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BRTS – Certainly Possible & Can be Seamlessly Integrated too !

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Traffic
Planning BRT Corridors along narrower /congested roads & areas can be done by using up only one lane about 12-ft wide for one-way flows whilst using a similar lane on a different road for the return journey. This also has the advantage of wider coverage thrown in for the benefit of commuters. On wider roads, Syamese-twin pairs of bus-ways can be planned with overtaking facility at some bus stops for express /skip-stop services (20 ft width corridor would be required at bus stops for this, but they can be staggered on up & down directions to prevent 40’ width of the road at any given point from being used up).

At signals & intersections, narrow underpasses could be used exclusively to allow for through passage of buses as mentioned in previous threads. If underpasses are not feasible at some locations, narrow one-way 16-ft wide overpasses will need to be built to facilitate BRT routing. All road infrastructure developments must focus on priority bus routing options rather than cater to & promote private vehicle usage.

Five possible routes are mentioned below – more can be added, but many will have to be single lane & /or circular routes since road widths may be insufficient :
1.
Domlur-Koramangala- Electronic City /EC (along 100-ft rd, IRR, Hosur rd).
  Integrates at Domlur with proposed ph-2 Metro (Indiranagar to Whitefield), runs parallel with proposed ph-2 Metro on Hosur road (EC to Yelahanka), & also integrates with Route-2 below at Domlur.

This twin-lane route can be bifurcated whilst passing through Koramanagala, & rejoined on Hosur road at Silkboard junction.Whilst south-bound, the route can use one lane on the left along Koramangala 80-ft rd (from Sonyworld at IRR-80-ft rd junction), proceed on Sarjapur rd, turn right at Agara lake & use ORR to rejoin Hosur rd at Silkboard. On return to Indiranagar, the route can turn right on to Koramangala 100-ft rd from Hosur rd & use one lane of the road on 100-ft rd upto 80-ft peripheral rd at Sonyworld to rejoin the other BRT lane on IRR. This will provide coverage to HSR along ring road & also to inner parts of Koramangala.

If a commuter wishes to proceed to Domlur from Sarjapur road, he could do it by taking the south bound bus & changing over to a north-bound bus at Silkboard – there will be a slight delay, but it would be minimal since buses would run faster with priority corridors.

2.
Richmod Circle-Domlur (along Richmond rd, Victoria rd & Airport rd).
  – Integrates with Route-1 above at Domlur, Metro (ph-1) at Trinity, Metro ph-2 (EC to Yelahanka) at Vellara Junction near Shoolay, Metro ph-2 (Indiranagar to Whitefield) at Domlur, & also with LRT /Mono, if the extension is planned /provided at Richmond circle.

This twin-lane route will need to be bifurcated at Richmond road-Victoria rd junction & rejoined at Victoria rd-Airport rd junction (near battle tank).

When east bound, this route can go along Richmond rd till almost Trinity junction, turn right on to trinity church road through defense areas, turn left & continue on airport road till Domlur. When west bound, branch off to Victoria rd near battle tank & rejoin other lane at Lifestyle. Thus, it will use only one lane on Richmond road past Lifestyle up to Trinity, Trinity church road & on Victoria road.

3.
Hudson Circle – KG Circle – KG Bus station – Railway station – Anand Rao circle – Seshadri Rd – KR Circle – Nrupathunga Rd – Hudson circle.
  – Integrates with Metro (ph-1) at KG Bus station & at Mysore Bank & with Mono /LRT at Hudson (if extension planned /provided).

This is a circular route & will use up only one lane on all the roads mentioned. At worst, a commuter may need to spend a few minutes longer if his destination is closer in the opposite direction of the route.

4.
Magadi Rd-Dr.Rajkumar rd junction – Northwards all along Dr.Rajkumar rd – Soap Factory – CV Raman rd (through IISC) – Sampige rd – Swastik – Platform rd – Magadi Rd back to Dr.Rajkumar rd-Magadi rd junction.
  – Integrates with Metro (ph-1) at Dr.Rajkumar rd-Magadi rd junction, Metro (ph-1) at Soap factory & Metro (ph-1) midway at Maharishi Kuvempu rd stn & at Swastik stn.

This is a another circular route aimed to service parts of Rajajinagar & Malleswaram that are not close to the Metro ph-1 route & will use up only one lane on Dr.Rajkumar rd, CV Raman rd, Sampige rd, Platform rd & Magadi rd. The Metro corridor provides inter-connectivity midway + Metro integration will be available at both ends.

5.
National College flyover /circle – Vanivilas road – Vasavi Temple rd – Pass adjacent KR park on the east side – turn right at Gunasheela nursing home – turn left on to Kanakapura road – to Banashankari temple /bus station. When north bound, proceeds along Kanakapura rd for a short distance & then along KR Road throughout (parallel & close to Kanakapura rd), past Gandhi bazaar back to National college.
  – Integrates with Metro (ph-1) & Mono /LRT at National College & with Metro (ph-1) at Banashankari bus station.

This is a circular route for most part (with corridors close to one another) & is aimed to provide service for Basavangudi & Banashankari areas not serviced by Metro. Metro will be available at both ends.

Priority for buses & BRT now does seem more & more of a necessity with each passing day in the city & needs to be considered foremost. Providing priority of passage for buses appears to be the only way to put an end to the relentless increase in personal modes for mobility with increased traffic volumes.

The CTTP report has recommended 14 BRT corridors (click the link above to see CTTP recommended BRT map) – most of these are outside ORR. This will not address the problems – more coverage within ORR is necessary if private vehicle usage is to be restrained within the city.

