And these include - transparency in the procurement process and Model RFP, articulation of baseline specifications and rationalisation of variants, need for a committee to publish price guidelines for different buses, requirement of an independent testing agency to test and publish bus durability data (like in developed markets) and standardised test cycle for fuel efficiency and publishing efficiency rating, thus ascertaining the ‘Life cycle cost of a bus’.  
(b)Short report developed on issues that relate to Electric buses and their procurement. Various aspects that were covered include Contracting, Lease model, Product availability, Pilot projects and Charging Infrastructure. This was based on case studies of RFPs that have been recently published by cities /STUs under FAME scheme for e-bus procurement. The discussion led to need to look deeper into IPT and electric bus development especially wrt performance and operational review of recently procured buses. 
5.State Urban Transport Policies framework has been developed in Indian context. This framework is primarily based on the international and national practices. However, further this framework was applied to development of SUTP for Punjab State. Many insights were gained with respect to institutional structure, implementation mechanism, roles of related agencies and departments, financial dependence and many more. The SUTP framework was further refined using these insights and focused on small and medium cities /towns and included relevant targets and strategies. 
(a)Punjab state SUTP was developed based on government studies, reports, census data and many traffic and transport related studies.  To refine the policy framework proposed for SUTP detailed discussions with at least two states - each from plains (South India) and hills states to learn and detailed out the process of adoption. 


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