Routine bus maintenance is crucial for the smooth functioning of an effective bus system. Preventive maintenance is defined as a servicing undertaken by technicians to maintain equipment in a satisfactory operating condition, to avoid failures or major defects (US Department of Defence, 2018). It helps anticipate and initiate repairs, improves safety, prevent service interruptions and critical mechanical failure on the road. Regular maintenance of bus fleets has the benefit of (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2010):
- preventing mechanical failures
- achieving zero breakdowns during service
- reducing Green House Gas (GHG) emissions
- lowering fuel costs by improving fuel efficiency
- promoting passenger satisfaction and public
- improving occupancy rate, and
- increasing service life of buses
Preventive maintenance measures are usually conducted at fixed intervals. These intervals are based on legal requirements, the operating agency’s prior experience, manufacturer’s warranty requirements or merely borrowed from other agencies. The preventive maintenance interval suggested in the United States is 6,000 miles or about 10,000 kilometres (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2010). In India, APSRTC (2016) reports doing the same within 9000 to 15,000 kilometres depending on the type of operation, age and model of the bus. Similarly, BMTC (2012) performs a docking preventive maintenance at a span of 20,000 kms. apart from the periodic 1 day, 2 days and 10 days maintenance. Apart from Preventive Maintenance Inspections (PMI), daily service line inspections are also undertaken. Through the case studies of WMATA and APSRTC, this article looks into the measures, needs and advantages of Preventive Maintenance.
CASE STUDY 1: Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA): Use of AVM to optimize preventive maintenance
Metrobus service at Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) provides service in Washington DC. With a fleet of 1500 buses, WMATA covers an area of 1500 square miles. It serves a population of 3.4 million and logs about 134 million trips annually. As of 2010, the fleet also contains 460 CNG buses and 50 hybrid buses, with steps being taken to increase the number of low emission buses. WMATA has a preventive maintenance interval of 6000 miles (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2010).
WMATA uses Automatic Vehicle Monitoring (AVM) system to support their preventive maintenance measures effectively. About half of their fleet are equipped with AVM and depots are equipped to download the service line data wirelessly when the bus enters the depots. Data on various components such as engine, transmission, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, door system, brake pushrod travel, etc. are monitored, recorded and reported on a daily basis. When specific parameters are over the critical range, the driver receives an alert immediately. The system also notifies the control centre and maintenance department about the flagged defaults. In other non-critical cases, an itemized report (annex 1) is generated to aid technicians to prioritize repairs. Technicians then schedule non-critical defects for maintenance at another time or during the next upcoming PM inspection (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2010).
The benefits of preventive maintenance through AVM are as follows (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2010):
- Senior technicians are able to conduct a trend analysis from the review of past issues. The trend analysis generates a work order on detecting the actions required to correct the defect. This relieves the technicians from diagnostics work.
- Fault detections are faster and more accurate
- Using AVM has enabled the collection of system components data on a daily basis, instead of PMIs of 10,000 kms. This regular check on components has helped prevent initial problems from growing into critical issues.
- Loaded with quality information and analyses, WMATA is able to request certain technical specifications while procuring new buses.
- The agency also uses the data to check for procedural compliance of drivers
- The agency is able to save money from warranty claims
CASE STUDY 2: APSRTC: Maintenance practices to maximize fuel economy
Improvement in fuel efficiency is another major benefit that stems from regular fleet maintenance. In 2015-16, 47 SRTUs reported that on an average they spent about 25% of their operating cost on fuel (Ministry of Road Transport, 2017). Therefore, even a small improvement in fuel efficiency significantly reduces the operating cost. The cost saved can be diverted into critical service repairs and improvements.
Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) covers over 4.3 million kilometres and carries about 6.5 million passengers. As of 2015, it has 12,152 buses. In an effort to maximize the fuel economy and reduce GHG emissions, Energy Sector Management Assistance Program developed bus maintenance guidelines and implemented them in Hyderabad and Vijayawada in APSRTC in 2011. Some of the recommended course of actions include (ESMAP, 2011):
- management commitment
- setting fuel economy benchmark
- publicly communicating fuel economy results
- automation of data collection and analysis
- using data to refine preventive maintenance interval
- conducting two-tiered checks at the depot and central maintenance facility
- requiring mechanics to sign-off repairs
- conducting random and period checks of repairs
- having an independent QA/QC team
- retraining mechanics periodically
- Trainings for low performing drivers
- providing awards as incentives for technicians and drivers
A key recommendation was to conduct two-tiered maintenance checks that are well documented and standardized as operating procedure. Junior to mid-level mechanics can conduct the Tier 1 (Annexure 2) maintenance while Tier 2 (Annexure 3) maintenance needs to be done by well-trained senior mechanics.