To be successful & effective, the corridors must not be discontinuous & must provide interfaces with Metro & other modes of rapid transit/s to make the whole travel package faster, reliable & efficient. If they do not provide options for onward journeys, there will be few takers, not serve the purpose & will fail financially.

The CTTP report has not considered the SE quadrant of the Core area, though this had previously been considered for the ELRTS project that had been abandoned. The Mono /LRT recommended from Kathriguppe to National College needs to be extended to pass through JC Rd, RRM Rd & Residency Rd to integrate with the Metro Ph-2 corridor at Rex Cinema This will provide far more convenient options & help greatly.

Check this link: http://bangalore.praja.in/part-iii-south-east-cbd-areas-not-connected.

Comments

s_yajaman's picture

Naveen - good ideas - my suggestions

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Naveen,

Some suggestions and builds.

a. Domlur to Shantinagar TTMC rather than Richmond Circle as Richmond circle does not offer any sort of commuter facilites for waiting.  I am also a bit confused about the route as you don't mention Residency Road.  I think it has to go to Mayo Hall --> Garuda Mall --> HOSMAT --> Lower Agara Road --> Domlur.

b. Shantinagar to City Station to Shantinagar  vs. Hudson Circle to Majestic. - again Corporation office has no proper waiting place.  We need to think of what type of commuter will use this.

I would add some feeder routes - Jayanagar 4th block TTMC (when it comes up) to Banashankari via 9th main, 36th cross, Kanakapura Road.  Hardly any bus goes through 36th cross.  This can become a feeder to the Metro station at RV Road/Banashankari.

Jayanagar 4th block to BTM Layout via T-Block and 9th block.

Srivathsa

We need to connect key shopping areas (Commercial Street, MG Road, Brigade Road, Jayanagar Complex, Forum, Garuda Mall) to residential areas. 

 

Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

Naveen's picture

Sri - Yr Ideas

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Sri,

 

a)  I had’nt mentioned extending to Shantinagar TTMC from Richmond Circle as the road widths adjacent the ramp of the flyover on Richmond rd are narrow. Also, it’s narrow under the flyover on the stretch between Richmond circle towards double rd. Thus, providing bus lanes may not be feasible beyond Richmond flyover ramp, unless the entire road below flyover in both directions is made bus exclusive – this may not be feasible as other traffic movements will be effected.

However, if the flyover itself is made exclusive for buses, the extension may be easily possible. On double rd, one lane only would be better for direction towards Shantinagar TTMC in order not to use up too much of the road width & save trees. On return, a bus lane can be provided along Siddiah rd (or road over drain, if one is built – there is a wide drain opposite Shantinagar TTMC coming from City Mkt side), thence on Lalbagh rd, on Mission rd, on to flyover & rejoin the other lane on Richmond rd.

Commuter facilities (bus stops) can be developed a short distance from the foot of the flyover of the ramp on Richmond road – the road width is quite sufficient. However, sidewalk width is narrow, & this will need to be addressed. Pedestrian road crossing can be arranged under the flyover (currently, this is a landscaped area).

Proceeding east on Richmond road, it’s best to carry the bus lane all the way till Trinity (since it will provide an interchange with Metro), & then turn right towards airport rd, instead of going via Mayo Hall-Garuda Mall-HOSMAT-Lower Agaram rd, where road widths are narrower.

I did not use Residency rd as the road had already been ear-marked for guided rail mass transit when the erstwhile ELRTS routes were planned – in fact the flyover does not have a landing ramp on RRM rd for this reason. As I mentioned, I am for extending the Mono/LRT from National college along Sajjan Rao circle-JC rd-Town hall-Hudson circle-RRM rd-Residency rd-upto Rex cinema, where it should integrate with ph-2 metro route (EC-Yelahanka). It confounds me as to how they overlooked this important line – they may suddenly realize that they do not have a connection past corpn & plan it sometime later – if so, it will have to follow the above routing, or deviate towards Mysore bank (District office rd).

 

b)  Shantinagar to City Station to Shantinagar – this is already well serviced by buses operating in mixed traffic conditions, & I feel dedicated lanes may not be required. One also has the option of using Metro (from Vidhana soudha or Mysore bank) & the other line mentioned above, passing corpn.

 

c)  Feeder routes for Metro – around Jayanagar, Banashankari & Kanakapura rd – these will be done, I am sure when the Metro is finished as patronage for the Metro & it’s financial well being all depend on this !

 

d)  Key shopping areas:

Commercial Street – Metro ph-2 line (EC-Yelahanka) is planned to pass through Kamraj road.

MG Road – Metro ph-1 covers this.

Brigade Road – Metro ph-1 provides a stop at plaza, close to Brigade road. Also, Metro ph-2 line (EC-Yelahanka) is planned underground along Brigade road. If the line passing corpn extends to Rex, then we will have one more connection here.

Jayanagar Complex – Feeder buses will be operated to Metro Jayanagar stn (near Nanda, on RV rd).

Forum – Metro ph-2 line (EC-Yelahanka) is planned to pass through Hosur road.

Garuda Mall – Metro ph-2 line (EC-Yelahanka) is planned to pass through Brigade road. If the line passing corpn extends to Rex, then there will be one more link. 

What about North-Eastern areas – HRBR, etc. ?  I am not very familiar with travellers’ habits in those areas, & hence had’nt mentioned any there.

 

Naveen's picture

Indore – first visible success for BRTS in India

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Indore BRTS - They have managed to do this in a city with a transport network comprising some 500 private mini-buses, 550 tempos & 10,000 auto-rickshaws ! Maybe there are lessons from it for Bangalore & other cities that have poor public transport, like Pune. Their web page, http://www.citybusindore.com is quite impressive.

