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Metro Stations spacing in CBDs

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Metro Rail

Following are two letters posted to BMRC in connection with CBD stations along proposed Gottigere-Nagawara Metro line:

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5th March, 2012

To,

The Managing Director,
Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd.,
Bangalore

Dear Sir,

Re: Suggestion for additional CBD stations along Phase 2 trunk line

Greetings and many congratulations for opening the first reach of Namma Metro as also for completing
the first tunnel boring/s.

From recent press reports, it appears that the track length between MG road and Shivajinagar stations
along the new phase-2 route (Gottigere-Nagavara) is likely to be about 1.4km (assuming that the
tunnel/s are planned along Kamaraj road-Cubbon road-Central street route, or thereabouts). Also, the
track length between Shivajinagar and Cantonment stations is likely to be about 1.65km (assuming that
the tunnels are planned along Venkatswamy Naidu road – Queen’s road route).

This stretch of about 3 km falls right in the middle of the city center with many commercial activity
points such as Infantry road, Cunningham road, Commercial street, etc. I suggest that additional
station/s be planned midway between these stations as the station spacing (average 1.5km) appears to be
on the high side within the heart of the CBD.

For example, a station on Cubbon road near Main Guard Cross road and another at the junction of
Cunningham road and Queen’s road would certainly shift a lot of commuters from private vehicles to
Metro due to substantial enlargement of the catchment areas within walkable distances.

With two additional stations, the number of stations on this trunk route would become 20 along a
21.25km stretch, with an average station spacing of 1.063km. This would still be higher than the
average station spacing in the first phase (1.033km – 40 stations for track length of 41.3km).

This suggestion is being made from the point of view of the many commuters bound for offices &
commercial points in these areas. I request you to please consider this seriously in an effort to enhance
decongestion and limit private vehicle use within these CBD areas.

Thanking you for your kind attention,

---------------------------

September 20, 2012


To,
The Managing Director,
Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd.,
Bangalore

Dear Sir,

Re: CBD stations along Phase 2 Gottigere-Nagawara trunk line

Please refer my letter dated 5th March, 2012 regarding the anomaly /aberration in the stations spacing in
important CBD areas along the Gottigere–Nagawara trunk line. A copy of my previous letter is also attached
for your perusal.

As explained, I am unable to understand the rationale for increased station spacing in important CBD
locations. By the same token, I note that station spacing is unnecessarily small (between 700-800 meters) in
the far flung suburb of White-field (between Doddanekundi Ind Area & Satya Sai hospital) as correctly
pointed out by Abhilash & Prasad tech parks.

I have very serious concerns about public commuting needs within one of the most important CBD areas as
follows:
1) No intermediate station between MG road and Shivajinagar stations (appx 1.4km) – a station is
necessary near the junction of Cubbon road and Lady Curzon road or near the junction of Cubbon
road and Main Guard Cross road.
2) No intermediate station between Shivajinagar and Cantonment stations (appx 1.6km) – a station is
necessary near the junction of Queens road and Cunningham road or near the junction of Queens
road and Jasma Bhavan road.

If stations are not being considered at these locations, I would like to know BMRC’s explanation about how
seamless connectivity is being addressed for those that are city-bound to heavy commercial activity centers
such as Commercial street, Dispensary road, Infantry road, Main Guard cross road, Lady Curzon road,
Cunningham road and surroundings, & also why stations are being planned at 700-800m intervals in the
suburb of Whitefield, whilst ignoring the very real requisites in far more important CBD areas.

For your reference, most Metro /Subways have stations spaced between 400-800m in CBD areas:

Example-1 Singapore CBD:
NE route between stations Outram park, Chinatown & Clarke Quay – spaced about 620m apart;
Circle route between stations Dhoby Ghaut, Bras Basah, Esplanade, Promenade & Nicoll Highway – spaced
about 650m apart.
NS route between stations Orchard, Somerset & Dhoby Ghaut – spaced about 800m apart;

Example-2 Guangzhou CBD:
APM line between Chigang Pagoda and Linhexi (4km), with seven intermediate stations (Haixinsha, Opera
House, Huacheng Dadao, Women's And Children's Center, Huangpu Dadao, Tianhenam, Tianhe Sports center
south) – spaced 500m apart, on average;

Example-3 Hong Kong CBD:
TWL /KTL lines between stations Tsim Sha Shui & Kowloon Tong (4.7km) with five intermediate stations
(Jordan, Yau Ma Tei, Mong Kok, Prince Edward, Shek Kip Mei) – spaced 780m apart, on average.

Example-4 New York /Manhattan CBD:
Subway route 1 between stations Chambers st, Franklin st & Canal st – spaced about 410m apart;
Subway routes 4, 5 & 6 between stations 23rd, 28th & 33rd streets – spaced about 420m apart.

From the above examples, it is amply clear that Metro systems around the world have shorter station spacing
in CBDs and use the 1.0km benchmark as a guideline only for outlying areas. Needless to say, the guideline
1.0km station spacing does not hold good in CBD areas due to clusters of activity centers that usually are at
large distances away on both sides of the Metro route/s, necessitating shorter spacing.

