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What is Odisha’s Mo Bus, recipient of the UN’s prestigious public service award?

  • Published
    24th Jun, 2022
Context

Mo Bus, the bus service of Odisha’s Capital Region Urban Transport (CRUT) authority, has been recognised by the United Nations as one of 10 global recipients of its annual Public Service Awards for 2022.

About Mo Bus service:

  • The Mo Bus service was launched in November, 2018.
  • Aim: to ensure "transformation of the urban public transport scenario in the city and its hinterland through use of smart technology, service benchmarking and customer satisfaction".
  • The buses are designed to integrate smart technologies such as free on-board Wi-Fi service, digital announcements, surveillance cameras, and electronic ticketing.
  • Air-conditioned Mo Bus fares start at Rs 5 and go up to Rs 70; non-AC fares are from Rs 5 to Rs 55.

How the service gained such remarkable recognition?

  • Gender-responsive public service: The public transport service has been recognised for its role in promoting gender-responsive public services to achieve the SDGs.
  • Adoption of real-time technologies: Mo Bus has incorporated “real-time technologies like live tracking, travel planner and e-ticketing”.
  • An e-rickshaw system called ‘Mo E-Ride’ has been introduced as a last-mile feeder service.
  • Women oriented: To increase women’s participation in the workforce, and to make women riders feel safer, it is committed to ensuring that 50% of Mo Bus Guides (conductors) are women.

Impact:

  • 57 per cent of the city’s commuters now use the Mo Bus.
  • Mo E-Ride is estimated to reduce pollution by 30-50 per cent.
  • 40 per cent of Mo Bus conductors are women.
  • 100 percent of Mo E-Ride drivers are women, transgender people, and people from disadvantaged communities.

UN Public Service Award

  • The UN describes its Public Service Awards as the “most prestigious international recognition of excellence in public service”.
  • It is intended to reward “the creative achievements and contributions of public service institutions that lead to a more effective and responsive public administration in countries worldwide”.
  • Through an annual competition, the UN Public Service Awards promotes the role, professionalism and visibility of public service.
  • The UN Public Service Day (celebrated on June 23) celebrates the value and virtue of public service to the community, highlights its contribution in the development process, recognizes the work of public servants, and encourages young people to pursue careers in the public sector.
    • The first Awards ceremony was held in 2003, and the UN has since received “an increasing number of submissions from all around the world”.
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