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Trams option for Bangalore?

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Public Transport

Hi all, have we considered the Trams option for Bangalore?

Clearly, on our narrow and super busy Indian roads, Trams seem unviable. However, we should probably consider them for the suburbs being developed. What about Trams in Electronic City or from EC to Silk Board?

I read recently that in Paris, given how expensive laying new metro is, they have started using Trams as the last mile connectivity. So the Tram network is being expanded to circulate people just immediately outside the city and to bring them to the ring road that separates the city. From these points, people can transfer conveniently to the metro network.

I have not seen any threads on Praja that has discussed the pros and cons of the Trams.

But I understand on an average they cost 50% of an equivalent metro network and takes less than 30% time to set up. Not to mention, it is relatively non-polluting.

Has any feasibility been done on this? Or has it ever been considered?

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idontspam's picture

I have not seen any threads

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I have not seen any threads on Praja that has discussed the pros and cons of the Trams.

There are many threads on Praja regarding this, it is a very feasible option. Here is one such thread.

I personally believe trams work better than bus in terms of being given priority. The newer rolling stock are called tram trains & are more friendly with higher capcities than the older smaller trams.

amitc's picture

@ids Thanks for the link to

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@ids

Thanks for the link to the thread. I share your views here strongly. In fact, if we begin to consider these routes you have mentioned, the tram tracks can double up as as the dedicated lanes for buses too. And hence truly multi-functional and better utilisation of the road space.

In many countrise trams share road space with cars although how respectful Indian drivers will be is important to consider.

I see that this discussion was mostly in 2009. Has there been any update since then?

amitc's picture

Indore to get modern trams

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Looks like there are cities considering this on bypass roads..

http://daily.bhaskar.com/article/MP-IND-shanghai-paris-2304803.html

And refers to the trams in North Paris too...

idontspam's picture

I see that this discussion

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I see that this discussion was mostly in 2009. Has there been any update since then?

No we can look at making a report on feasibility of tram trains on old airport road which can double up as a G1/335E supplement & also act as the bus priority lane for that road (since both can share the same space). We may only have to make an addendum to the BPS report for introduction of trams also on that road. Let me check with the rest of the BPS folks here & CiSTUP about what they think of the idea and see if they have some technical dope on this as well.

akauppi's picture

Tram experience in Helsinki

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Helsinki has a fair amount of its public transport done by trams [Google picture search - the green ones are ours]. There's pros and cons to it, and trams as a solution are a vast group with faster, bigger and slower, smaller variants.

In Helsinki, trams usually go slower than buses. This was surprising to a Swedish college of mine, because there it is the other way round. Local conditions matter greatly.

Helsinki has both dedicated tram lanes and mixed with car traffic, especially so in the historic center (i.e. tram lines on stone surfaced roads). The general trend has been towards more dedicated lanes, and naturally trams have preference in traffic lights etc (they have their own signalling service).

I would say, trams are nice and elegant, especially for tourists and if one is not in a rush. They make the city! However, any construction needing new rails or maintenance of old ones is a nightmare. One lasted over 6 months in a very busy crossing. It was like Indian traffic for us, during that period. I do not know, why it couldn't be done in say 6 weeks. 

I would seconds trams to Bangalore when:

- there's no potential of animals on the road (really, should the driver come out and hush hush them?)

- payment systems are anyways in place (just swipe a card, no money given to the driver); and most of all

- there is a central multi-mode ticketing system

What is the pillar #1 on Helsinki's public transport is that *all* is serviceable with a single ticket. Buses, trams, subway, even some ferries. Getting there has taken time and there's still tensions with some of the fare balancing (there's zones 1,2,3 and 0 for only tram trips = cheapest), because there are four cities within the range of the transport system. But it works.

If there is none of that central attitude and ticketing, I wouldn't suggest trams. Well, except for maybe like amitc proposes, as peripheral shuttle connectors. That could work.

Just wanted to share my experience, and liking, of trams. They're cute! :)

- asko

We're developing a light weight automated transport solution, especially suitable for Indian urban challenges. Initially launched in April 2010 in Delhi, we're progressing with CAD design and strength simulations in 2011

amitc's picture

@ids

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The old airport road sounds like a good idea. It can be a good test.

@akauppi: your points are all valid.

The ideal would be start in the suburbs and using them to handle traffic between the suburbs without touching the city. And as you had proposed in your post @ids on ORR. In fact, what could be bold and work is if we target these ring roads with the multi-function (Tram / BRT) lane.

Let me know how I can pitch in to on the feasibility as required.

idontspam's picture

  - there's no potential of

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- there's no potential of animals on the road (really, should the driver come out and hush hush them?)