Also, I wish to reiterate that the focus must necessarily rest on commuter needs, rather than ease of
construction or cost savings, even if there are public inconveniences or agitation during construction. Thus,
budget constraints will need to be overcome and construction delays might be acceptable, but clearly,
commuter inconveniences decade after decade is certainly not desirable.

In this context, I also wish to mention that a station along KG road (at the junction of BVK Iyengar road) was a
commuter necessity that seems to have been ignored due to pressures on cost, speedy completion, averting
public agitation, etc and this deficiency of the Metro system will remain a part of the city’s history now since
it appears that it might be a little too late to correct this.

I request a meeting with you at the earliest – please advice a date & time of your convenience.

Thanking you for your kind attention & looking forward to the meeting,

-----------------------------------

Comments

Naveen's picture

An improvement

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Perhaps it might be better to locate the proposed cubbon road station squarely between the two intersections (i.e. between Main Guard cross rd & Lady Curzon rd) so as to service both.

Also, since there are no activity points on the southern side of cubbon rd, main entry /exits can be arranged on the northern side with only emergency exits positioned on the southern side.

srinidhi's picture

Phase 1 differs..

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There are stations in phI like the Vidhana Soudha and Minsk sq, which are just 350-400 mts apart..probably there is no specific trend in how the stations are planned..probably land to be acquired and as documented in the bible like DPR by 'foreigners' DMRCL guides everything..

I think the MG road station in PH II will be on Kamaraj road btw MG road and CUbbon road(nothing to acquire on brigade road then) and this will cater to Infantry road and Commercial st..

Also moving up the SHivajinagar station to have a exit closer to infantry road would help..

I think your suggestion on the queens road/cunningham  road station is more appropriate and would help lot of people!

Naveen's picture

Assumptions incorrect

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The straight line distance between Minsk sq & Vidhana soudha is 670m (from google maps). On road (along Cubbon rd & Dr Ambedkar rd), the distance is 785m. It isn't 350-400m either way. So, the stns are appropriately spaced in this part of CBD.

The ph-2 u/g stn is on Kamraj rd adjacent MG rd & at a distance of 90m from existing elevated stn (& not inbetween Cubbon rd & MG rd). This is located such that interchange between the two stns (i.e. purple line & ph-2 line) is seamless.

srinidhi's picture

not too incorrect..

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Please see below the map of the two stations..the end exits 500mts in total distance(see red dots)

 

Also abt the MG road interchange you talk about. I agree the nearest end exit which will integrate with the reach 1 station will be 90 mts..however will it not extend on kamaraj road towards cubbon road for atleast 150 mts?

idontspam's picture

Yes to Indian express/cunningham rd

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Cunningham road I agree, there is substantial distance btwn shivaji nagar & cantt. Cunningham road/Indian express needs a station. It is criminal if you have a line going nearby & people cannot use it

Naveen's picture

What is the point ?

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500m edge to edge - okay. So, it isn't 350-400m as claimed previously. The 500m is not necessarily the distance between stn entry /exits - in all likelihood, it might be 650-700m depending on where exits are positioned at the stns, which is fine since both these stns lie within CBDs with multiple activity centers around them.

The u/g stn may extend 150m into Kamraj rd, but the walking distance to mid-point on commercial st will be over 850m. Also, from Shivajinagar stn, it would be 850m along shortest road /walk route, & from Minsk sq stn, it would be over 1.5km. Therefore, a closer stn is necessary & it might be best located between Main guard cross st & Lady curzon st - this would facilitate easier access to the many commercial establishments on both these rds (such as safina plaza), in addition to eastern parts of Infantry rd, Bowring hospital rd, Dispensary rd & Comml st.

It isn't clear to me what your point is - as explained, the 1.0km spacing within CBDs is not necessarily correct. At some CBD locations, it will have to be closer to provide easy walking access to commuters. Upto a mximum of 400-500m is considered acceptable, but 850m is certainly not easy walking distance by any yardstick, especially for women, children & old people.

In places like Newyork & Guangzhou, there are stns spaced 400-500m apart for this reason (see letters to BMRC above).

srinidhi's picture

my point was..

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just that BMRCL has no fixed pattern on spacing the stations..its all with what the DPR done by DMRCL drives at..

I am also really for increasing the reach as much as possible with shorter stops..but I am rather very sceptical that our talk will be taken with any seriousness by BMRCL..

Infact if you remember, I am for the gotigere line to divert at dairy circle to travel on marigowda road and get onto hosur road near forum mall..which would have connected Koramangala in PH II..this would have helped coverage really well..and I mailed BMRC many times..but no use!

Maybe talking to state UD minister might help!

Naveen's picture

Not really necessary

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Not to contest things, but as stated earlier (by me & others), DMRC is the best suited by virtue of their experience. No other organization in India has such experience, & they are also preparing DPRs for Jaipur, Chennai, Cochin, Chandigarh, Pune, etc because they have been recognized for such job scope.

