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Startups can tap public transport data to develop mobility app in Bengaluru

In a definitive step towards enhancing the efficiency of public transit systems and realising integrated mobility in the city, WRI India, Mercedes-Benz Research and Development India (MBRDI), and Villgro have teamed up to launch a Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) challenge.
Last Updated : 12 June 2024, 22:07 IST

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Bengaluru: Now, mobility-focused startups can leverage open data from the city bus and metro agencies to develop user-centric mobility applications and enhance transit experiences.

In a definitive step towards enhancing the efficiency of public transit systems and realising integrated mobility in the city, WRI India, Mercedes-Benz Research and Development India (MBRDI), and Villgro have teamed up to launch a Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) challenge.

The MaaS challenge — Enroute — was launched on Wednesday by former Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Gowda. Also present at the event were BMRCL MD Maheshwar Rao, WRI India Executive Director Pawan Mulukutla, Vijay Kovvali from CiSTUP, IISc, and Sujith Nair, CEO of Federation for Interoperability in Digital Economy (FIDE).

Enroute aims to "digitally enable 15-minute neighbourhoods", increase public transport usage, and reduce waiting and commuting time. It also seeks to lower carbon footprint, alleviate traffic congestion, and facilitate better trip planning with minimal burden on the end user.

Lack of data on how people move across different transportation modes daily is seen as a major barrier to seamless commuting for citizens. Therefore, the challenge calls on startups to utilise transit data such as ridership figures, ride fares, high-frequency routes, and similar data points from the BMTC and BMRCL to develop integrated platforms.

Some of the focus areas of the challenge include integrating online ticketing mechanisms and live tracking of buses and metro services. Ideally, an integrated platform would enable commuters to access real-time updates on public transit schedules and pay a single fare across different transportation modes.

Rajeev Gowda said accessible data would allow public transport planners and government agencies to collaborate for a unified transportation platform. "(The challenge) can serve as a model for transit networks across the country," he added.

A panel discussion explored how current transport data exists in silos and mobility is not a zero-sum game, but a collaborative effort. “Data does not work by itself. It is important to think of what works at scale, not scaling up whatever works," said Sujith Nair.

Who can apply for Enroute?

Tech startups with minimum viable product software solutions or capable of developing MaaS solutions.

Top three solutions will receive incubation support and seed funding from the collaboration.

Interested startups can apply at enroute.villgro.org.

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Published 12 June 2024, 22:07 IST

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