The above recommendations were implemented and tested over a period of 10 weeks in 2011. Under APSRTC, 3 bus depots were chosen to do the field testing, namely Bharkatpura (BKPT) depot in Hyderabad, Governorpet1 (GVPT1) and Governorpet2 (GVPT2) in Vijayawada. In each of these depots, 10 buses and 20 drivers performing lowly on fuel economy were identified each month. Maintenance for low performing buses and trainings on good driving practices for the drivers was conducted to maximize the fuel economy (ESMAP, 2011).
Image 1: Maintenance facility of APSRTC Source: APSRTC, 2016
From the subset of buses that underwent maintenance, the results show that the maintenance had a positive and significant effect
on the fuel economy. Average fuel economy benefits range from 6 to 9 percent. Figure 1 shows the fuel economy improvements from repairs at Bharkatpura Depot in Hyderabad Older buses (>=4 years) appear to benefit more from the maintenance activities than newer buses (< 3 years) (ESMAP, 2011).
Figure 1: Percent fuel economy improvements from repair of buses at Bharkatpura Depot in Hyderabad.
Source: ESMAP, 2011
The trainings for drivers included instructions for best practices with on-road training. The design of the training accustomed the drivers with the local driving conditions. From figure 2, it is evident that on an average the fuel economy improvements from driver training were between 5 to 10 percent. Displaying the fuel economy’s information publicly made the drivers feel highly motivated. Awarding the mechanics and drivers for good fuel economy performance boosted their pride and their performance (ESMAP, 2011).
Figure 2: Percent fuel economy improvements from driver training in Vijayawada and Hyderabad
Source: ESMAP, 2011
Scaling up the results of figure 3 for the entire fleet of Hyderabad (3290 buses), the gain in fuel economy from maintaining old buses would be around 3% and from maintaining new buses it would be 2.1%. Similarly, the benefit of driver training for the entire fleet is estimated to be 2.7%. When extrapolating the results for both maintenance and driver training combined, the benefit from fuel economy is estimated to be 4.8% for the new buses and 5.7% for old buses (ESMAP, 2011).
Assuming 100 buses in a depot, the cost-benefit ratio of the recommended changes is 1.94 for new buses to 2.31 for old buses. The monthly cost of implementing all the recommended changes is estimated to be INR 1,46,651 per bus and the fuel savings per month is estimated to be INR 2,84,928 per bus for newer buses and INR 3,38,352 per bus for older buses. In Hyderabad alone, APSRTC can save about INR 95,40,000 per month by achieving a 5 percent improvement in the fuel economy (FE) (ESMAP, 2011).
Figure 3: Comparison of Average Fuel Economy
In WMATA, the availability of real-time data has equipped the agency to engage in preventive maintenance measures actively, thereby ensuring smooth functioning of the bus system in Washington DC. Through data analysis, the agency has developed a deep understanding of their priorities and specific requirements in buses. Flagged issues are dealt with at the earliest possibility, rather than allowing it to develop into a critical and more expensive problem to fix.
In APSRTC’s case study, test results from Hyderabad and Vijayawada reiterate the importance of preventive maintenance and onroad training of bus drivers to maximize on the fuel economy. With cost-benefit ratios of 1.94 for new buses and 2.31 for old buses, the recommended maintenance activities prove to be cost-effective for large operators with in-house maintenance capacity. These results would be more effective on considering the benefits from reduced GHG emissions and improved safety. The APSRTC case study has demonstrated that overall efficiency and safety improvements can be achieved costeffectively through maintenance activities.
The above recommendations for preventive maintenance are based on the assumptions that the depots have at least 70 to 100 buses, have an existing maintenance facility, has ability to conduct most of the maintenance activities in-house and has the capacity to train its drivers. These measures might be cost-intensive and challenging for informal bus operators who manage fewer routes with a smaller bus fleet. Yet, it is imperative for small-scale operators to plan and schedule their maintenance activities to benefit from improvements in fuel economy and improved safety.
Annex 1 – An example of a daily non-critical exemptions report generated
Source: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2010
Annex 2: Tier 1 Checks At The Local Bus Depot To Improve Fuel Economy
Source: ESMAP, 2011
Annex 3: Tier 2 checks at the central bus maintenance facility to improve fuel economy
Source: ESMAP, 2011
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab was established in July 2014 at the National Institute of Urban Affairs as the research and capacity building unit, providing support to CIDCO’s technical personnel through action research, documentation and capacity building. Since its formation, the lab has supported CIDCO in a variety of activities, including the launch of CIDCO Smart City (South) in 2015. Entering its 4th year, NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab is now aiding the implementation of CIDCO’s new Training Policy through Ujjwal, CIDCO’s first online Training Portal. The Training Policy was approved by the CIDCO Board as a step towards achieving the objectives set under the ‘Smart Organisation’ vertical of CIDCO’s Smart City Vision. Its key objective is to overcome barriers to training and knowledge enhancement for all Class I & Class II CIDCO officers.