Also, your suggestion quoted above has flaws, as previously discussed:

1) To start with, the route is turning backwards, away from the direction of it's destination & this would add needlessly to trackage distance (over 2km - nearly 500-600 crores).

2) The turn from Marigowda rd to Hosur rd is about 150deg. To incorporate such a large turn in the design with the limited space available might not be possible since the area is fully builtup. If attempted, it might involve very large land acquisitions & demolitions as foundations would be deep with many high structures since minimum turning radius will need to be maintained.

3) Both Marigowda rd & Hosur rd are bus thoroughfares that have plenty of buses running on them. Thus, interchange options between modes is plentiful.

Thus, I don't think such a deviation is a good idea at all & may be this is why BMRC had not responded.

srinidhi's picture

my thoughts..

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1) To start with, the route is turning backwards, away from the direction of it's destination & this would add needlessly to trackage distance (over 2km - nearly 500-600 crores)

Arguably, you have the most experience of seeing/using metro in many countries..havent there been these kind of deviations elsewhere especially within the city?

2) The turn from Marigowda rd to Hosur rd is about 150deg. To incorporate such a large turn in the design with the limited space available might not be possible since the area is fully builtup. If attempted, it might involve very large land acquisitions & demolitions as foundations would be deep with many high structures since minimum turning radius will need to be maintaine

Coming from Jayadeva, the plan is to go UG at KMF junction..we have the govt ITI land on the left..on the opposite is nimhans land..on the far right corner is KMF land..all empty space as  of today!

3) Both Marigowda rd & Hosur rd are bus thoroughfares that have plenty of buses running on them. Thus, interchange options between modes is plentiful.    

Current bus stop on Marigowda road is 250mts from the junction , infront of CHrist College..so reaching that will be a pain anyways!

Naveen's picture

Yr queries

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havent there been these kind of deviations elsewhere especially within the city?

No sir, I haven't seen metro tracks anywhere that back track & then turn around.

we have the govt ITI land on the left..on the opposite is nimhans land..on the far right corner is KMF land..all empty space as  of today!

I was referring to the turn near Forum, not the one near Dairy circle.

Current bus stop on Marigowda road is 250mts from the junction , infront of CHrist College..so reaching that will be a pain anyways!

I'm sure bus stops will be shifted closer to metro stn/s for easy inter-change once metro trains are operational - & 250m is walkable.

srinidhi's picture

answers..

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No sir, I haven't seen metro tracks anywhere that back track & then turn around.

Please check the paris metro map here to see such deviations

http://www.aparisguide.com/maps/metro.htm I was seeing that such turns are in every major city..seoul/tokyo etc

I was referring to the turn near Forum, not the one near Dairy circle.

end of forum mall on marigowda road there is KEB land and on the turn too there is a road with a wide median which runs parallel to hosur road..so there will not be any need for acqusitions 

I'm sure bus stops will be shifted closer to metro stn/s for easy inter-change once metro trains are operational - & 250m is walkable.

Bus stops cannot be shifted because the stops are right after the over pass bridge that the busses take

 

Naveen's picture

May not be feasible

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Please check the paris metro map here to see such deviations

I'm not sure I see any deviations on the map that take the route backwards & then forward. Not sure if there are any at all anywhere in the world. If some were built with routes going backwards & then forwards, I would say that they are wasteful & ill planned - this is my personal opinion.

end of forum mall on marigowda road there is KEB land and on the turn too there is a road with a wide median which runs parallel to hosur road..so there will not be any need for acqusitions

Turn radius for Bangalore metro is 300m - this is the governing issue & not the existence of KEB or wide median rd - these do not automatically imply that the 150deg turn can be built & implemented without land acquisition within the space available.

Bus stops cannot be shifted because the stops are right after the over pass bridge that the busses take

I think they will be positioned closest after Metro becomes operational & that should suffice as the distance is walkable.

Bheema.Upadhyaya's picture

@Naveen, did you get any

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@Naveen, did you get any response from "Namma" metro regarding the letters? Does the company has official public interaction channel(like public hearings etc)?

" My mantra to public bodies=> Enable->Educate->Enforce. Where does  DDC  fit?"
Naveen's picture

@Bheema

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MD Sivasailam is currently out of station. BMRC has confirmed receipt of ltr/s & are looking at feasibility. They promised to revert after MD's return.

srinidhi's picture

stand corrected..

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I checked distances on the maps for the marigowda road - hosur road jn..there will be issues with turning as you said..the current space available is about 75mts only! So they will not be able to do anything without acquiring land..which will make the detour very expensive..

But still feel..all blr metro routes we have are designed on 'least resistance' or least acqusition proposition..than on real traffic needs or travel patterns..thats something we will have to live with!

 

Naveen's picture

Map extract attached

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The need for the additional stations is more clear on the map below. As can be seen, with both stations in place (on two possible alternate track routings), the catchment potential is huge. The routes are of course speculative, but expect tunnels will be along either of these routes, depending on which is most economical /viable & based on ground realities.

 

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