Skip to Content

Delhi BRT - Lessons for Bangalore ?

215 users have liked.
Metro RailTrafficPublic Transport

It's one of the most controversial infrastructure projects in the country but for all those who said that the Delhi Bus Corridor system was an out and out failure, here is a reality check.

A poll conducted by NDTV shows that there is a sharp divide in opinion on the success of the project between those who use buses on the corridor and those who drive cars on the same stretch.

Perhaps the big message here is that public transport must be considered a practical option for everyone, including people who cannot think about life beyond their luxury cars.

There have been many days of chaos, some days better than others but the debate has divided the city down the middle.

In an exclusive opinion poll, NDTV has asked car and bus drivers as also bus passengers whether this will work?

Car vs. bus drivers

65 per cent of car drivers feel the Bus Rapid Transit System(BRT) has made traffic congestion worse in the areas where the BRT runs.

A whopping 75 per cent of bus drivers say the BRT is a huge improvement for buses.

More than 50 per cent of car drivers say that the new bus stops in the middle of the road do not make driving more difficult.

Bus drivers say it's easier to pick up passengers from the new bus stops and 72 per cent of them say the middle-ofthe-road stops are working better than the earlier system.

Most car drivers, 76 per cent, however, say that they are worried about hitting pedestrians crossing the road.

61 per cent of car drivers say driving is easier now that buses have their own lane bus drivers.

82 per cent of them say the new bus lanes for them make driving easier.

Bus passengers

88 per cent of bus commuters feel the new BRT and its buses are an improvement on Delhi's public transport system

71 per cent believe it will help in reducing travel time - most bus users say their commute time has already been slashed by 50 per cent after the BRT was introduced.

60 per cent of bus commuters say there are enough Marshals and traffic policemen to help guide them to their buses.

Link to the NDTV poll (pdf file)


Naveen's picture

Delhi BRT - Latest

165 users have liked.


Beijing BRT system different from one in Delhi: Dikshit

New Delhi (PTI): Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, back from a visit to Beijing, on Monday said the Bus Rapid Transit System there was different from the capital's and attibuted its success to the discipline of the Chinese.

Dikshit, who visited the Chinese capital on a four-day trip and saw the Olympic Games venues as well as the BRT corridor, told reporters here, "the two models cannot be compared as the needs are different."

She said, "they (BRT in China) are entirely different systems. For instance, bus lanes are on the sides of the corridor while for cycles there is a separate track which is at times used by cart pullers as well."

Dikshit attributed the success of BRT there to the Chinese, who she said, strictly follow traffic rules and regulations.

"The traffic is very disciplined. Unlike in Delhi, they do not allow two wheelers and rikshaw to ply on the BRT route. There are no dividers but the lanes are separated through a prominently painted line," she said.

Dikshit, however, ruled out banning two-wheelers and rickshaw from Delhi's BRT corridor as was being done in China, saying that it was not a feasible step. "We have to consider the ground realities."

The chief minister said, "We have to adapt according to our needs. Once the Moolchand to Delhi Gate stretch is complete we will evaluate it with the stretch connecting Ambedkar Nagar and Moolchand.

She said Moolchand to Delhi Gate route "is based on China model but with some minor changes."

Also see :

LSE study group approves of BRT

Urban transport in a jam session



Naveen's picture

Delhi BRT - Letter against Times of India

159 users have liked.


Several professionals have jointly signed & sent a combined letter to Times of India, Delhi :

BRT Corridor

From: Hazards Centre (

Sent: Wednesday, April 30, 2008 2:18:46 PM


Dear Mr Editor,

I am attaching a letter to the editor signed by 90 persons who come from scientific and professional backgrounds and are part of the middle class constituency whom you have been so assiduously wooing through your paper. They are all dismayed by what is becoming of a once great newspaper known for objective reporting and analysis.

Since your policies seem to be flexible enough to devote a great amount of space in your paper to the events happening around the Bus Rapid Transport Corridor in Delhi (as well as other cities), it is only proper that you publish this letter in its entirety. If it cannot come in the Letters Column (which has shrunk significantly over the years), you may consider placing it elsewhere on the editorial page.

If you do not do so, it will be only another indicator of the selective bias that now characterises the Times of India.