This success can be attributed to many reasons :

1)      Relatively lower levels of motorization.

2)      Willingness of citizens to submit to experiments, changes & follow regulations.

3)      The use of bicycles without any stigma attached (Most of our citizens imagine that bicycles are only for the poorer masses – however, Indore is different where bicycles have been widely used by all classes).

4)      A dynamic leadership that spear-headed this enterprise.

5)      Involving the private sector for needed investments.

6)      Relentless dedication of the various team/s that has made this project so successful & exemplary.

Cheers to them & hope they continue to inspire others !

If Indore BRTS continues to operate well & be expanded (they are talking about some 277 kms of it !), that city will set a benchmark for urban transport development that is unique in India.

This raises concerns about Delhi’s experiments with Metro as also BRTS – the bus corridors were far too wide than required, & as a result, they have had to re-group & work on new strategies. The Metro is running empty. I think Delhites are similar to Bangaloreans – they insist on priority for private vehicles first ! Quite irresponsible.

In Bangalore, we are yet to commence any move towards prioritizing our public transport system, although traffic concerns have become mind boggling (with almost a thousand vehicles being added to the roads each day !). The quality of life has been going down & road conditions are threatening to become  even more hellish !  Investors have shied away – already, in the last four years, a lot of investment has gone to various other cities.

Some of the concerns raised by citizens against BRTS are :

1) Trees will be cut down :  Do we really need to cut trees & widen roads to have BRT ? Can't we manage to provide a lane or two on our roads by reducing widths for mixed traffic without cutting down trees ?

2)  Dedicated lanes are a waste of costly urban space :  Are the same costs acceptable for private vehicles use, with the resulting increases in pollution, congestion & increasing difficulties in commuting for the public ?

3) Very Costly :  It is well known that BRTS is the cheapest form of mass transport. If even this seems to cost too much & we do not invest in it, then our city is doomed & will soon be in disarray as once Calcutta was. Even in Mumbai, the quality of life is so poor that daily commutes on packed suburban trains in the hot & humid conditions is like going through a crusher that extracts juice !  I think we certainly do not want this, & wish for something much better.

 

Bangalore is somewhat unique – there are far too many road intersections, extremely short distances between intersections, too many turn-offs & turn-ins, in some cases - at every few meters & numerous 5 & 6-road junctions, all contributing to grid locks on almost every road.

How can we sort out this complex network of roads ? Building a Metro system to take care of commuters is too expensive, time-consuming & involves great inconveniences to the public through the construction period/s. After all that, it may run empty as there are no guarantees that it will become the preferred mode for commuting for many in the city. 

The only answer is BRTS & bus services with highest priority & at the expense of private vehicles. A lot of investment, commitment & co-ordination would be required to design & build bus corridors that take care of bus priority without disturbing regular & legitimate traffic flows, addressing pedestrian needs, commuter facilities & also incorporate steps to promote bicycle usage – these are the challenges for a BRTS for Bangalore.  Any takers ?

 

tsubba's picture

awesome

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thats some work naveen will get back later
kbsyed61's picture

Try Madi - Mayo Hall to Electronic City

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Naveen,

 Thanks for the right summarization about Indore experience and this goes with my analysis also. I would like to add that there was one more element which also played an important role, i.e. Bus Stop at right spots/location.

 Given all the shortcomings the we have in Bangalore, we should give a try on using BRTS features on stretches where ever it possible. We should definitely try on the route:

Mayo Hall to Electronic City

1. Dedicate Bus lanes where ever it is possible on streches where the road is wide. I am sure this definitely possible from Koramangala onwards.

2. Bar 2 wheelers and autorickshaw traffic on the stretch from Johnson Market till Koramangala. Divert them through alternate route to take a detour on Mico Road towards Bannerghatta Road.

3. Should have increased bus frequency of atleast every 5 minutes.

4. Supplement these corridor with connecting service from Shivaji Nagar (at MG Raod), KR Market (at Koramangala), KG Bus Station (Koramangala), Jaynagar/Banashankari (at Silk Board). 

5. Should have the bus stops at right stops and location serving large neighborhood area. If needed should be relocated/cancelled/added to teh existing ones. 

Requirements:

1. Strict Enforcer authority to clear traffic mess on the whole stretch. 

2. As many suggested, transfer of ticket feature should be also be tested so that it appeals more users. 

Feedback on this propsal is very much appreciated.

 

Regards,

Syed 

 

Naveen's picture

Connections to EC from various points

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Syed – Thanks for your views & noted.

Mayo Hall to Electronic City :  The CTTP report has recommended a Metro route in ph-2 from Electronic City to Yelahanka, which will have a stop near Rex cinema. This should help commuters from Mayo hall area proceeding towards EC. Also, Srivathsa had suggested a BRT from Indiranagar to EC & we have discussed about this earlier – I have mentioned a BRT route from Domlur to EC (see beginning of this thread). This is in addition to the Metro route to help commuters who may wish to disembark at stops in between Metro stations along the route (Metro station will generally be spaced about 1 km apart, whereas BRT stops may be more closer, as low as 500mtrs apart).

Connections to Electronic City from various points should be available as follows :

Shivaji Nagar – Buses proceeding to MG Rd could be used to reach the Metro stn for EC.

KR Market, KG Bus Station, Jayanagar & Banashankari – Metro ph-1 will pass through all these points & could be used to interchange between Metro routes to get on to the one bound for EC, or the BRT, if & when these are built. Till then, one would have to rely on existing bus services.

Some restrictions on auto-rickshaws were discussed earlier & may be enforced after the Metro is up & running, but I don’t think details have yet been finalized.

