Over the last few decades, India has witnessed a fast-paced urban growth of its cities accompanied by population and economic growth. This rapid urbanization has led to multiple social and environmental issues that are currently being faced by several metro cities in the country, including those related to satisfying the mobility needs of its people. As per reports by the United Nations, India is projected to add four new megacities by 2030 and its urban population is expected to grow to 814 million by 2050. The current scenario has resulted in various challenges of congestion and pollution, but conversely, has created a great opportunity for OEMs and innovators to develop viable and sustainable modes of transportation that are cost-effective, convenient and easily accessible for all.
Keeping in mind the challenges and opportunities arising out of this rapidly growing urbanization, Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF) in collaboration with WRI India Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, jointly initiated Station Access and Mobility Program (STAMP) focusing on high-quality first and last mile connectivity solutions to urban mass transit, namely, the Metro. It was an attempt to support the Government initiatives to enable mass transportation by increasing ridership and seamless mobility for the public. So far, this multi-city initiative has worked with the metro rail agencies and other partners in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kochi and most recently in Mumbai, to improve the first and last-mile connectivity and making it easier for the public to access mass transit metro stations. They both have also agreed to work together to enhance metro accessibility through multi-modal mobility solutions in seven Indian cities by 2021 (which will be over half of the operational metro networks in the country).
Additionally, TMF and WRI have been working closely with other innovative mobility operators in India such as Bounce, Mobycy, Bykerr, Quickride & Constapark, to support their initiatives to deliver innovative solutions for a hassle-free urban commute. At a recent event held in Bangalore, TMF in close cooperation and collaboration with WRI, conducted an interactive session with Toyota’s Japan R&D Center experts, along with Bounce, Red Bus and HopOn, to discuss mobility challenges in Indian metro cities and their possible solutions.
Sharing his thoughts on the work done by TMF to create a holistic mobility ecosystem in India, Mr. Pras Ganesh, Program Director for Asia Region, said: “As the popularity of the urban transport is rising in India, it is imperative to develop economical, innovative and easily accessible solutions for last-mile connectivity towards achieving safe, sustainable mobility and decongested Indian cities. No real change can be achieved without including public participation and dialogue focusing on the core issues and finding a fitting solution. With our initiatives, we have been able to reinforce the importance of engaging communities by partnering with our mobility partners and formulating the mobility needs and viable solutions.
We believe that sustainable transport system is a key driver of sustainable urban development. The positive response received from our partners including Government officials, key stakeholders, and our mobility start-up partners truly shows the common belief we all share and our vision to encourage innovation and an integrated and seamless mobility experience for the customers by building upon the initiatives of the government.”
Globally, the Toyota Mobility Foundation is focused to improve access to connected transportation systems that are greener, safer and more inclusive by working with local partners and residents to design, deliver, and scale solutions for communities across the globe. To tackle the global mobility challenges, TMF also run competitions that generate inclusive solutions to connectivity issues in transportation and promote advances in personal mobility. Through its various initiatives, it is also partnering with cross-sector leaders and experts to foster dialogue committed to addressing mobility issues around the world, and implementing tailored solutions to local mobility issues to improve the lives of citizens in the community.
The Toyota Mobility Foundation was established in August 2014 to support the development of a more mobile society. The Foundation aims to support strong mobility systems while eliminating disparities in mobility. It utilizes Toyota’s expertise in technology, safety, and the environment, working in partnership with universities, government, non-profit organizations, research institutions and other organizations to address mobility issues around the world. Programs include resolving urban transportation problems, expanding the utilization of personal mobility, and developing solutions for next generation mobility.