Revolutionizing public transport, Government’s Smart City initiative introduces futuristic buses catering to the needs of all residents. Stay productive & cool with Wi-Fi & AC, making commuting a delightful experience
By Tauheed Ahmad
Srinagar, Aug 02: Under the visionary Smart City project, the Lieutenant Governor led administration in Srinagar unveiled a groundbreaking initiative – smart buses equipped with Wi-Fi, air conditioning, and advanced safety features. A pioneering addition to Jammu and Kashmir, previously common only in metropolitan areas, these buses now enhance the environmentally friendly bus fleet in the twin cities of Jammu and Srinagar. Smart Move: Government Introduces Futuristic Smart Buses
Designed to elevate the public transportation experience for all, these buses notably prioritize the requirements of women, senior citizens, and specially-abled individuals.
As Jammu and Kashmir strive to match the development standards of other cities in the country, the introduction of these state-of-the-art buses represents a significant step forward.
Modern Features for Enhanced Commuting
Chief Engineer, Srinagar Smart City Project Iftikar Ahmad Kakroo, expressed his enthusiasm for the innovative features of the smart buses. He stated in an interview with a news channel that these buses are state-of-the-art with maximum features, making them all-weather and universally accessible. People of any age group can use them comfortably.
“The inclusion of Wi-Fi ensures that passengers can stay connected throughout their journey, making it easier for them to work, study, or simply stay entertained during their commute”, he said.
The efficient air conditioning system maintains a pleasant environment inside the buses, irrespective of the weather outside, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable ride for everyone, he added.
Safety and Inclusivity at the Forefront
Kakroo emphasized the importance of safety for all commuters, particularly women, saying, “Women’s safety has been kept in consideration, and we have installed CCTV cameras to monitor any misbehavior with female or any other commuter”, besides, the presence of surveillance cameras is a crucial step towards enhancing security and deterring any untoward incidents, he said.
Furthermore, the buses have designated reserved seats for female commuters, specially-abled individuals, and senior citizens, further enhancing their inclusivity and accessibility. Kakroo highlighted this aspect, stating, “We will strictly enforce the reserved seats for female commuters, ensuring their comfort and security.”
Universal Mobility Card and Convenient Payment Options
In a bid to simplify ticketing processes and promote cashless transactions, the smart buses offer a Universal Mobility Card option. Kakroo explained, “Commuters can use the Universal Mobility Card for ticketing, and those who use the card can get a discount. There is also a cash payment facility available.”
The Universal Mobility Card not only streamlines the payment process but also encourages more people to use public transportation, thereby reducing traffic congestion and air pollution in the city. Additionally, the availability of both cash and card payment options ensures that passengers have flexibility in choosing their preferred mode of payment.
Innovative Procurement Model
An innovative procurement model has been adopted for the acquisition of these buses. Kakroo shed light on the process, stating, “This is the first model that the government hasn’t procured buses rather we have procured only services which are provided by TATA Motors, who were selected after a due process of tendering.”
This unique approach to procurement not only ensures cost-effectiveness but also allows for better management of the public transportation system. The government can now focus on providing top-notch services to the citizens, leaving the operational aspects to the experts in the field, he informed.
Future Plans and Trial Period
With regard to the transportation plan, the implementation will occur in phases, Kakroo stated that 9-meter buses are designated to operate within the city, specifically navigating through narrower lanes. On the other hand, the 12-meter buses will primarily cover routes along the city outskirts.
Notably, passengers will have access to real-time tracking, enabling them to monitor the exact location of the buses as they travel. This feature aims to enhance travel planning, ensuring a more streamlined and efficient commuting experience, he added.
While sharing the development plans, Kakroo stated that we have already identified charging stations which will be functional within the stipulated time frame. These charging stations, including the one at Pantha Chowk, ensure smooth operations and uninterrupted services, ensuring that the smart buses are always ready to serve the public.
The introduction of smart buses under the Srinagar Smart City Project marks a significant milestone in the development of the region, these buses not only provide cutting-edge features to enhance the commuting experience but also prioritize safety, inclusivity, and environmental sustainability, he added.
As the prototype buses undergo trial runs, the residents eagerly await the full-fledged implementation of this transformative initiative before the end of the year. The smart buses promise to be a game-changer, transforming public transportation and urban living in the beautiful valley of Kashmir. With the government’s commitment to improving public transportation and embracing technological advancements, Srinagar is on its way to achieving at par status with other cities in the country. The smart buses are a testament to the city’s progress and determination to create a better future for its citizens.