Yours sincerely

Dunu Roy

Hazards Centre

92-H, Third floor, Pratap Market, Munirka, New Delhi-110067   Ph: 011-26714244, 26187806

Email:,   Website:


To The Editor

The Times of India   Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg   New Delhi 110002

The High Capacity Bus System has found many ardent advocates the world over as a relatively inexpensive and efficient mass transport system. Renamed – somewhat incorrectly – as the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) in the city of Delhi, it has been designed not only for the most widely used form of public transport (the bus carries about 40% of the 15 million passenger trips per day in the city), but also provides demarcated space for the cyclist and the pedestrian (who account for another 42%), while leaving a substantial two lanes for the private cars and two/three-wheelers (which account for the remaining 8% and 10% respectively).

Nevertheless, some media channels – particularly the Times of India – have been carrying on a sustained campaign against the first BRT corridor being constructed in Delhi calling it, amongst other things, a “manic mess”, “killer corridor”, and “Tughluqian disaster”. These various newspapers and television channels (who seem to be more intent on being newsmakers) are legitimately entitled to present the views of various citizens groups – although it is striking that most of the ‘citizens’ interviewed are private car owners – but there is also an ethical limit to how the news and views should be presented.

The recent front-page headline in the Times of India of April 25, 2008, reads, “IIT dept behind BRT gets funds from bus makers” and accuses “Dinesh Mohan and Geetam Tiwari from IIT-D’s Transport Research and Injury Prevention Programme” of being patronised by the “Volvo Education Research Foundation and Ford Motor Company”.

We would, firstly, like to point out that it is the Government of India’s stated policy to encourage all public science research institutions to raise their own funds from charitable trusts and foundations and industry and not depend solely upon the University Grants Commission – and this is part of the process of ‘liberalisation’ that has been enthusiastically supported and promoted by the editors of many newspapers, including the Times of India.

Secondly, to resort to this kind of journalistic innuendo that, therefore, all scientific research must inevitably follow the dictates of the funding agencies casts grave aspersions on the character of objective research conducted at recognised world-class institutions like the IIT. Using discredited methods of rapid opinion-polls, which are known to be biased and a popular means of market promotion, the Times of India is challenging a system based on sound scientific research, in a clear effort to protect the interests of a minority of car drivers, without publicly clarifying what is the rational basis for their ‘research’ methodology, nor what is the source of their inspiration.

We condemn, in no uncertain terms, this violation of journalistic ethics by a daily that claims the pride of being India’s widest read English newspaper and demand that the editors immediately publish an unqualified apology to the concerned scientists.

