Indore City Bus Transport Service (B)
Supplement to case A00024. Towards the end of 90s, mounting losses forced Madhya Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (MPSRTC), the sole provider of public transport in Madhya Pradesh, to suspend their urban services. As a consequence, organized public transport services ceased to exist in Indore, the largest metropolitan city of the state of Madhya Pradesh. This void was filled by Intermediate Public Transport (IPT) consisting of minibuses, tempos and auto rickshaws. As of January 2004, 300 private minibuses, 150 tempos, and 10,000 auto rickshaws were plying as IPT, but with poor service levels. Lack of public transport was a catalyst for rapid increase in personalized vehicles, and high level of pollution and accidents. Worried over the rapid growth of personalized vehicles, and high levels of pollution and accidents in Indore, policy makers and administrators had made several attempts of reviving the public transport system in the city. In 2005, the Collector and District Magistrate of Indore decided to make another attempt of reviving the public transport. The two cases, Indore City Bus Transport Service (A) and Indore City Bus Transport Service (B) discuss the complexity involved in the planning, rolling out, and running of public transport services in Indore on a sustainable basis. Case (A) details the prevalent socio-economic condition, travel characteristics, and positions taken by various stakeholders on provisioning of public transport service in Indore as of November 2005. Case (B) discusses the challenges during the growth and operation of the services as of June 2008. Unprecedented rise in crude oil prices along with (i) increase in maintenance cost of buses, price of new buses, and bank interest and (ii) decrease/marginal increase in the fare box revenue (more people were shifting to passes) and advertisement revenue depleted the margin of the operators. The fares had not been increased since the launch of services in February 2006. It was clear that Indore City Transport Service Limited (ICTSL), the SPV created to run the transport system, would survive only if operators were able to survive. The readers have to take the position of the board of ICTSL and consider various options available to them for running the services on a sustainable basis.