Alstom kicks-off Low Emission Access to Public Transport (LEAP) program to enhance last-mile sustainable connectivity to metro stations in Bengaluru

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  • Supported by WRI India, LEAP intends to improve access to Namma Metro and encourage people to choose sustainable modes of public transport.

  • The pilot phase of the program will have 12 e-autos each at Yelachenahalli and Indiranagar stations, serving commuters in the radius of 4 kms from each station.

  • The all-women fleet of electric autorickshaws will be managed by MetroRide, a start-up mentored under the Alstom’s Sustainability Incubation Program

28 February 2024- Alstom, a global leader in smart and sustainable mobility, has introduced Low Emission Access to Public Transport (LEAP), a program under its Corporate Social Responsibility initiative, that aims to boost last-mile connectivity, encouraging greater public transport usage. As part of the pilot phase of the program, MetroRide will have electric autorickshaws deployed as last-mile service from Yelachenahalli and Indiranagar stations, of the Namma Metro in Bengaluru. As a step to encourage and include women in the urban mobility landscape, MetroRide, an AI-powered EV ride hailing solution for daily commuters, has trained around 25 women drivers to drive the electric rickshaws in the said region. The rides can be booked through the MetroRide app.

“Namma Metro will play a significant role in easing the on-road movement challenges in Bengaluru and as leaders in sustainable mobility there could be no better way for us to encourage public transport than LEAP."

Olivier Loison
Managing Director, Alstom India

The program was inaugurated by Olivier Loison, MD, Alstom India, Mr. Srinivas Alavilli, Fellow, WRI India, Prof. Rajeev Gowda Vice Chairman, Vice Chairman, State Institute for the Transformation of Karnataka and Smt. Kalpana Kataria, Executive Director (Connectivity & Asset Management), Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited.

Speaking at the launch of the program, Olivier Loison, Managing Director, Alstom India said, “Namma Metro will play a significant role in easing the on-road movement challenges in Bengaluru and as leaders in sustainable mobility there could be no better way for us to encourage public transport than LEAP. Through our partnership with WRI India and leveraging the innovations brought to the table by an Alstom-mentored startup, MetroRide, we have taken a noteworthy step in bridging the last mile connectivity challenge with this program. Together, we'll leverage innovation and expertise to implement solutions that elevate the metro experience, making it more accessible, efficient, and environmentally friendly”.

Bengaluru is one of the world's most congested cities and has the highest number of private cars in India. While the metro service has rapidly expanded over the years, a recent WRI India survey has revealed that 70% of commuters were deterred by poor last-mile connectivity to Bengaluru Metro. Women, constituting only a fraction of metro commuters, face additional challenges due to unsafe or inconvenient last-mile connections and chronic underrepresentation in the male-dominated transport workforce. LEAP aims to address these concerns by not only improving access to Bengaluru Metro for women but also actively contributes to enhancing women's participation in the transport workforce as drivers, fostering a more inclusive and sustainable urban mobility landscape.

Speaking at the occasion, Prof. Rajeev Gowda, Vice Chairman, State Institute for the Transformation of Karnataka; Ex Member of Parliament; Member of Brand Bengaluru Committee said, “This is a wonderful initiative on many fronts. It empowers women to become auto drivers, thus breaking into a male-dominated profession. Electric autos which facilitate public transport move us on the path toward a sustainable future. Let's empower more women to take the wheel and drive towards a more inclusive and safer Bengaluru.”

Mr. Srinivas Alavilli, Fellow, WRI India said, “Our collaboration with Alstom and MetroRide is founded on a commitment to data-driven decision-making in public transport. Addressing the critical last-mile connectivity gap prevalent in India's metro networks, our joint efforts aim to provide commuters with a safe, low-cost, and low-emission mode of transport within the city. Beyond revolutionizing the daily commute, LEAP is dedicated to fostering sustainable livelihoods, particularly for our women driver partners. This initiative not only bridges gaps in urban mobility but also propels a socio-economic shift, underscoring our commitment to creating positive and lasting impact in the communities we serve.”

WRI India's pivotal role in LEAP's success includes conducting detailed commuter surveys, as well as facilitating focus group discussions with both commuters and auto drivers. Their ongoing support also extends to working in close collaboration with MetroRide to design and test LEAP's operating model, evaluating the service's progress, and analysing insights, which helps contribute to the project's data-driven approach and overall effectiveness.

Alstom continues to demonstrate its commitment to sustainable mobility through strategic investments via the CSR route. The partnership with NRSCEL, IIM Bangalore’s incubation centre for StartUps, manifests in the Sustainability Incubation Program, a pioneering initiative supporting startups dedicated to combating climate change and addressing diverse sustainability and mobility challenges. The first cohort of the Sustainability Incubation Program successfully shortlisted and nurtured ten ventures and the second cohort of the program is currently ongoing.

Building on this, Alstom has introduced LEAP as a flagship program under its impact pillar, aimed at solving the last-mile connectivity issues and advancing the adoption of sustainable mobility in India. This program is expected to soon cover other metro stations that will help increase metro ridership by provide connectivity to high-frequency hubs.