 

blrsri's picture

Have BRTS before Metro

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It should be a good strategy to deploy BRTS before the metro comes in. This is just to popularize the routes and get people out of their habit of using personal transport and getting them to use public modes. This will also help with the numbers for the metro ridership..

Besides with the construction pace of the metro, I am not sure 2011 will read  2111 soon!

 

Transmogrifier's picture

BRTS maps?

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Naveen,

Excellent work again! Could you post the maps that  you had put together in the presentation you made to BMTC sometime back. If they are already posted, could you point us there?

transmogrifier

ps: I am still officially in arguing mode though :) since I still argue for a two-way BRTS on as many routes as possible... more on that later.

TM

Naveen's picture

BRTS Maps

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I am currently out & hence unable to post the maps.

TS - If you have redone the maps, maybe you cud post them, else the maps from the Ppt can be posted, thanks.

Naveen

tsubba's picture

bus exclusive lanes (maps)

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trans* here are the maps. to see them all in a full browser window use this link.
View Larger Map naveen's original maps also contained metro alignments. will have to map the metro alignment at some point.
Transmogrifier's picture

Elevated BRTS?

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Naveen/TS and others,

While a BRTS that takes up a maximum of one lane on a few of our many 1-ways to minimize discontent among other road users and increase feasability, it also diminishes its effectiveness. One way to combine the best of both- take up one lane worth of space and yet provide a bi-directional BRTS- is to go vertical. My take on the pros and cons of an elevated BRTS:

Cons

  1. It's significantly more expensive than a surface BRTS
  2. It could be argued that Metro/Mono would work better if investment is that high

Pros

  1. Skips major intersections and the numerous side roads that often plague traffic planners in Bangalore
  2. Facilitates the R in BRTS.
  3. Integrates easily with a surface BRTS thus permitting only sections to be elevated.
  4. Skywalks/escalators can facilitate easy access from ground level and would also encourage footpath upkeep and use.
  5. Bus stops need much less room than LRT (Metro) stations.
  6. Rolling stock exists or can be obtained at a fraction of the cost of the Metro/Mono.
  7. Permits customers to patronize businesses on either side of the road (a problem that might arise with a BRTS along the central median in the CBD).

I've worked on a preliminary sketch (click here) of an elevated BRTS. The sketch  is based on road widths of Field Marshall Cariappa/ Residency Rd measured from Google Earth. Specifications of bus lane width, bus stop width are based of DFID-UK's design guidelines of a BRT (Support columns were drawn significantly larger than required by the guide).

Comments? Thoughts?

TM

narayan82's picture

Elevated BRTS

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First thoughts: If you were spending that much to construct an elevated road, why not convert it to Metro. With rising fuel prices an electric option is probably better. Also it can carry more people per train. And safer. Maybe your idea is very close to Mono Rail? The other option would be to allow passenger cars and two wheelers on the above lane, and have a dedicated bus lane below. This way there would be less climbing for the passengers. This would be the "Elevated Expressways" concept.
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
Transmogrifier's picture

Elevated BRTS and other modes to get from here to there

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Narayan82,

Great input. See my stance on how the different modes match up to each other (+/- is with respect to an elevated BRTS). Actually, I am kinda split on the Elevated BRTS/MonoRail argument but I feel the investment will be higher for a Mono; I might be wrong.

Naveen/TS/silkboard I would love to hear your input on this.

Elevated BRTS v/s Metro
  1. (+) Metro stations need a lot more area than an Elevated BRTS bus stop (leading to lengthy, expensive land acquistion procedures e.g. Namma Metro)
  2. (+) Metro needs a much higher rolling stock investment (tracks, coaches etc.) and maintenance than a new BRTS system
  3. (-) However, as argued by narayan82 Metro is safer
 
Elevated BRTS v/s Monorail
  1. (+) Again, higher rolling stock investment etc.
  2. (-) Mono will be safer.
 
Elevated BRTS v/s Elevated Expressway
  1. (+) Having cars/2W use the elevated corridor negates the whole concept of a BRTS. You NEED to have the buses and NOT personal vehicles free of traffic for a BRTS/HCBS to be effective.
  2. (+) Having passengers climb up and down will not be an issue with the use of elevators. Moreover the world over people use stairs to access mass transit systems; London-Underground (copyright, Kurt Hutton/Gettyimages 1954), NY-Subway (copyright Rich Panse 2006).
 

TM

tsubba's picture

brts

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Trans* will get back
Vasanth's picture

Metro v/s BRTS

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Advantage of BRTS is that buses can run anywhere and it can be self feeder. From Point A to Point B, users can travel using buses without any change. Bus, in turn can take the elevated road.

Disadvantage - Dependency on the discipline with which the Bus Drivers drives the buses.

Our Political Power may one day say that cars can enter the elevated busway after undergoing severe pressure from public and some party may have it as their agenda.

Pollution level will remain the same either if the buses are Euro-ii/iii etc.. not comparable with Metro/Mono.

Platforms for people getting in will be more systematic, people will feel more safer even if the Meto is operating at 80kmph.

Major investment in Metro is the elevated corridor. Bus elevated corridor too has almost the same investment. Why not Metro then?

I would put my vote to Metro followed by Mono and then to BRTS. If the road is 3 lane, then my first vote would be BRTS at the surface level not elevated. Car users will be peenalized, but, their cry shouldn't be responded by the Government. 

