Many a hiccups for BRTS in City

A picture of the BRT in Texas

Consultants appointed by the Bangalore Development Authority will finally submit a detailed draft by October on the much awaited Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS).

However, the concept which has been in talks for years now may not start this year on the first stretch, Hebbal to Silk Board Junction, going by the pace of action from development authorities.

“I cannot tell you when it will come into existence. Only one discussion has taken place so far and we will sit down with Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT) once towards the end of this month to look more closer look at the into the proposal,” said K R Sreenivas, Managing Director, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC).

Sreenivas and M P Prabhudas, Chief Traffic Manager (Operations) had recently visited London, Istanbul and Stockholm to witness the concept of BRTS up front. What they found was not something suitable to the current condition of Bangalore. “Istanbul is just way ahead and developed. The BRTS there is one full stretch (middle lane) of 43 kms dedicated to buses on a three lane road that connects two cities,” says Prabhudas.

‘City cannot have BRTS’

The concept cannot be brought to this city says Sreenivas. “Our city has way too many flyovers and under passes. A BRTS like Istanbul’s wont work here. But the trip has provided us with many ideas which we now have to put forth in the new draft for BRTS.”

The Delhi BRTS has faced several traffic issues due to bad planning and the officials do not want to rush things up lest Bangalore also face the same trouble.

London and Stockholm work more on the idea of Bus Priority System, where one side of the road is used by buses and vehicles have to clear the path for the coming of buses.

“London does not really have a BRTS as such. However, that idea is in its preliminary stages of discussion,” said Prabhudas. BPS was brought to the attention of BMTC officials by Center for Infrastructure, Sustainable Transport and Urban (CISTUP) and group Praja a few years ago.

On whether Priority Lanes will ever find place in the crowded city, Sreenivas said, “The roads are too narrow and traffic is already too much on roads like Old Airport Road.

However, we need to discuss the matter with the traffic police and the new Additional Commissioner of Police.”

Cities such as Pune, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Goa have successful BRTS up and running. Six tier-two cities have already started construction of BRTS corridors. An official from BMTC says, “We Bangaloreans are now experts in waiting. We know how long the Metro has taken for a single phase. So one can imagine when the BRTS will start.”

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