Indian cities have the golden opportunity to invest in public transport as a social good, completely revamp informal transit services, and prioritize digital innovation to improve user experience. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs launched the Transport4All challenge in collaboration with ITDP. The Challenge aims to bring together cities, citizen groups, and start-ups to develop solutions that improve public transport to better serve the needs of all citizens.
At the core of the Challenge are citizens who will not only define the problems for which solutions shall be created but also help start-ups and cities to refine the solutions to meet their needs.
The first edition of the Challenge focuses on digital innovation. Cities and start-ups will receive guidance to develop and test various solutions, learn from them, and scale them to build people’s trust in public transport and enhance their mobility.
The solutions will make public transport—formal as well as informal— safe, convenient, and affordable for all. All the Smart Cities Mission cities, capitals of states and union territories (UTs), and all cities with a population of over 5 lakhs—are eligible for the Challenge.
Launching the Transport 4 All Challenge, Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister of Housing & Urban Affairs said that COVID-19 has brought the entire world to a halt with transport being one of the worst-hit sectors. He added that the Transport4All Digital Innovation Challenge will support cities to recover from this mobility crisis.
Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, MoHUA said that the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) is very happy to launch the Transport4All Digital Innovation Challenge to support the cities and start-ups all over the country to move towards digital transformation in urban mobility.
The Transport4All through Digital Innovation Challenge comprises three stages:
- Stage I (PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION): Cities, with the support of NGOs, identify key recurring problems that citizens and public transport operators face
- Stage II (SOLUTION GENERATION): Start-ups develop prototypes of solutions to improve public transport with inputs from cities and NGOs
- Stage III (PILOT TESTING): Cities engage start-ups for large-scale pilots and refine the solutions based on citizen feedback
Cities, as part of the challenge, shall form a Transport4All Task Force (TTF) consisting of key stakeholders vis. Municipal Corporation, Smart City SPV, city bus undertaking, metro and suburban rail, regional transport office, traffic police, road owning agencies, Intermediate Public Transport (IPT) unions, NGOs, and academic institutes working in the field of sustainable transport.
The focus of the first round of the challenge is to develop and pilot solutions in the public transport sector to improve the travel experience of citizens. In future rounds, the challenge shall foster innovations in other areas of urban transport.
The three key problem areas have been identified by the joint action commitee which are Fare Products & Payment Solutions, Service Planning & Monitoring and, Passenger Information & Interaction.
Stage I (Problem Identification)
- April 15, 2021: Launch of Transport 4 All Challange (Already done)
- May 2, 2021: Closing Date of Registration Cities
- July 4, 2021: Submission of problem statement by Cities
Stage II (Development of Solution and Prototype)
- July 23, 2021: Startup Registration open
- August 8, 2021: Closing date of registration of Startup with concept notes.
- August 27, 2021: Announcement of shortlisted Startups
- January 2, 2022: Closing date to submit prototype testing results and action plan by the Startups
- March 11, 2022: Announcement of Winners. Winning startups will receive an award of ₹10 lakhs per solution from MoHUA and will be eligible to pilot their solutions in interesting cities in Stage 3.
Stage III (Large-scale pilots to validate and refine solutions)
- April 2022: Cities will procure the solutions from winning startups
- October 2022: Submission of pilot project results by the Cities
- December 2022: Closing Workshop of the Challange
Steps for Cities
The cities interested in participating in the Challenge will complete the following activities in Stage 1.
- Register for the challenge through the form e-mailed by the Smart Cities Mission
- Conduct surveys to identify the problems faced by citizens and operators with formal and informal public transport
- Form a “Transport4All Taskforce” and submit up to five problem statements.
Steps for NGOs
- Capture the mobility problems citizens face, especially vulnerable groups, through surveys etc.
- Build citizen demand for public transport through media outreach and events
- Guide municipal corporations and startups to develop solutions that meet the needs of citizens
- Evaluate the impact of the solutions after testing them with citizens
- Create an alliance of civil society organisations for public transport reforms
Steps for Startups
The startups interested in participating in the Challenge will complete the following activities in Stage 2 & 3.
- Register with idea pitches
- Develop and test prototype
- Present prototype results and plan of action
- Selected solutions will be piloted in Stage 3
For more details, please download the Transport4All Challange Information Brochure.