 

narayan82's picture

Mono Vs BRTS (Contd)

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Transmogrifier good evalutaion. My biggest point of argument that makes me tend towards Mono is the issue of Fuel vs Electricity. Thinking ahead, keeping fares low and pollution levels low - I feel electricity is the key. Maybe the BRTS (Elevated) can have electric lines running over head and the busses can be electric? This maybe an option too. W.r.t to bus stops/stations I would imagine they would have ot be the same size. A train with 4 carriages is like 4 busses arriving one behind the other. Mono Rail can handle upto 40,000 Pax/hour, I am not sure if busses can handle that. Also what if a bus breaks down in the middle of the road, does it stop the entire stretch? Cost maybe greater, but I dont see the money missing. I remember the Malaysian firm which even offered to build the entire Metro Rail without any expenditure from the government. PPP would be key. Again in such a case a monitoring authority would be useful to control the monoply.
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
Transmogrifier's picture

BRTS v/s Monorail

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Vasanth, Narayan82 and others,

  1. Fuel v/s Electricity is always a good point to consider. But the kind of buses that run on an elevated BRTS depends on the bid that the Government puts out and the tenacity with which they hold their own against the automakers. A BRTS with electric lines is a good idea, but the visual clutter of wires running all over comes rushing to mind! Diesel/electric hybrids, cleaner fuels (click here) are all other options.
  2. I was visualizing BRTS stations that cater to a maximum of 2 buses (which admittedly would still be comparable to a Monorail).
  3. I did not look up figures for a Monorail but admittedly a BRTS is only between 7500-25000 passengers/hour
  4. As Vasanth argues though, the use of an elevated BRTS for buses alone depends on the political will and can easily be subverted to personal vehicles.

I still argue that an above-grade Metro would not be feasible given the required road width, area for stations and all the land acquistion and routing issues that we've been seeing. The best way forward is a project that:

  1. Uses only the existing Right-of-Way (ROW)
  2. Can be built as quickly as possible (e.g. steel v/s concrete structures)
  3. Uses not more than one lane at surface level on roads of insufficient width.

I've added an updated sketch (click here) with a bidirectional replication of the Osaka Monorail model (copyright Seagate) on the same road (FMC/Residency Rd). I did retain the original Elevated BRTS bus stops as a reference to the difference in size that Elevated BRTS/ MonoRail requires.

TM

Vasanth's picture

BMTC MD and Transport Minister visited Delhi BRTS site

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BMTC MD Zameer Pasha and Mr.Tripathy visited the BRTS site at Delhi. Here is the report. No feedback on the implementation of the same in Bangalore. Probably worried about the challenges.

http://www.dimts.in/backoffice/news/PressNote-August22-ManagingDirector.pdf

Here is the report on Transport Minister,Mr. Ashok's visit,

http://www.dimts.in/backoffice/news/PressNote-August22-ManagingDirector.pdf

Mr. Tripathy has said in this report that BRT should be made comulsory in all cities of India. But, not so lukewarm response when we presented.

asj's picture

Some food for further thought

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Navin and others - thanks for this wonderful post. I am glad about a few things here -

  1. Bus priority now sits with BRTS - this is vital as every means possible and practicable should be considered.
  2. A classic BRTS is difficult for cities not built originally for it. The fact that we have moved towards thinking creatively about one way busway systems clearly suggests that we just don't have enough road width available. In fact Mumbai probably has Western and Eastern highways as the only real BRT contenders, and here too they have appointed consultants pouring over issues such as median V peripheral. To an extent, authorities have themselves to blame. As in Pune, flyovers have been built on what roads once wide enough to consider BRT model, not as easy any more.
  3. The fact thatv we are forced to look at underpasses and overpasses at junctions says a lot about why a typical BRT model will struggle. Proponents will argue for median lanes because peripheral lanes conflict with side lanes. Well, at junctions, a BRT conflicts with mixed traffic turning right. The more junctions we have in a BRT route, the slower the R within the BRT.
  4. I wonder how many such junctions you are hoping to treat with under/over passes? http://www.lightrailnow.org/facts/fa_brt.htm This link showcases a debate on whether a classic BRT is really cheap or not? Add to it under/over passes and budgets will most likely spiral out of control.
  5. Elevated BRT - this will offer a very fast R within BRT. But as you see in the schema below, the longer the elevated route the less likely it will benefit residents living along it. Only those at the ends of the elevated routes will ever make it to bus stops at either end of the elevation. Unless of course there is a way of getting people atop elevated routes and we plan bus stops on top of these routes - seems rather difficult given that Delhi / Pune have struggled to get people to median bus stops safely.

Now for the one way systems. I actually favour these as I have seen one in use in Mumbai. But these are easy to implement on small residentail maze like routes. When it comes to streets, carraigeways (arterial roads) its a different ball game. Public consultation / education will be vital. Below I show two possibilities. Bottom half is the one I have seen in use in Mumbai on a 1+1 lane route, so sky is the limit. Top half will most likely cause excessive detours and will make any planner very unpopular.

See image here if it does not show up below- http://better.pune.googlepages.com/FLOWsystems.jpg

Finally, I hope same mistakes are not made as in Pune. In Pune BRT is planned on routes it can considered on. It has nothing to do with maths such as passengers per hour for all modes taken together for given roads, hence BRT is being planned on roads that carry only 2-4k per hour across all modes currently - huge waste of money. So rather than having wholesale changes, look at figures, find out where the change is really needed rather than where it may be fitted.

Finally else where we have discussed why 5000 buses are not serving Bangalore properly. Whatever the cosmetic changes, its what one does with these 5k buses with regards route and frequency rationalisation which will determine overall success.