Ujjwal is an integrated platform that provides access to a wide choice of managerial, technical and behavioural courses from world-class institutes, through a user-friendly interface. It was custom made for CIDCO by NIUA’s web development unit and launched on 5th July 2017. It can be accessed at https://cidco-smartcity.niua.org/ujjwal/login.php. The portal is built upon three primary datasets:
- Existing Employee as per SAP: This data includes phone number, email address, age, experience, designation, cadre and reporting officer.
- Institutes: A list of partner institutes who offer relevant trainings. This includes location of the institute and details for the contact person.
- Courses: A list of courses offered by partner institutes and organisations that CIDCO officers can apply to participate in. This includes details about the course such as course description, intended audience, start and end date, registration deadline and fees.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab is currently working to integrate Ujjwal with CIDCO’s SAP system in order to allow real-time updates to the employee database, accounting for all new hires, promotions, retirements, etc. Since its launch, the portal has already registered 137 visitors within the first three weeks of its launch. At the time of publication of this Newsletter, participation of 77 officers have registered their interest in training through the portal, out of which, 37 trainings have been already approved for 56 CIDCO officers. As of 31 July, 2017, 13 CIDCO officers would have completed participation in 9 trainings.
Mr. Hitesh VaidyaDirector, NIUA | Mr. Hitesh Vaidya is currently the Director of the National Institute of Urban Affairs. He has over 20 years of experience in the field of urban management, urban governance and capacity building. He has been involved in providing technical assistance and capacity building support to several urban local bodies and instituting significant urban reforms at local level. He brings on board strong demonstrative experience of improving institutional capacities including developing strategies to support in delivering the program results. He has been associated in areas of urban development, urban governance and urban Infrastructure management with UN, World Bank, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) assignments. Poverty Alleviation has been an integral component in all his assignments. Prior to joining NIUA, he was the Country Representative of UN-Habitat in India. He was intensely involved in supporting an eco-system to design and roll-out urban programs including localizing Sustainable Development Goals. His strength lies in developing institutional arrangements and project implementation strategies through facilitating effective liaison and coordination with various stakeholders. Mr. Vaidya holds a Master’s degree in Business Development and Post-Graduate Diploma in Urban Development & Planning and specialization in Urban Management from Institute of Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS), Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Dr. Prashant B. NarnawareJoint Managing Director - I, CIDCO | Dr. Prashant B. Narnaware is a 2009 batch Indian Administrative Services (IAS) Officer. Currently, he is posted as the Joint Managing Director in City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), Navi Mumbai. He has a strong inclination for social work and also an equally strong interest for research and teaching. This has helped him in attaching with some nationally and internationally reputed institutes like TISS, Mumbai; Bath University, London and Roskilde University, Denmark. TISS, Mumbai recognises Dr. Narnaware for his academic distinction and has appointed him as an ‘Adjunct Professor’ in the University. He is known for bringing in administrative innovation in health, agriculture and tribal sector of Palghar district in Maharashtra. Some of the noted initiatives are: Agriculture – Beyond sugarcane movement, Krishi Kranti Project, Jal Yukta Shivar; Tribal – Palghar Development Corridor, Sampurna Seva Abhiyan, FRA-TREE (Tribal Right Expansion and Empowerment Programme), Katkari Utthan Scheme, Osmanabadi Goat Breeder Association; Health – Aarogya Vardhan Project, Matrutva Samvardhan Din. He has also worked as a member of Maharashtra State Reform Committee, Expenditure Monitoring Committee for Local Body Elections and Course Advisory Committee for Module on Water Conservation, constituted by Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie. He has also received various awards, like Yashwant Panchayat Raj Award, Mahatma Phule Jal Bhumi Award, Beti Bachao Award and Best Collector Award for his contributions. In terms of educational qualifications, he is an MS, MA (Public Administration), Masters in Public Policy and PhD.
