CHENNAI: Even if the government resumes public transportation, people will be cautious about using it, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. And if more people opt out of public transport for personal vehicles, it would further impact the environment, sustainable development, and increase the traffic load. In a move to reassure commuters, the World Bank has decided to prepare a COVID-19 Green Label Certification programme for the transport sector across Indian cities.
The certification programme, says Gerald Ollivier, the Lead Transport Specialist at World Bank, will renew confidence of commuters. The programme is voluntary, and transport corporations can choose to participate. They will have to meet certain criteria to receive the label. “The label means the operator is taking right steps to ensure the safety of passengers in the post-COVID-19 world,” says Ollivier. Any public transport service – government & private buses, autos, cab aggregators — can apply for a label.
The certification will be renewed every fortnight, while a self-certification will have to be done every day by the operator via an app. External organisations may also be involved in the process of certification. A few important measures to be followed for certification include a dedicated multi-department workforce and cashless ticketing. The measures are modelled on the Standard Operating Procedures prepared by various transport undertakings, the Institute for Transport Development Policy, and German development agency GIZ.