Equally, one Bogota consultant wrote to me about how poor Bogota was in comparison to our cities when it started BRT and hence every Indian city can manage to spend on such a system. My reply was how lucky that Bogota per capita was so poor that they had not the means to graduate to their 2 wheelers. Unless riding a 2 wheeler costs double the bus ticket, do not expect a shift, so no plan is complete without authorities supporting tough measures on this front.

ASJ

 

idontspam's picture

Grade separated ROW?

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Good time to renew this topic. Lot of good thoughts from quite some time ago. There might be a case for exploiting the airspace above all major roads to separate public transport systems like bus & train to the elevated structures and leave the surface for Private transport & feeders. 

Xiamen has an EBRTS the complete set of pictures is here

EBRTS PPHPD ranges from 5000 to 10000 depending, I guess, on the type & length of buses. Cost works approximately 40 crores per KM.

Is grade separation the only way to ensure right of way for mass transit in India? WIll EBRTS work for Big 10 & Big circle type trunk routes?

A good start will be to convert BETL into an EBRT. Extend it along Madiwala, IRR, and run along the metro pillars past CMH road to terminate at Byappanahalli metro. This route would be the same as option 1 of Naveens in the main post above. A ramp for the Big 10 & others from CBD will allow all buses from city also to get on to the bus way and go to EC/beyond. What say? The catchment is interesting Electronic City, Koramangala, EGL, Indiranagar, Airport road, OMR

idontspam's picture

Widening for PT

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Road widening is not to encourage movement of private vehicles. "To make way for public transport, we're widening roads, including the 216 roads where BMTC and other buses ply."

Source

Admirable intents but maybe elevated right of way for buses will utilize the airspace above roads and prevent destruction of property. Having said that, trunk routes may be more appropriate for elevation and not all roads. I hope all possible options are considered and tried.

Vasanth's picture

We should start BRT somewhere in Bangalore,Reluctance should end

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 BRT in Bangalore needs to be started atleast on a small stretch as a pilot probably with Janmarg consultants just like how we have DMRC as consultant for BMRCL.

There are so many wide roads in Cantonment and Cubbon park area to test this.

idontspam's picture

ROW issues

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 There are so many wide roads in Cantonment and Cubbon park area to test this.

There are challenges other than width of the road which reduce the effectiveness drastically. Today elevated roads are being formed around the city to overcome those problems. BETL, Tumkur road, now Bellary road. Elevated ROW is being contemplated even inside the city. Why not look at these elevated structures for PT instead of  for private vehicles?

Naveen's picture

BRT infrastructure must be exclusive

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Elevated ROW is being contemplated even inside the city. Why not look at these elevated structures for PT instead of  for private vehicles?

Absolutely. The city is already beginning to resemble bangkok with ugly elevated highways in the outskirts. The ruling class keeps making promises of road infrastructure additions for PT whilst also allowing private vehicles. Such policies will never convert commuter habits to switch over to PTs & put a halt to increasing congestion & pollution.

Exclusivity for PT is the key here, really, which none of the babus ever will (or want to) recognize.

idontspam's picture

Exclusivity for PT is the key

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Exclusivity for PT is the key here, really

We are too slow, some things we should - just do it. This thread is two years old was definitely not ahead of its time, yet! Time to take it forward now.

BRT post cards from China

This last picture is all thatched huts on the right but a swanky BRT for the village

Vasanth's picture

Exclusive PT Elevated Lanes -

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 As I posted earlier in one of the posts, if one Government makes it exclusive for PT, other makes it as an agenda to allow Private Vehicles on this elevated roads meant for PT. This is the major pit fall of our system.

Currently, if we see the Agara Flyover, just for one stop, PT goes below flyover crossing the Sarjapur chaotic road and passing by very narrow lane between the flyover and the shops. Little left / right, our expensive Volvos will go for a toss. This, Government says exclusive 'Bus Lane'.!!

idontspam's picture

More practical examples

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 Some nice implementations

Elevated BRT, just have to retrofit a bus station on BETL

Neighbourhood implementation in 3 lanes +

idontspam's picture

The below route on the map

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The below route on the map may be a good EBRT alignment.

Javascript is required to view this map.

Phase 1 being between the red markers of Byappanahalli & Madivala. The route will be along IRR from Madivala to Airport road and then along Suranjan Das toad till Byappanahalli. This will connect Koramangala, EGL, Airport road, Bagmane & OMR. From there Metro to Whitefield should be a cinch. We can consider moving the BRT to the surface on Suranjan Das road

Phase 2 can connect Madivala to Heelalige or Chandapura Commuter Rail station.  

Naveen's picture

BRT Route-1

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1) For the route to hook up well at southern end, it must continue till ORR /silkboard for easy transfer for commuters to hop on to buses towards HSR, Iblur /Sarjapur, BTM /JP Ngr etc in the 1st ph itself.

2) Going elevated throughout might not be necessary. The sections that need to be elevated are:  (a) Between ejipura rd (end of army land) & madivala; (b) ramp at north end of suranjandas rd to cross OMR to byp terminus. Rest can be on surface (can even be with mixed traffic) since IRR has no traffic signals & is 6-lane wide.

4) Old airport rd has been earmarked for 'signal-freeing' with 4-lane width underpasses at manipal hospital jn, wind tunnel rd jn & suranjandas rd jn. Thus, elevating the bus corridor might not be necessary on old airport rd too, if they go ahead with the 'signal-freeing' as it can operate almost equally well in mixed traffic with no traffic signal delays.