Vidya TambveManager - Personnel, CIDCO | Mrs. Vidya Tambve has been working with CIDCO for the last 35 years. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Shivaji University in Kolhapur. During her tenure with CIDCO, she has worked across various departments, including Marketing, Town Services and Personnel. Since July 2016, she has held the position of Manager Personnel and implemented several HR initiatives in terms of Employee Engagement and Induction. She is the first female CIDCO officer appointed to this role. Mrs. Tambve was instrumental in the digitization of records in Town Services and Personnel. She also played a key role in set-up of CIDCO’s Citizen Facilitation Centre. In her current role, she is driving implementation of SAP-HCM and CIDCO’s capacity building initiatives under its new training policy.
Dr. Debolina KunduAssociate Professor, NIUA | email@example.com Dr. Debolina Kundu is an Associate Professor at the National Institute of Urban Affairs, New Delhi, India and has over 20 years of professional experience in the field of development studies. She has a Ph.D degree from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She has been a doctoral fellow with the ICSSR and post-doctoral fellow at the Local Government Initiative, Hungary. She has previously been engaged as a consultant with several national and international organizations, including IIDS, UNDP, UNESCAP, KfW Germany, GIZ, Urban Institute, Washington etc. on issues of urban development, governance and social exclusion. She was the coordinator of JNNURM Reform Appraisal for eight states. At present, she is in charge of the Data Centre and HUDCO Chair activities at NIUA, coordinating a project on 'Internal Migration in India' and working as an urban specialist for the ADB supported Knowledge Hub for South Asia. She is the editor of the journal Environment and Urbanisation, Asia. She has a large number of articles published in books and journals of international and national repute with Sage, Oxford and other leading academic publishers.
Prof. Ashok KumarProfessor, SPA Delhi |
Ravindrakumar MankarACP, CIDCO and Project Coordinator
Navi Mumbai | Mr. Ravindrakumar Manoharrao Mankar is currently the Additional Chief Planner for Navi Mumbai at the City and Industrial Development Corporation, Navi Mumbai. He is in charge of coordinating NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab’s activities on behalf of CIDCO. He has over 25 years of experience of working with CIDCO and he currently heads a team of 15 planners, working in Northern and Southern nodes of Navi Mumbai. Mr. Mankar obtained his Bachelors in Civil Engineering from YCC Nagpur a Master's degree in Urban Planning from VNIT, Nagpur. He has been a part of international infrastructure and smart city projects' conference. Mr. Mankar is also a member of the Institute of Engineers, India and the Institute of Town Planners. He has previously worked as a secretary for the Indian Institute of Town Planners India, Maharashtra chapter and is presently the Chairman of the ITPI MRC.
Siddharth PanditChair and Team Lead
New Delhi | firstname.lastname@example.org Siddharth Pandit currently leads the CIDCO Smart City Lab project at National Institute of Urban Affairs. Prior to joining NIUA, he has worked on urban policy focusing on transportation in developing countries. Siddharth has work experience in long range metropolitan planning as a consultant to New York Metropolitan Transportation Council and in urban advocacy at UDRI, Mumbai. He has background in technology, data and public policy with graduate education in Computer Science and Geography from University at Albany, and in urban planning from NYU Wagner School of Public Policy.
Manjali Arora SunejaTraining Coordinator
Navi Mumbai | email@example.com Manjali Arora Suneja leads the NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab Training Cell at CIDCO in Navi Mumbai. She has 11 years of professional experience in the field of Human Resources. She has a background in Knowledge Management, Recruitment Lifecycle, Compensation Benchmarks, Skill Mapping and Competency Assessment. She has also worked in areas of Process Improvements, Capacity Building, Formulating HR Policies, Organizational Development activities, Resource Management, Learning and Development initiatives, Change management and Leadership Development Program. Manjali has a Post Graduate degree from XLRI Jamshedpur and is a Certified Trainer from ISTD, Delhi Chapter, Ministry of Human Resource Development.
Deepika DeoTraining Research Fellow
Navi Mumbai | firstname.lastname@example.org Deepika Deo is Training Research Fellow with the NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab. She works as part of its Training located at CIDCO in Navi Mumbai. She is a Planner and Geographer with a Master's Degree in Urban & Regional Planning from CEPT, Ahmedabad and Master's Degree in Geography from Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi. Before joining NIUA she worked with Airport Planning & Design Consulting Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai, Datamation Consultants Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, Planning & Resources on Urban Development Affairs (PRUDA) R & D wing of All India Institute of Local Self Government, New Delhi and The Louis Berger Group Inc., Mumbai. She has experience in Project Management, Techno-Economic Feasibility Studies, Socio economic and Financial Research of various Infrastructure projects. She is also a UGC NET Scholar.
