Bus priority lane to be a reality from February 16

Bus priority lane to be a reality from February 16

One month from now, the much-awaited bus priority lane will take shape on a key stretch of road in the City.

From February 16, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) will work with the traffic police and BBMP to start the bus priority system (BPS) project on a pilot basis.

The stretch connects Kempegowda Bus Station (KBS) with ASC College (before Domlur), roughly 12.3 km in length.

The idea originated in 2009 from online civic group Praja and faculty at Centre for Infrastructure, Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning (CISTUP), with both parties choosing the stretch from KBS to ITPL through Old Airport Road to implement the BPS. The government corporations, however, came to a conclusion that the 10-km stretch from Domlur to ITPL can be taken up in the second phase of the project.

The stretch from KBS to ITPL is considered one of the busiest routes in Bangalore due to the large number of IT professionals commuting to and fro. One side of the two-way road from Victoria Layout to Marathahalli is 25 feet wide. The bus priority lane is planned to be 15 feet wide. All private vehicles plying on this stretch will have to move out of the priority lane when there is a BMTC bus/ambulance/emergency vehicle approaching from behind. It also called signal priority system as buses will pass through to be the first vehicle at any signal.

When asked if taking away 10 feet from regular traffic movement will be an additional headache to traffic cops, B A Muttanna, DCP Traffic (East), said: “Much of the traffic jams on Old Airport Road are due to BMTC buses. Giving the buses a separate lane might reduce traffic jams.”

Muttanna is anxiously waiting to see how things turn out as he says traffic police cannot promise success for this project. “We need at least two weeks to train ourselves in BPS. Only after that, we can say if it truly works.” The priority lane will be coloured green. A BBMP official said: “Till now, no Palike engineer has spoken about chopping trees.”

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