The Asia LEDS Partnership (ALP) Secretariat, hosted by ICLEI South Asia and supported by the Swiss Agency for Development & Cooperation (SDC) facilitated the participation of ALP transport Community of Practice (CoP) participants from Bhutan, Sri Lanka and India in the workshop on ‘Moving towards Sustainable, Energy Efficient, Urban Mobility in Emerging Cities’, in Singapore, 7th to 9th May 2018.
The Energy Smart Communities’ Initiative (ESCI) of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) led the workshop and was co-organized by theLow Emissions Development Strategies Global Partnership Secretariat (LEDS GP), the Transport Working Group (TWG and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). The event was attended by the national representatives of Bhutan, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Chile, Mexico, India, Philippines and Vietnam involved in transportation sector.
The activity aimed to mobilise the participating countries to move towards sustainable and energy efficient urban mobility. It was comprehensively designed and conducted for a period of three days focusing on the importance of national and subnational institutional set up towards sustainable urban transport, followed by sustainable urban land use and mobility planning, funding mechanisms and sources of funding for urban mobility and overview of good practices in Singapore and other APEC countries.
The event provided a learning experience for political decision makers at the national level, local level and technical staff members representing the APEC and other countries. Highlights of the workshop can be summerised as below:
Mobility system in APEC countries: Participants shared the existing status of mobility infrastructures from their respective countries. They also discussed about the future plans and outlook of their governments in promoting sustainable mobility.
The participants were enlightened on the perspective of the policy framework which has been adopted by each country while implementing their projects. It was observed that majority focus of the government is on tackling issues in capital/metro cities, national level schemes are also focused in these areas and funds allotted are also concentrated in these, neglecting the smaller cities.
Deployment of E-vehicles: Traffic congestion issues are common in all the APEC countries leading to poor quality air and health conditions. E-vehicles are being deployed in countries on pilot-project basis. Issues arising from this strategy include the lack of clarity on charging infrastructure, identification of the appropriate fuel to be used, and the manufacture of electric buses. Countries like Sri Lanka have allocated funds for procurement of electric vehicles for public transport. At the same time, Bhutan is looking forward to optimally utilize its hydro power in deploying and operating electric vehicle for Public Transport (PT) in the country.
Public Transport Industry, Singapore: During the discussion, roles and responsibilities between departments and sub departments were clearly demarcated which along with continuous monitoring and ensuring the smooth operation of the system.The transport system in Singapore basically runs on the principles which are also referred as partnership approach:
⦁ Government provides the infrastructure and sets the service standards.
⦁ Operators recover the cost from operating revenue- through fares, advertisements, extracting efficiency dividends within service standards and fare structure
⦁ Commuters pay for service.
The public transport system in Singapore is one of the best examples, primarily because of the realistic fares which are revised regularly to account for cost increase. Service-providers are recovering their operating costs and hence the government is able to provide a sustainable transport system.
Discussions were held with Land Transportation Authority (LTA) and Green Freight Asia (GFA) on ‘Governance and financing of public transport’ and Smart ‘Urban Freight’. LTA presented on the Regulation and funding of public transport in Singapore. They explained about the rail and bus transport system with details of financing principles, regulatory and operational framework, New Rail Financing Framework (NRFF), Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP) and Bus contracting model (BCM).
GFA explained the need of Green freight, actors involved, policy and programs related to green freight movement, trends and role of government. Green freight will ensure efficient movement of goods, reduce logistics cost and minimize the impacts of GHG emissions.
As part of the workshop, site visits were organized to different organizations in Singapore. These were made to appreciate their models of operation, challenges faced by them and projects undertaken by these organisations in Singapore.
This enabled the participants to understand and develop innovative ideas which can be incorporated in their respective countries. The participants appreciated Singapore’s checkered past and its journey towards progress. They were also taken to sites which focused on electro mobility research projects, the bus depot built by Singapore’s Land Transport Authority, and the Center for Livable Cities (CLC).