This is a tall wish in a city where dogs are considered priviliged to roam hungry & angry on the streets. Maybe this will be a good excuse to get BBMP cracking on removing dogs. More expensive but definitely more effective than the so called birth control farce that going on right now. No cows on old airport road except sometimes near total mall :) but the owner of those cows need to be restrained by some hefty fines defined in the gazzette notification rules that will come out with the system roll out. The cows come for the grass that grows on the unkempt median of old airport road :) 

- payment systems are anyways in place (just swipe a card, no money given to the driver); and most of all

- there is a central multi-mode ticketing system

For both the above common mobility card will roll out with the metro & can be used for this as well.  

 

BRTS channel on ORR is a good bet, Tram train can be an easy upgrade on BRTS track once bus headway & capacity is maximized, we have to wait for bus traffic to be maximized. Since corridor is already there its only a matter of choosing a different rolling stock. Feasibility only needs an Origin Destination traffic analysis. But on bus priority routes the advantage is of trying out shared lanes with other modes. The benefits of a tram train on a smaller bandwidth corridor is more as it helps maximize available bandwidth.

srinidhi's picture

Trams/LRT can be fast too

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LUAS in Dublin does an average of 25 KMph..which is decent and as good or better than the busses on blr roads..having a dedicated track is ideal and it will be cost effective

Some of the advantages compared to busses are:

Initial cost for LRT comparable to a BRT system but cheaper on the long term(maintenance is lower)

LRT is cleaner as it runs on electricity

LRT is less hazardous for other road users

The list goes on..I would ideally see a BRT route getting translated to LRT as a progression

But not on ORR as I would see that as a heavy traffic route and LRT may not suffice..but LRT on HAL airport road all the way covering whitefield area is a good bet!

idontspam's picture

Animals & priority lanes

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@11AM today there were 6 cows of various shapes & sizes right in front of the HAL traffic police station near Suranjan Das road :) 

srinidhi's picture

monorail out of the window?

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The Light Rail Transit (LRT) system has scored over the monorail as the new urban commuting option for a network of 40 km in Bangalore city. The state government is looking to introduce newer public transport networks to decongest the city traffic.

more here (note that the title reads wrong..its not a replacement for HSRL, just that the work is being done by the same dept)

Btw..will this all come under IDD? Will DULT have a role?

idontspam's picture

The Light Rail Transit (LRT)

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The Light Rail Transit (LRT) system has scored over the monorail

If this is going to be elevated as well why not metro itself. What is needed is a surface tram type LRT the LUAS type. That way buses can use the carriage way as well when they are on that corridor.

Per this news article earlier this year, the corridor, kms, agency doing DPR all sound similar only mono replaced with LRT

The Metro, which has seen costs escalate from Rs 8,158 crore to Rs 11,609 crore, will likely be accompanied by a monorail system for which the government has commissioned a detailed project report by the UK-based consultancy Capita Symonds. The monorail is envisaged as a 40 km feeder network connecting the southern and western parts of the city and its indicative cost is pegged at Rs 5,600 crore

amitc's picture

Light Rail Transit

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Agree with @ids.

The idea should be to have a surface transport. This will definitely lower costs substantially in comparison to building those monotlithic pillars to support the monorail. And be much much quicker to implement. And finally, the scalability: running more carriages would be relatively simpler to expanding capacity on mono rail.

And as a by-effect, a much more aesthetic feel than mono rails zipping overhead.

Has the goevrnment seriouslu evaluated this option against the metro and monorail options?

Or is this the case of the strength of the respective lobbying corporations ?

 

amitc's picture

Any news from BPS folks?

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@ids

Did you have any response from the BPS folks or CiSTUP? I did see that CiStUP had brought up light rail as a discussion topic at their annual Urban Planning summit last year.

idontspam's picture

Did you have any response

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Did you have any response from the BPS folks or CiSTUP?

Spoke with CiSTUP. I have proposed that Praja-RAAG (Research, Analysis & Advocacy Group - a subest of technical people who write on Praja.in) come out with a fact sheet on running trams/tramtrains in Indian environment, challenges, how to over come etc. we have to look at legal framework just to make sure IR dont get into this. I am sure the old mysore tramways act will cover. Let me start up a concept note as a project. CiSTUP will review this & if they like it will lend their support with relevant inputs. 

We can look at a pilot in a tourist location like Mysore or Hampi, there have been exploratory requests for this alignment from our friends in KSRTC & Transport dept.. Guess its time to take a trip down to Mysore :)

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