India’s rapid urbanization has put cities under extreme stress to meet the travel demands of growing populations. Fourteen Indian cities are ranked among the top 15 globally in air pollution, and the country’s transport sector contributes to 15% of its carbon dioxide emissions. To counter the negative impacts of congestion and air pollution, and to ensure continued economic growth, Indian cities are investing in over 5,000 km of urban metro rail infrastructure by 2047. However, in some cases, gaps in accessibility have resulted in fewer commuters opting to use metro systems than expected.

Innovative solutions are needed to help incentivize more commuters to use public transport and maximize investments in metro rail systems. WRI India’s Station Access and Mobility Program (STAMP) is a multi-year, multi-city project that bridges this gap by combining cutting-edge research with piloting innovative solutions at stations, from electric autorickshaws to a carpooling app. The program brings together diverse stakeholders, from metro agencies to startups, in a participatory model to implement solutions in and around metro stations.

Started in 2017 in Bengaluru, STAMP has since expanded to five other cities: Hyderabad, Kochi, Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur. STAMP uses a four-step model to identify existing gaps in metro access and connectivity through passenger surveys and then deploying pilots of selected solutions:

  1. Identify gaps and opportunities that can impact accessibility to the metro through surveys
  2. Enable entrepreneurs and transit agencies to understand the local context for each city through workshops
  3. Catalyze innovation through the STAMP Challenge, which identifies and supports promising solutions in multimodal integration 
  4. Implement solutions from the Challenge through pilot projects at metro stations

Research and over 6,000 surveys conducted by WRI as part of the STAMP program have demonstrated that last-mile connectivity and multimodal integration are pressing issues across metro networks, old and new, in India. STAMP cities have engaged over 45 companies, piloting 11 solutions with 10 start-ups, enabling new mobility enterprises to work closely with mass transit systems to provide last-mile connectivity, as well as experiment with clean power technologies in vehicles.

STAMP has enabled over 50,000 last-mile trips to metro stations, and the pilots have saved over 240,000 passenger minutes compared to less efficient modes. While the STAMP process remains broadly similar across editions, the approach is customized to the city and stage of deployment of the metro system itself. As STAMP evolves, the program aims to increase access to mass transit while also reducing the carbon footprint of urban transport in cities.