1. Dunu Roy, Director, Hazards Centre, 92 H Pratap Market, Munirka New Delhi 110067

2. Imrana Qadeer, Retired Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi

3. Ravi Duggal, Independent Researcher, Mumbai

4. Anant Maringanti, Post-Doctoral Fellow, National University, Singapore

5. Jayant Pendharkar, Head, Global Marketing, Tata Consultancy Services, Mumbai

6. Benny Kuruvilla, Research Associate, Focus on the Global South, Delhi

7. Subhash Gatade, Editor, ‘Sandhan’, Delhi

8. Kalyani Menon Sen, Independent Researcher, Delhi

9. Ardhendu Sen, Independent Researcher, Delhi

10. Vinay Baindur, Independent Urban Consultant, Bangalore

11. Siddharth Sareen, Development Studies, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras

12. Kasturi Sen, Wolfson College, Oxford

13. Himanshu Upadhyaya, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

14. Ramaswamy R Iyer, Hon Research Professor, Centre for Policy Research, Delhi

15. Sujit Patwardhan, Honorary Secretary, Parisar, Pune

16. Jyotin Sachdev, President, Shared Expectations, Bethlehem

17. Sadanand Menon, Media and Cultural Analyst, Chennai

18. Girja Sharan, Professor, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad

19. Navsharan Singh, Senior Program Specialist, International Development Research Centre, Delhi

20. Deepak Nirula, Delhi

21. Jagdish Patel, Director PTRC, Vadodara

22. Suman Sahai, Convenor, Gene Campaign, Delhi

23. Nitya Ghotge, Anthra, Pune

24. Sanjeev Ghotge, Professor, Centre for Applied Systems Analysis in Development, Pune

25. Leo Saldanha, Environment Support Group, Bangalore

26. Anjum Rajabali, Screenwriter, Mumbai

27. Sudhir Badami, Civil Engineering Consultant, Mumbai

28. Sudarshan Khanna, ex-Principal Designer, National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad

29. Shreya Gadepalli, Senior Program Director, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy,   New York

30. Kishore Namjoshi, Pune

31. Vivek Khadpekar, Urban Planner, Ahmedabad

32. Ashok Sreenivas, Parisar Urban Transport Group, Pune

33. Jaswant Krishnayya, Director, Systems Research Institute, Pune

34. Zoya Hasan, Member, Minorities Commission, Delhi

35. Praveen Pardeshi, Municipal Commissioner, Pune

36. Abhijit Lokre, Senior Planner, CEPT University, Ahmedabad

37. Bharati Chaturvedi, Director, Chintan Action and Research Group, Delhi

38. Pravin Kumar Kushwaha, Centre for Studies in Science Policy, JNU, Delhi

39. Shirish B Patel, Senior Urban Planner, Mumbai

40. Darshini Mahadevia, Professor, CEPT, Ahmedabad

41. Deepak Agarwal, Dayton

42. Kanishka Lahiri, Sun Microsystems, Bangalore

43. Nandan Maluste, Banker, Mumbai

44. Mira Shiva, International People’s Health Council, Delhi

45. Sudhir Karnik, Mumbai

46. Uday Karmarkar, Professor, UCLA Anderson School of Management, Los Angeles

47. Maya Gidvani, Mumbai

48. Pratap Gidvani, Mumbai

49. Pravin Gandhi, Mumbai

50. Kamal Mitra Chenoy, Professor, JNU

51. Anuradha Chenoy, Professor, JNU

52. Somya Iyer, Software Engineer, Bangalore

53. E A Elias, Managing Director, APW President Systems Limited, Mumbai

54. Madhav Badami, Professor, School of Urban Planning, McGill University, Montreal

55. Vijay Paranjpye, Chairman, Gomukh Environmental Trust for Sustainable Development, Pune

56. Ravi Chopra, Director, People’s Science Institute, Dehradoon

57. Sushil Khanna, Professor, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta

58. Padma Prakash, Editor eSocialSciences, Mumbai

59. Tapan Bose, General Secretary, South Asian Forum for Human Rights, Kathmandu

60. Sreedhar, Director, Environics, Delhi

61. Shailesh Gandhi, National Campaign for People’s Right to Information, Mumbai

62. Kirtee Shah, Chairman KSA Design Planning Services, Ahmedabad

63. Pramod S Phadke, Mumbai

64. Subodh Abbhi, Paonta Sahib

65. Yogesh Agrawal, President, Sequoia Corp, Mercer Island

66. Sudhir Gota, Sustainable Transport

67. Nikhil Anand, Department of Anthropology, Stanford

68. Arvind Caprihan, Professor, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

69. Indur Shivdasani, Retired, Masiny Corp, Washington

70. Arun Bidani, Delhi

71. Mahesh Gaur, President, Raj Nagar Residents Welfare Association, Delhi

72. Kailash Mishra, Chairman, EG Gas Ltd, Calcutta

73. Anvita Arora, Director, Innovative Transport Solutions Pvt Ltd, Delhi

74. Vinay Dharmadhikari, Retired, Department of Electronics, Government of India, Delhi

75. Arun Tolani, Menlo Park

76. Niladri Chatterjee, Department of Mathematics, IIT, Delhi

77. Anurag Soni, IIT, Delhi

78. Himani Jain, IIT Delhi

79. Kathikeyan Balaraman, Department of Mechanical Engineering, IIT, Delhi

80. Arati Walia, Maharani Bagh, Delhi

81. Praful Bidwai, Journalist, Delhi

82. Peter Tennent, Lajpat Nagar, Delhi

83. Kavi Bhalla, Harvard Initiative for Global Health, Harvard

84. Maneesh Mahlawat

85. Varun Arya, Secretary, IIM Alumni Association, Ahmedabad

86. Joseph Fazio, Professor, School of Mines and Technology, South Dakota

87. Shrikant Bangdiwala

88. Ton Daggers, General Director, IBC Movilization Utrecht

89. Jason Chang, Professor, National Taiwan University, Taipei

90. Dibyendu Sengupta, Transportation Engineer, Washington


narayan82's picture

Risky Move by TOI

161 users have liked.
I have often noticed that TOI decides to take one side of the story, blow it out of proportion so it supresses the other side! This might be a provoking strategy, but a risky one!
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Transmogrifier's picture

HCBS/BRTS for buses only

175 users have liked.

I would disagree with Ms. Dikshit's excuse that 'the Chinese BRT model works better because they are more disciplined'. I have seen excellent lane discipline in action on a section of Anna Salai in Chennai where they have auto/two-wheeler, bus and LMV lanes... and believe me it works. When they were introduced, the traffic police overstaffed the road and were ruthless in issung spot-fines. That effort spread over some duration, produced results that worked well beyond anyone's expectation.