3) Suranjandas rd has been ear-marked for a possible future metro route to connect byp with marathalli & past it to whitefield. Another possibility is a monorail route (if land acq at marathalli becomes problematic). If Metro or Mono do come up there, then BRT is out & will have to terminate on old airport rd at suranjandas rd jn.

idontspam's picture

Signal free & BRT

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In a BRT scenario signal free doesnt really help because peds need to get across interrupting the traffic. If its high frequency then its not signal free anymore and if it isnt high frequency then you are underutilizing the blocked lane+still not signal free. You will need skywalks to solve this, which are over kill for 4 lanes like airport road where 2 lanes are gone for PT ie a skywalk for 3.3 meters.

When you go elevated you are getting a net addition in lanes + you get them dedicated to PT + the skywalks are anyway need to get down.

I am not sure what metro/mono is doing on Suranjandas road though. Need to check their alignments. It will make sense like you said to terminate phase 1 at silkboard TTMC/terminus this will connect it to big circle buses as well.

Naveen's picture

Signal free rd does not need bus lanes

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signal free doesnt really help because peds need to get across interrupting the traffic. You will need skywalks to solve this, which are over kill for 4 lanes like airport road where 2 lanes are gone for PT and all pvt traffic will get only 1 lane.

I mentioned 'operate in mixed traffic' on signal-free road/s -- this means no segregatd bus lanes where there are signal-free roads. None of the pictures above show continuous elevated busways in 'BRT scenarios' - except for one which shows a bridge (Xiamen). The Xiamen BRT Includes a tunnel and a very long bridge - NOT continuous elevated busways throughout.

If roads are made signal-free, pedestrian Xings will either be with skywalks or subways & not across the surface of the road interrupting traffic - this is a necessity on signal-free roads to ensure adequate pedestrain facilities. If there are interruptions with people crossing, etc to the flow, it wud not be termed 'signal-free'. Old airport rd already has a skywalk near Leela hotel bus stop. Many more similar skywalks (or subways) will be built for pedestrian Xings if /when the road is made signal free & these will be positioned close to bus halts.

Median barricades will also be erected to prevent people from straying on to the road as traffic is expected to be flowing continuously on the moving lanes. Bus bays can ensure that interruptions to flow of traffic is minimized.

In fact, BRT with elevated stretches throughout is an 'overkill'. Most BRTs are on the surface & this is why it has been so successful. Intersections are managed by careful signal phasing to ensure that buses get priority & traffic does not pile up. On some BRTs, buses are fitted with sensors to change signal lights to accord priority to their passage. GPS is fitted on all buses for remote monitoring to adjust their arrival /dep at stops to ensure that they do not bunch up together. Thus, efficiency in operations is maintained high.

It's just that the Delhi experiment was a first & could not be perfected to Indian conditions. However, Janmarg in Ahmadabad is proving better. Elevated stretches for Ahmadabad BRT are only near the two main rail stations due to presence of too many intersections. In fact, some of the corridors are in mixed conditions (no signal-free roads either).

When long lengths of streets are being planned to be made signal-free by building multiple underpasses at all intersections at high costs, the need to have exclusive continuously elevated busways over them becomes unnecessary since the costs do not scale up with benefits. Elevating busways becomes necessary only when there is no choice, such as in dense areas where the roads may have too many intersections with narrow width.

An alternate to signal-free roads is to invest in elevated BRT, but the powers that be are bending excessively to pro-growth forces that demand quick movement with cars.

I am not sure what metro/mono is doing on Suranjandas road though. Need to check their alignments.

As explained, it is a possible route for a future metro/mono to connect Marathalli with Byp.

idontspam's picture

Non destructive provisioning

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An alternate to signal-free roads is to invest in elevated BRT, but the powers that be are bending excessively to pro-growth forces that demand quick movement with cars

This is where I am going. Its not either/or argument but both. Elevated BRT doesnt destroy the quick movement planned for private vehicles but also provides similar uninterrupted facilities to PT users and safe crossings for pedestrians. Its a win-win.

In the alignment we are discussing, the possibility of surface BRT exists on the entire stretch of Suranjan das road except at the 2 ends, with underbridges for cross traffic where it is on the surface. Rest of the BRT till Silkboard can be elevated.

When long lengths of streets are being planned to be made signal-free by building multiple underpasses at all intersections at high costs, the need to have exclusive continuously elevated busways over them becomes unnecessary since the costs do not scale up with benefits

Can bus bays handle the short headways requried for buses? Wont they start backing up into the main street? Isnt bus bay too small for articulated buses? Mixed traffic tends to slow down PT and affect timeliness. Elevated bus ways is the cheapest option with the same ROW that is made available for dedicated traffic. Everything else has to fight it out on the streets. One also has to consider the option of using upto 1km for the up & down ramps + some acquisition on the side for the ramps and bus bays only to serve 2kms on the surface with attendant merge issues. To see how beatufilly we handle merges just stand at BDA junction magic box. I dont see how the troubles above is worth the cost savings on airport road or IRR

it is a possible route for a future metro/mono to connect Marathalli with Byp

Marathahalli & Byappanahalli can be covered by commuter rail & Big circle. All we need to do is look at all Big 10 & Big circle to be on "BRT mode"

Naveen's picture

Think realistic

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Elevated BRT doesnt destroy the quick movement planned for private vehicles but also provides similar uninterrupted facilities to PT users and safe crossings for pedestrians

Uninterrupted facilities will become available for free flow of PT buses or BRT also if the roads were made 'signal-free'. Thus, such huge additional expenses (some 360 crs estd in this case for a mere 9km) is clearly superfluous. Compare this with Hyd MMTS of 47km that cost 500 crs.

Also, this will be in addition to some 60 crs that will probably be spent on three 4-lane underpasses that are planned. IRR already has 6 lanes & no signals (except the koramangala-madivala stretch) & is as good as a signal-free road. So, where is the need nor the justification for elevated bus lanes on top of it ?

all Big 10 & Big circle to be on "BRT mode

Presume 'elevated' BRT is also being proposed on ORR & all Big-10 roads planned to be made signal free !