Priyank KhareResearch Associate
New Delhi | email@example.com Priyank Khare is an Urban Planner and Architect by qualification. He did his bachelor’s degree in architecture from Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, Bhopal and acquired his master’s degree in Urban planning & policy design from Politecnico di Milano, Italy. His working experience includes working on economic feasibility models, managing construction works and researching & designing development models. His research interests are about organic planning, complex adaptive systems in neighbourhood development and concept of cities as a self-organising system.
Sandip NeheResearch Associate
Navi Mumbai | firstname.lastname@example.org Sandip Nehe works as a Research Associate in NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab. He has completed his Masters in Social Work (MSW) from CSRD- ISWR Ahmednagar. Prior to NIUA, he worked as a Training and counselling officer in Magic bus Livelihood programme. He has also worked as a training and monitoring officer in magic bus National programme. His specialisation is in Urban and Rural Community Development.
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(Graphics Designer) | Deep Pahwa is a graduate in Commerce from Delhi University. Being inspired by art he pursued his interest by studying design, multimedia and animation. He has around 20 years of experience in graphic design. A major part of his stint has been with top media houses. He also worked as a professional photographer. He takes care of healthy user's experience with design and visuals on Smartnet. Additionally, he handles design of publications, brand identity, events collateral & likes.
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NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab is a research and capacity building unit established at the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), New Delhi in July 2014 by the City and Industrial Development Corporation Maharashtra Ltd. (CIDCO). The Lab provides support to CIDCO’s technical personnel through action research, training, innovation, documentation and capacity building with a particular focus on the development of ‘smart cities’.
Since its formation, the lab has supported CIDCO in a variety of activities, including the launch of CIDCO Smart City (South) in 2015. Entering its 4th year, CIDCO Smart City Lab is now aiding the implementation of CIDCO’s new Training Policy through Ujjwal, CIDCO’s first online Training Portal.
NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab has been actively engaged in some of CIDCO’s key projects such as Development of Navi Mumbai Smart City Plan, Strategic Planning for JN Port Influence Area (JNPTIA) and Impact of Redevelopment of Goathans in and around Navi Mumbai.
The Lab continues to serve as an incubation centre for smart and innovative solutions in priority sectors, such as land use planning and management, traffic and transportation, utility networks, public services, conservation/preservation of greenery and energy efficiency.
Dinesh Kapur is passionate about low-carbon energy, environmental sustainability and public policy. As a Jubilee Scholar, he studied an MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development at the University of Cambridge. Before joining NIUA in Oct 2014, he worked for 3 years in climate policy research, energy efficiency consulting and strategic sustainability advisory for clients such as the Govt. of India, Delhi’s International Airport and British Telecom (London).
As an International Climate Champion (selected by British Council) and one of India’s Brightest Young Climate Leaders (Hindustan Times) he has demonstrated a passion for urban sustainability through community projects to mitigate carbon emissions from waste. A TEDx speaker on climate entrepreneurship, he believes sports can serve as a vehicle for smarter and sustainable cities.
On 25th June 2015, the Prime Minister launched the Smart Cities Mission along with two other programmes (AMRUT and Housing for all) aimed at transforming urbanization in India. The programmes were launched at Vigyan Bhawan and with the aims of i) addressing elementary problems that have become vexing challenges for our cities ii) improving the quality of public services in our cities and iii) improving the economic competitiveness of our cities and iv) strengthening municipal bodies and v) involving citizens in the process of transforming cities.
The objective of the Smart Cities mission in particular is to promote cities that provide core infrastructure and give a decent quality of life to its citizens, a clean and sustainability environment and application of ‘Smart’ solutions. The focus is on sustainable and inclusive development and the idea is to look at compact areas and create a model that can be replicated and inspires other cities. The Smart Cities Mission is meant to create examples that can be replicated both within and outside a city, catalysing the creation of similar Smart Cities in various regions and parts of the country.
The purpose of the Smart Cities Mission is to drive economic growth and improve the quality of life of people by enabling local area development and harnessing technology, especially technology that leads to ‘Smart’ outcomes. The Mission will cover 100 cities and its duration will be five years (FY 2015-16 to FY 2019-20). The Mission may be continued thereafter after an evaluation by the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) after incorporating the learning from the Mission.
The strategic components of Area-based development in the Smart Cities Mission are improvement (retrofitting), city renewal (redevelopment) and city extension (greenfield development) along with a pan-city initiative in which Smart Solutions are applied to larger parts of the city.
The Smart City proposal of each shortlisted city is expected to encapsulate either a retrofitting or redevelopment or greenfield development model, or a mix thereof and a Pan-city feature. The Government is not prescribing any particular model to be adopted by cities. The approach is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’; each city has to formulate its own concept, vision, mission and plan (proposal) that is appropriate to its local context, resources and levels of ambition.