I would also argue that HCBS/BRT be used for buses only. Mixing it with two-wheelers and rickshaws is just not safe. Having said that though, status quo might be the way to go while hoping that as HCBS/BRTS catches on, more people would make the switch to public transport. At that point other options such as adding a bicycle lane that could be used by the rickshaws might be added too.



silkboard's picture

Users vs designers

191 users have liked.

About BRTS, and related "controversies", there are two things in the play:

1) The problem of not designing things right - When it comes to planning projects like these, especially the ones that seem technologically sophisticated, there is always this tendency to overlook the real "user needs" and go overboard with design-work. Any product requires its user's inputs first and foremost. But given the week local governance structure in our country, today, most city planning happens by way of asking some "well placed" people or experts. Not saying that the well placed people (who, some call as lobbyists) are not well meaning, or that they should not be consulted. But the path of bypassing the hard work of gathering real user data and doing real user surveys (on what they want) and taking short cut of asking just the "connected" or "experts" is fraught with dangers of wasted investments and energies.

2) Projects like BRTS need a supporting ecosystem of walkable pavements, sheltered bus stands, good network of transport mode interchange or last mile exchange. dishing out opinions about just a 7 km stretch of dedicated lane in isolation would be like telecasting a cricket match with a single camera focused only on the 22 yard pitch.

Last, and not the least. Please stop this "we are like this only" argument about road disciplene. Just because enforcement doesn't happen right today doesn't mean it can never happen right. Long pending Police Reforms (Soli Sorabjee report), or a change in the way transportation projects are funded (so that enforcement gets commensurate additional investment) - any of this could set the road disciplene thing right in less than an year.

s_yajaman's picture

Pathetic excuse from a CM

162 users have liked.

Sheila Dikshit's excuse is truly pathetic.  As if Chinese are inherently more disciplined than Indians.  One month of brutal fines will make Indians as disciplined as anyone else.  The will is simply not there as they all want to be "popular". 

Remember our ex-CM saying that if majority of two-wheelers don't want to wear helmets then he would not like to implement that rule.

The majority of the people probably don't want to pay taxes as well.  Then what?




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

narayan82's picture

Lane Discipline

160 users have liked.
As SB pointed out very correctly, we can't keep using our own inability to stick to lanes as an excuse to not enforce it. In which case why do we even paint them on the roads? Lane Discipline in my view is the most effective method of driving. It has be proven so in other countries. It might be a mamoth task for us to change, but if we dont start now then we never will change! Firsttly RTO's must be strict with the tests, driving schools must include lanes in thier syllabus. And the police must fine heavily for misuse of lanes. The BDA/BBMP meanwhile can use colour coding for lanes so that they are clearly visible.
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
narayan82's picture

People arent opposed to fines

193 users have liked.
However much a person would crib when he pays a fine, it finally is appreciated at the larger cause its serving. Hence the cliche of not enforcing the law at the expense of public irony (which turns out to be a vote looser) as actually not true. The Gujarat Model to some extent proved that. Hence this fear of "enforcing" must be destroyed.
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Naveen's picture

The Lame Duck Administration

176 users have liked.


The bane of being a democracy

The government & its various agencies are still in a slumber & way behind the times. One might argue that they are hampered by a huge mass of poor people, but so do countries like China, Vietnam & Indonesia. Politicians & bureaucrats in these nations are far more competent, recognize challenges, look for solutions & hence deliver better & make efforts to keep up with the times, even challenge the west, in some cases as with China.


In the democracy that we practice today, all efforts by politicians are to pamper & please the people & somehow try to win votes in the same old-fashioned, time-tested (!!) prosaic way, while the bureaucracy does not wish to make any efforts & people are left struggling for just about everything, including basic services that should have been automatic. The authorities are being paid to sit back & freeze their ideas - so naturally oblivious of their responsibilities, & true to their reputation !


How else could one explain the opposition to oil prices hike by all opposition parties, when it is clearly apparent that oil prices have shot up three-fold ?


How can one explain the prices roll-back by some state govts & shouldering the subsidy ? What economic sense does this make ?


Why is it that we have failed for so long to build infrastructure to suit our needs ?


How else can one explain the Delhi CM's statement about our people ? Is it not true that no serious attempts were ever made by these "leaders" to change our peoples habits ?


How have Singapore & Malaya - referred to as the "backwaters of asia" by the british change so much within a few decades ?


