Pune, which was recently identified as the ‘Most Liveable City‘ in India, is now going one step ahead, thanks to the NITI Aayog and the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI). The city has been selected as the country’s first ‘Lighthouse City,’ a pilot project to provide mobility solutions in urban areas.
Here are some important features about the project, which is a joint venture between RMI and the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).
1. RMI is a US-based non-profit that partners with Indian government and private sector entities “to create a shared, clean, and connected mobility future that promises to provide Indians with affordable, efficient, and reliable transportation options to support and enhance their daily lives.”
2. RMI is partnering with the PMC to test mobility solutions in Pune.
The official statement published by the PMC and RMI says, “As the first Lighthouse City, Pune will serve as a test-bed for identifying, implementing, and scaling integrated pilot projects in order to drive [a] whole-system transformation of mobility in India’s cities.”
3. Pune as a city is growing very fast, and this poses a lot of challenges to the authorities in terms of managing public and personal transport. Ashok Leyland, Lithium Urban Technologies, Mahindra & Mahindra, Ola Cabs, Ridlr, SUN Mobility, Tata Motors, and Transit Intelligence are the eight “solution providers” who will work to decongest traffic and suggests smart alternatives under this project.
4. Speaking about the initiative, Ashish Kumar Singh, the principal secretary (Transport & Ports), Government of Maharashtra said, “The Government of Maharashtra is playing a leading role in the transition to shared, connected, and electric mobility. It is our consistent endeavour to improve access, affordability, congestion, pollution, and safety. I look forward to the outcomes of the Pune Urban Mobility Lab, and to seeing how solutions can be scaled up across the state.”
5. Pune will be the first host to India’s Urban Mobility Lab. According to Smart Cities World, the lab will include the following:
a) an ongoing platform to support financing, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of pilots;
b) methodology for integrating multiple pilots that address parts of the mobility transition into a whole system strategy in one location;
c) support in disseminating lessons learned to other communities in India and beyond.
6. The primary motive of the ‘Lighthouse City’ initiative is to bring innovative mobility solutions to Pune. This means a shift of focus from conventional bikes to electric bikes that reduce our dependency on non-renewable fossil fuels.
“India is poised to lead the world in advanced passenger mobility. It can leapfrog the traditional paradigm of privately-owned, under-utilized, fossil fuel-powered vehicles to a future of shared, clean, connected mobility,” Jules Kortenhorst, the CEO of RMI said.
7. The solutions tested in Pune that show promise will then be replicated in other “Lighthouse Cities” in India. These solutions aim to support the widespread adoption of “shared, clean and connected mobility solution.” Ultimately, the aim is to “save India 1 gigaton of carbon dioxide emissions and US$330 billion in fuel imports by 2030.”
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)