Well, this is preposterous. The eastern half of ORR is some 30km. Elevated bus corridors would cost a whopping 1200 crs for this distance when signal free facilities are already being built all along the 30km !

Let's be realistic - this kind of expenditure can never be justified especially when money is already being spent on numerous underpasses to ensure free flows for both PTs as well as private vehicles.

I think the suggestion for elevated busways has been misread - it must have actually meant elevating where there is good reason to do so, such as within the city's dense areas with excessive no. of road crossings or intersections - this is what is being done in various BRTs elsewhere. Elevating whole lengths is far too expensive & also unnecessary.

Naveen's picture

Many misconceptions

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Can bus bays handle the short headways requried for buses? Wont they start backing up into the main street? Isnt bus bay too small for articulated buses?

Not if bus bays are designed & built properly for handling articulated /double-articulated buses, & drivers are trained to stop within busbays as a routine. This can all be possible only when all of the infrastructure is planned well & is in place: sentries at bus stops to prevent parking & also to prevent pedestrians /commuters from stepping out of bus shelters, median barricades with no breaches, good facilities for crossing streets close to bus stops, with escalators at high pedestrian density points, etc. & cops monitoring buses when they halt at busbays. This is how it is in China, Japan, etc - there are wardens & sentries everywhere, incldg metro stns to guide people in & out from coaches. We have very lapse monitoring with equally poor infrastructure. It was far better in the 1980s, but due to congestion & excessive traffic now, it has become very poor. Unless these issues are solved, no infrastructure will ever be enough.

Mixed traffic tends to slow down PT and affect timeliness.

Not on signal free roads, if all the necessary infrastructure is in place since traffic is moving continuously on the moving lanes. Buses can join up from slip lanes, similar to traffic entries & exits on expressways everywhere abroad.

Elevated bus ways is the cheapest option with the same ROW that is made available for dedicated traffic.

At an additional 40crs/km in addition to costs for signal-freeing, it cannot be considered cheap. It can be an option where busways have to be led through streets or areas where there isn't any other choice to address multiple intersections or road width issues, not continuously all along whole lengths - nowhere has it been done in this way due to high costs.

One also has to consider the option of using upto 1km for the up & down ramps + some acquisition on the side for the ramps and bus bays only to serve 2kms on the surface with attendant merge issues. To see how beatufilly we handle merges just stand at BDA junction magic box. I dont see how the troubles above is worth the cost savings on airport road or IRR

Upto 1km is too large even for Metro ramps. FYI, flyovers or underpasses are a mere 220-350mtrs (with both, up & down ramps). Merge issues may be bad at BDA jn, but there are better examples - domlur flyover has no such issues, silkboard flyover is another good example.

idontspam's picture

Practical & Realistic

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 Compare this with Hyd MMTS of 47km that cost 500 crs.

This came with railway land & tracks. We have the same costs for the commuter rail in Bangalore. As far as I know there are not railway tracks on Airport road or IRR

Not if bus bays are designed & built properly for handling articulated /double-articulated buses, & drivers are trained to stop within busbays as a routine. This can all be possible only when all of the infrastructure is planned well & is in place: sentries at bus stops to prevent parking & also to prevent pedestrians /commuters from stepping out of bus shelters, median barricades with no breaches, good facilities for crossing streets close to bus stops, with escalators at high pedestrian density points, etc. & cops monitoring buses when they halt at busbays.

Known issues and quite theoritical. So why havent we had any success with the current buses which are already on mixed mode? Shouldnt we get this right before we think of BRT at all then?

IRR already has 6 lanes & no signals (except the koramangala-madivala stretch) & is as good as a signal-free road. So, where is the need nor the justification for elevated bus lanes on top of it ?

I think we are trying to create a conflict zone by trying to share scarce mobility resources. airspace & underground are under exploited in the city. And road medians offer captive space for going elevated. We have seen NHAI exploit it for their interstate purposes in 3 directions. While I theoritically agree on this particular stretch of IRR we need to look at the details of how the bus stand will be created near EGL and how it travels further. 

FYI, flyovers or underpasses are a mere 220-350mtrs (with both, up & down ramps). 

Not if it has to go over domlur flyover and come back down with a decent gradient.

domlur flyover has no such issues, silkboard flyover is another good example.

Good examples, Do you know why? At BDA, there is a bus bay on the left most lane like your proposition and they have to merge to the center to get on the signal free magic box that was built. Whereas in Domlur there is no such issue and in Silkboard the buses stop at the foot of the bridge like in KR puram. So there is concrete proof of how bus bays are not working the way you are intending in signal free corridors or mixed traffic.

At an additional 40crs/km in addition to costs for signal-freeing, it cannot be considered cheap. 

Compared to exploiting underground and the unsolved problems on the surface. It cannot be considered expensive at all. More importantly it is implementable within the existing road sense & democratic cultural ethos of our citizens.

Naveen's picture

EBRT Mumbai shot down

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Here is expert Sudhir Badami's opinion about costs for elevating the BRT in Mumbai.

idontspam's picture

Quoting from the same

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Quoting from the same link

 decided on two pilot routes on the Eastern and Western Express Highways, consultants are now studying the feasibility of an elevated BRT corridor

They were building the EBRT on the expressway, I am not surprised they were "skeptical". So if you took over 2 lanes from the ORR service roads & had 5 lanes each carriage way? Would you still elevate the bus corridor? Maybe at the junctions but not other wise.

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