Even poorer countries like Thailand & Vietnam have changed their peoples so rapidly that they are now offering highly competent services, & their infrastructures are far superior to ours - any day.






ramesh_mbabu's picture

Delhi CM needs a Supreme Court Order to implement BRT :)

168 users have liked.

Those who had watched the conversion of bus fuel to CNG in delhi, moving the hazardous industries out of crowded residential areas in Delhi etc. will definitely remember how efficient she is as an administrator! Pun intended :). She had objections for every thing and any thing for the above supreme court ordered changes, was rapped by the judges enormous times and now she boasts these two as her achievements. Probably she might be able to boast of atleast BRT as her own goverment's acheivement in future.


sanchitnis's picture

Traffic in China

170 users have liked.

Here is a description of traffic in China from USA State Department’s Office of American Citizens Services and Crisis Management  (

"The rate of traffic accidents in China, including fatal accidents, is among the highest in the world. Driving etiquette in China is developing.  As a result, traffic is often chaotic, and right-of-way and other courtesies are often ignored.  Travelers should note that cars and buses in the wrong lanes frequently hit pedestrians and bicyclists.  Pedestrians should always be careful while walking near traffic. Road/traffic conditions are generally safe if occupants of modern passenger vehicles wear seatbelts. Most traffic accident injuries involve pedestrians or cyclists who are involved in collisions or who encounter unexpected road hazards (e.g., unmarked open manholes). "

Naveen's picture

Traffic in India ?

182 users have liked.


Wonder what the yanks would have written about traffic in India, if their view of traffic in China is no negative. The report would be much worse, I guess.

Any leads on this from the state dept ??


sanchitnis's picture

Re: Traffic in India

187 users have liked.

Of course, the traffic in India is equally bad (or may be worse). Now a days I see drivers - especially auto drivers arguing without any fear with police :-). ANyway, I do not think Sheela Dixit can use the excuse that traffic in India is an issue for implementing BRT.

 Here is their description of traffic in India (on the same website

Travel by road in India is dangerous.  A number of U.S. citizens have suffered fatal traffic accidents in recent years.  Travel at night is particularly hazardous.  Buses, patronized by hundreds of millions of Indians, are convenient in that they serve almost every city of any size.  However, they are usually driven fast, recklessly, and without consideration for the rules of the road.  Accidents are quite common.  Trains are safer than buses, but train accidents still occur more frequently than in developed countries.

In order to drive in India, one must have either a valid Indian driver’s license or a valid international driver’s license.  Because of difficult road and traffic conditions, many Americans who visit India wisely choose to hire a local driver.

On Indian roads, the safest driving policy is to always assume that other drivers will not respond to a traffic situation in the same way you would in the United States.  On Indian roads, might makes right, and buses and trucks epitomize this fact.  For instance, buses and trucks often run red lights and merge directly into traffic at yield points and traffic circles.  Cars, auto-rickshaws, bicycles and pedestrians behave only slightly more cautiously.  Frequent use of one's horn or flashing of headlights to announce one's presence is both customary and wise.

Outside major cities, main roads and other roads are poorly maintained and congested.  Even main roads often have only two lanes, with poor visibility and inadequate warning markers.  On the few divided highways one can expect to meet local transportation traveling in the wrong direction, often without lights.  Heavy traffic is the norm and includes (but is not limited to) overloaded trucks and buses, scooters, pedestrians, bullock and camel carts, horse or elephant riders en route to weddings, bicycles, and free-roaming livestock.  Traffic in India moves on the left.  It is important to be alert while crossing streets and intersections, especially after dark as traffic is coming in the "wrong" direction (i.e., from the left).  Travelers should remember to use seatbelts in both rear and front seats where available, and to ask their drivers to maintain a safe speed.

If a driver hits a pedestrian or a cow, the vehicle and its occupants are at risk of being attacked by passersby.  Such attacks pose significant risk of injury or death to the vehicle's occupants or at least of incineration of the vehicle.  It can thus be unsafe to remain at the scene of an accident of this nature, and drivers may instead wish to seek out the nearest police station.

Protestors often use road blockage as a means of publicizing their grievances, causing severe inconvenience to travelers.  Visitors should monitor local news reports for any reports of road disturbances comment guidelines

Posting Guidelines apply for comments as well. No foul language, hate mongering or personal attacks. If criticizing third person or an authority, you must be fact based, as constructive as possible, and use gentle words. Avoid going off-topic no matter how nice your comment is. Moderators reserve the right to either edit or simply delete comments that don't meet these guidelines. If you are nice enough to realize you violated the guidelines, please save Moderators some time by editing and fixing yourself. Thanks!

about seo | blog