Towards achieving financial sustainability for bus services in India

Date: Friday, February 10, 2023
Venue: Marigold Hall, India Habitat
Lodhi Road, New Delhi

Participation by Invitation Only!

The agenda for transport decarbonization and clean air requires massive scaling up of urban public transport systems, especially buses that are the prime movers in cities. Buses provide flexible services to cover maximum city population, they are cost effective and affordable for a sizable section of urban dwellers. Per person emissions and energy consumption in buses are much lower than cars and two-wheelers. And yet, bus service in Indian cities is under enormous pressure. Its ridership is declining while accumulated losses are spiraling making the systems unsustainable – even when travel demand is exploding. 

Bus reforms and modernisation of bus infrastructure for reliable services are getting held up in most cities due to lack of a fiscal and regulatory strategy to make the bus services sustainable and scalable. Why is there no clear regulatory mandate for modernizing bus service in cities?  Why are the funding strategies for buses so nebulous, ad hoc, irregular and uncertain? What can be done to mobilise resources for bus sector reforms and infrastructure development? This will be debated in the CSE Roundtable discussion that will bring together the state transport undertakings, private bus operators and key transport experts to chart the roadmap.  

09:30 AM – 10:00 AM Registration and Tea
10:00 AM – 10:45 AM
Session-1: Welcome and setting the agenda
The context of the CSE study: What is ailing bus transport and why addressing fiscal and regulatory barriers has become necessary to scale up urban transport solutions

Anumita Roychowdhury
Executive Director
Research and Advocacy, Centre for Science and Environment

CSE study: Mapping the key fiscal and regulatory barriers in the bus transport sector: What is needed to make bus transport sustainable?
Gautam Patel,
Founder and Principal Consultant, Coordinates
10:45 AM – 11:15 AM
Understanding the reality of bus operations in India – what are the barriers to upgradation and viable operations: experience from the ground
Public Transport Agencies (PTAs):

Dipti Mahapatro, General Manager (P & A), Capital Region Urban Transport (CRUT)
Jayesh Kukadiya, DGM (Civil & Operations)
Jasmin Rathod, Assistant Manager (Operations), Rajkot Rajpath Limited (RRL)
T Surya Kiran, Executive Director, ASRTU

Private Bus Operations: What is needed to enable modernisation of bus service in the private sector?
Jalpa Jain, Director, Aadinath Bulk Pvt. Ltd.
Rishi, Tak, Managing Director, Mateshwari Group
Mukesh Sharma, Senior Manager- Sales and Marketing, JBM Group
Dipesh Divedi, Vice President Strategy, PMI
11:15 AM – 11:30 AM
Tea Break
11:30 PM – 1:30 PM
Examining the current and the potential fiscal and regulatory strategies to make bus transport sustainable – what is needed?
Fiscal and regulatory framework for bus service: What is working and not working?
HM Shivanand Swamy
Professor Emeritus
Centre of Excellence in Urban Transport, CEPT University
Current and potential fiscal strategies to mobilise resources for reforming bus sector in India: What needs to be done.
Namita Mehrotra
Director Finance, NCRTC
Establishing fiscal framework for buses: Urban transport fund (UTF) to support bus transport – what are the challenges and experiences with creation and utilization of UTF and its potential sources of funds? What needs to be done?
Kishore Nathani
Principal Advisor
Urban Mass Transit Company (UMTC)
Prashanth Bachu,
Urban Transport Specialist
Unlocking private investment and improving bankability of bus transport projects: How can cities select appropriate PPP models for bus operations and especially for e-bus operations? Why buses are not able to raise funds the way rail-based modes do? What are the bottlenecks and how to resolve this?
Laghu Parashar
Senior Transport Specialist
World Bank
Indranil Bose, Senior Transport Consultant, World Bank
Innovative financing: case of Surat Sitilink Ltd.
Rajesh Pandey
Faculty at SVNIT and Ex-Dy. Municipal Commissioner, Surat
Rationalization of taxes: Comparison of tax burden on buses and metro and other modes: What reforms are required in the tax structure to reduce tax burden on urban buses?
Kanika Kalra
Asst. Vice President
Urban Mass Transit Company (UMTC)
Regulatory framework for bus services to create mandate for bus sector reforms: What is needed to create clear roles, responsibilities and mandate different levels of government (Centre/State/ULB) to provide and invest in bus transport and enable quicker mobilization of funds and create institutional autonomy etc.
Mahesh Patankar
leads, MP Ensystems
Integration of landuse and transportation and land value capture: Can this work for bus transport?
Jignesh Mehta
Adjunct Associate Professor and Program Chair of MURP, CEPT University
1:30 PM Onwards Lunch


Participation by Invitation Only!