The Feedback

The final step was to get feedback for all the work that we had done over the weeks to understand and fill gaps in the process. We had multiple feedback sessions starting with our guide Mr. Praveen Nahar. We also received important feedback about our GIGA map from Prof M P Ranjan. Design Thinker & Author of blog www.designforindia.com. He helped us understand the need for hierarchy in the GIGA map to enable the viewer to focus on certain sections and read easily. Here is us explaining the GIGA map to Mr. Ranjan.

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We still wanted to share our process and insights with someone from the office of BRTS to understand the perspective from the planners’ side and get the necessary feedback. We were lucky enough to get in touch with Mr. Abhijit Lokre from Centre for Excellence in Urban Transport. He is an Associate professor with the Faculty of Planning at CEPT and leads the design team for Bus Rapid Transit Projects in Ahmedabad, Surat, Indore, Vadodara, Bhubaneswar and Hubli Dharwad.

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After an hour long discussion with him on our project we got valuable feedback which has been documented below. We thank Mr. Abhijit for an engaging and enlightening discussion. (pic above)

  • The approach to tackle anxiety of waiting commuters is appreciable and some more attention is to be given to the practicality. It is difficult to follow the ‘first come first serve’ rule in the mass transit systems as it’s difficult to ascertain the order of ingress.
  • Mass transit system works on the simple principle of high frequency of service which again is achieved by reducing the dwell time (time for which the bus waits at the stop) to a minimum. Anything which will increase the dwell time – say a driver display of passengers going in and out – will slow down the whole system.
  • Some solutions can be generated by simply tweaking the system a little bit. For example, the commuter experience will improve if the scrolling displays are replaced by bigger lcd displays which show timings for multiple buses simultaneously.
  • At the end of the day, it’s a lot about the gross figure – the total number of commuters who used the service that day and how to improve that number.
  • The idea of credit for converting people to commuters is a good idea.
  • It’s important to base the model on dynamic insights instead of predictive ones. Some commuter decisions are taken after becoming a part of the system – not everyone is pre-planned.

“What is good news? There is this news of India winning the Cricket World Cup, but say, this guy hates cricket. So, it’s tricky, you see.”

  • An interactive/dynamic transit line display is essential and could work.
  • A lot of the ideas can be combined under a common platform – say a Janmarg app – it shows live incoming bus info, a user account for free wifi, smartcard account, etc.
  • Ideally, more (wide) doors in the bus, faster the ingress – egress, lesser the dwell time and consequently, more efficient service.
  • Its important to keep in mind that average commuter trips are not long enough to have time to settle down comfortably and interact at length in a group. Similarly, the maximum waiting time in a BRTS stop is around 8 minutes.
  • In the future, everyone should ideally have smart cards, even single journey users, for whom it will work like a token and will be gulped by a machine. However the lack of awareness due to poor promotion.
  • Last mile connectivity is an important factor for seamless transport. For this purpose, the BRTS and AMTS should complement each other instead of competing with each other. Further, bicycle as a mode of connectivity has not realized it’s potential.
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