IISc study shows way to integrate BMTC, Metro

IISc study shows way to integrate BMTC, Metro

With the entire Metro phase 1 set to be operational in the next few days, a study by IISc professor and transport expert Ashish Verma bats for an integrated approach towards public transport to provide faster and convenient journey at optimum cost.

The paper - titled ‘Design of sustainable Metro feeder routes and service frequencies’ - includes a case study of the BMTC feeder service during peak hours at Indiranagar Metro station. It has been co-authored by Verma’s students Annappayya Achari and Alpana Kumari.

Verma said optimal use of all forms of public transport was necessary to achieve the desired sharing between different modes. “This will lead to increase in the efficiency of both Namma Metro and BMTC within the city and other services between the cities,” he said.

“The cities that provide the best public transport systems usually have a single corporation taking care of multiple mode of transport including Metro, bus and trains. We have compartmentalised each of the services and compare their profits. “This will not help bring integration,” he said.

The study takes into account both user and operation cost as well as variations in demand to arrive at a sustainable model of service. The BMTC, which plans to deploy 185 buses for feeder service, has to do some groundwork before moving ahead.

First, the BMTC has to get detailed data on Namma Metro and its ridership patterns, including access and egress details at each station and the demand for last-mile connectivity by riders from the particular station.

“The Indiranagar case study helped us to arrive at a practical model which takes into consideration cost and time spent by both users and service providers. We should understand that the user cost is subsidised even as we expect the corporation to make profit,” he said. This does not mean that BMTC should hike fares.

“We have done another study that shows that hiking fares actually pushes away commuters from public transport. Instead, the BMTC should do some homework and adopt a scientific model,” he said.

Verma noted that for a metropolitan city like Bengaluru, public transport should always be multi-modal in planning as well as implementation stage. “We have to connect different modes of transport at each turn. A small gap between two modes will discourage commuters. Seamless transport experience is the only way forward,” he said.

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