I got the honour to be part of the award jury of the first Volvo Bus Sustainability Award, which was presented recently. We received a series of excellent contributions from individuals, NGO:s and universities. It was a true joy and very rewarding to learn about all the initiatives.
It is clear to me that there is a strong environmental movement in India. Most impressive is that several of the initiatives are being realised and implemented with an impressive pace.
We were three members of the jury: Chairman Shri. MK Shankarlinge Gowda, Prof. TG Sitharam and myself. In a serious benchmarking process we considered three properties: i) understanding the problem; ii) innovative & relevant approach; iii) actions taken. Finally, a unanimous jury declared Mapunity as the first Volvo Bus Sustainability Award winner for its project on Direction Based Bus Service.
The motivation was:
Mapunity has used an innovative approach to study the travel patterns in order to realise the most efficient bus routes. With the Direction Based (Bus) Service they have also used a completely new way of thinking when setting up the network of bus lines. Not only that they have taken the step to realise the new bus services, but the implementation seems to be quite successful in its first try. That is truly rare and a breakthrough in applying the travel information to increase the efficiency of bus routes.
The efficiency increase is twofold:
-The bus is utilised in a more efficient way with higher occupancy
-The increased efficiency is attracting more passengers and can thus avoid other less efficient means of city transports such as three wheelers and cars.
Håkan Karlsson, Volvo Bus CEO, took part in the award ceremony.