The United Nations has recognised Mo Bus, the bus service of the Capital Region Urban Transport (CRUT) authority of Odisha, as one of the ten global beneficiaries of its annual Public Service Awards for 2022, it was announced on Wednesday (June 22).
According to the UN, the public transportation system has been recognised for its contribution to “promoting gender-responsive public services to meet the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals)”.
Public service initiatives from Thailand, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Panama, the Philippines, Poland, Saudi Arabia, and Ukraine were among the other winners of this year’s awards, which were announced by Liu Zhenmin, United Nations Under Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, during a virtual event to commemorate the United Nations Public Service Day (celebrated on June 22).
According to the UN declaration, Bhubaneswar’s bus services needed to be improved, which was the “issue,” and as a result “the majority of residents utilised private automobiles, two-wheelers, and auto-rickshaw to commute instead of utilising public transit.”
The Odisha government “reorganised the city’s public transport systems to establish an integrated, dependable, and inclusive public bus service system” as the “solution” in 2018. The UN stated that Mo Bus has integrated “real-time technology including live tracking, route planner, and e-ticketing” and that a last-mile feeder e-rickshaw system dubbed “Mo E-Ride” has been deployed.
According to the UN, the “effect” is that 57% of city commuters now take the Mo Bus. According to estimates, Mo E-Ride will cut emissions by 30% to 50%. The UN also stated that “women, transgender persons, and people from disadvantaged communities make up 40% of Mo Bus conductors and 100% of Mo E-Ride drivers.”
The Mo Bus service, which was introduced on November 6, 2018, was intended to “change the urban public transport situation in the city and its hinterland via use of smart technology, service benchmarking, and customer happiness,” according to the CRUT website.
According to the website, CRUT wants to launch 289 vehicles in three phases, including 200 new buses and 89 older buses that will be renovated. It states that a proposal to expand the service to Cuttack is imminent.
Smart technology including free on-board Wi-Fi, digital announcements, security cameras, and electronic ticketing are integrated into the architecture of the buses. According to CRUT, it is dedicated to making sure that 50% of Mo Bus Guides (conductors) are female in order to boost women’s involvement in the industry and to give female passengers a sense of security.
Prices for Mo Buses with air conditioning range from Rs 5 to Rs 70; non-AC prices range from Rs 5 to Rs 55.
The “most distinguished worldwide acknowledgement of achievement in public service,” according to the UN, is the Public Service Awards. Its goal is to honour “the innovative accomplishments and contributions of public service organisations that contribute to more responsive and effective public administration in nations across the world.”
The UN Public Service Day honours the importance and virtue of public service to society, emphasises its role in development, pays tribute to public workers’ efforts, and inspires young people to work in government. Since the 2003 inaugural Awards presentation, the UN has received “an growing number of nominations from all across the world.”