The challenge will lie in its implementation.
Recently a Business Plan was adopted by the PMPML (Pune Metropolitan Transport Corporation). Parisar has played a key role in this. Back in 2013 Parisar advocated for the creation of such a plan and got the Pune Municipal Corporation to allocate Rs 2 crores for the creation of the plan with the support of the Hon’ble Rajya Sabha MP, Smt. Vandana Chavan. A consortium of UMTC and Ernst & Young was appointed to prepare the plan. Parisar had insisted on comprehensive stakeholder consultations, including public inputs, which was done to some extent.
What is a Business Plan and why does PMPML need one?
A business plan is a long-term vision and strategy document that helps an organization set targets and identify the actions that are needed to achieve those targets. It starts with an assessment of the current state of the organization, identifies the resources that will be needed to achieve the goals and lays out the steps that will be needed to reach them. Most professional organizations have some sort of a business plan. The plan also identifies intermediate milestones and allows the management to periodically assess whether they are on track and if any mid-term corrections are needed.
In short, it is a roadmap for the Board to help achieve the results that are clearly spelled out.
PMPML being a public transport provider has to achieve a composite set of goals – increase ridership (so that people are using more environment-friendly mode of transport, reducing pollution and congestion in the city), make sure fares are affordable, reduce losses and provide a great commuter experience.
How has PMPML taken decisions in the past?
Unfortunately, in the past PMPML neither had any long-term plan or goals and nor did it have any documented strategies. So decision-making was somewhat ad hoc and driven by the CMD. A high turnover rate for the CMDs meant that there was seldom any continuity and consistency in decision-making. We hope that the business plan, adopted by the Board, will alleviate this problem.
What are the highlights of the Business Plan?
The commuter-centric goals are that by 2030 PMPML aims to
- Have a daily ridership of 27 lakhs (from the pre-COVID maximum of ~ 10 lakhs)
- 3600 buses in the fleet
- 5 minute wait time
- Zero fatal accidents
Some operational goals are;
- Reduction in breakdowns and cancelled buses/routes
- Reducing fleet emissions (to reduce pollution and GHG emissions)
- Improve non-fare revenue.
PMPML Business Plan Goals by 2030 (from the Business Plan presentation to the Board)
What is needed to ensure that these goals are achieved in reality?
A plan is only as good as its implementation, so we need to ensure that the Business Plan is binding on the Board and that they will not revert to ad hoc decision-making. The State Government may have to issue instructions to the PMPML management to that effect. Secondly, there needs to be constant assessment and monitoring of the implementation of the plan, through the publication of an annual report. Finally, the biggest stakeholders in this are the commuters, so there needs to be a more commuter-centric approach by PMPML, including greater public accountability and transparency.
The detailed presentation of the Business Plan can be downloaded from here.