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No, Mono isn't dead yet

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Metro RailTraffic

It might be the one legged cousin of super glamorous Metro. But the Mono project isn't dead if you thought so based on recent lack of news and updates on it. The Hindu reported that BMRC is close to making the call on picking a consultant for Mono. As expected, newspapers have more meat than BMRC website itself. However, BMRC has this cryptic sounding note on their news page right now:

"THE SELECTION OF THE MONORAIL CONSULTANT IS STILL UNDER PROCESS. THE LETTERS WHICH HAVE BEEN PLACED IN THE WEBSITE ARE HEREBY WITHDRAWN. INCONVENIENCE REGRETTED."

Wonder what had happened there! Did they announce a winner and then withdraw it? Hope not.

Meanwhile, to remind you of the Mono routes:

1) Kanakapura Road to Mysore Road Junction with a T connection from Kathriguppe to National College.
2) Bannerghatta National Park to Adugodi.
3) Jnanabharathi to Mysore Road (Outer Ring Road) with a T connection to Toll Gate on Magadi Road.
4) Tumkur Road on Outer Ring Road to Bellary Road

Comments

tsubba's picture

i think what happened was

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i think what happened was that they have only shortlisted the consultants and have not yet picked one. (financial bids khule nahi hein). need to dig up the RFQ docs to see what it is these consultants will do. I guess they will select the appropriate 'technology'. Like metrail untested tech or established mitsubishi solutions. But it is not clear if they will also do the route picking. What is the time frame for them to do all this? After they do that, then prolly will come the selection of actual concessionaires. Then after about 18-24 months of that we will get mono.
Visitor's picture

Metro and Mono: Why do we need both ?

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I am not sure I saw an explanation anywhere of why we need two different mass rapid transport systems(metro and mono) in Bangalore. Why can't the Metro be extended to all the areas where the Monorail is supposed to ply instead of having two separate solutions. I believe in Delhi they are planning to extend the metro network. The problems that I see with two different systems are: 1. Inconvenience for passengers having to change the mode of transport to continue their journey. The journey could have been seamless. For e.g to go from Jnanbharathi to the city centre, the passenger would have to change mode of transport @ Mysore Road. 2. Different systems, different problems. Different experts and consultants. More expensive to maintain two systems instead of one. 3. Monorail like all elevated roads(flyovers) will be ugly and make the city an eyesore. I love the subway system in New York where the only hint of a mass rapid transport system being nearby(or underground) is the presence of a staircase for entry into the subway station. On that note why is not the whole Metro network underground ? Additional construction costs I suppose. But then it would have spared the efforts and cost and headache of property acquisition to accomodate the metro corridor.
tsubba's picture

Hello Visitor, excellent

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Hello Visitor, excellent points on multi modal issues. Will get back. Please register(free) so that we can have focussed discussions, and so that your discussions can be credited to you. thanks. tarlesubba.
mii2's picture

Ok I am registered.

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I was expecting to be prompted for an username when I made the above post. Too late by the time I realized that the post was done :)

In continuation of my previous post, is there precedent in any city where they have adopted two parallel modes of RTS beginning construction of the same time ?

tsubba's picture

Hi mii2,

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Hi mii2, To answer your last question first, I guess Osaka, Japan has both monorail and metro type system. Basically, Osaka metro system is a grid like network that is about 130 kms, and the mono connects the airport to the rest of the metro network through basically a single arc of about 20kms, that passes through various metro stations. But you should notice that they have not allowed mono to distract them, its one line whose main aim is connectivity to the airport. monos can handle ~1 lakh people/day. osaka airport handles about 20 mill people/year. for public transit in the rest of the city it is seamlessly through metro only. (they have bus systems too)
rvas's picture

Metro is Unparallel - Metro Needs Lot of Land Compared to Mono

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Carrying capacity of Metro is Unparalleled and a single system is always beneficial compared to multiple systems - But, metro needs more land and more property destruction and more expensive than mono. Construction of metro takes more time than mono. In Bangalore, because of the expensive land rates as well as many people loosing their houses and shops where they lived for years, mono makes sensible. Within 2 years, it can be completed as said by experts. As discussed in the topic about the looks and the feel for sky, even metro is planned overhead because it is less expensive and faster to construct than underground. Even overhead metro and mono can be made to look beautiful and it looks very beautiful in many countries. Mono should be planned to almost every part of Bangalore and done quickly to give people a feel for mono atleast in some part of the city - The current map on bmrc website show lot of disconnected circuit which is not going to workout as a successful model and it is simply based on traffic density rather than ease of commute. Traffic is increasing everyday and BMRC atleast should get is Mono which just needs around 2 years to construct with less land. Metro is a very long way to go..
tsubba's picture

u/g metro....

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u/g metro has the problem of landfill. Whatever earth you take out you have to dump it somewhere. Also disaster recovery is faster on elevated tracks. plus, if it is cheap, then we can potentially build larger network, which means greater benefits and rvas says. rvas... mono that they have planned is along the western half of the ORR and is thus connected no? + there is the bannerghatta 'park line'.
tsubba's picture

Ever since Metrail proposed

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Ever since Metrail proposed to put around Rs 4000 Crores of its “own money”, and promised to BOOT a monorail (mono) network for Bangalore, Bangalore has unceasingly debated the mono vs. metro question. Otherwise, mono has very little established technology and service records to show that it can form the backbone of public transit in a city of atleast 65 lakh people, apart from transitory population. Bangalore was really busy planning a metro network through the city. With that, instead of focusing on public transit, Bangalore has been distracted by a debate on technology; and the issue of Bangalore’s investment in a public transit has been sidelined.

Public Transit What's In It For Bangalore...
Fundamentally we have to contrast between what Bangalore gains from mass transit and what mass transit gains from Bangalore.

First of all Bangalore even began considering mass transit because it was, and continues to strain under the weight of its own growth and quality of life is suffering. Environment, social access(how many footpaths have been chopped off to widen streets?), transit safety, family time, productivity, mental health - Bangalore is risking all these only because people are moving from one place to another. Bangalore can only gain by weaning as many people as possible off private transit and transporting them through public transit towards achieving quality of life goals. IMHO, this is the most important thing and nothing else matters.

The danger with mindless peddling of untested, "economically feasible" alternatives is that if it does not scale then feasibility of public transit is risked, which means greater burden on the streets and we are back to square one.

Mono-Metro Same Stuff, Only One Has More Impact Than The Other...
The fundamental idea behind Metro & Mono is the same. You build exclusive paths through the city, which provide you with Right Of Way (ROW) on which you run carriers. The carriers actually carry people. One carrier runs on two rails, the other runs on a sole rail. So obviously, the technology of the carrier is different. Apart from this all other differences between the two are a direct function of the capacity. For example, power requirements, station platform lengths etc. Other wise in terms of over all land for stations & yards the requirements are similar. Consider the land required to construct ROW. The mono ROW/Metro ROW ratio is 89% . So, land acquisition to construct ROW is not much different. Also for both land for stations + parking + yards will be similar, in monos case without much return in terms of number of people carried.

Even assuming full utilization of stated specs mono only promises to move about 1 lakh people per day. The longest mono network in the world, Osaka, currently carries about 77000 people per day. Delhi metro, even when currently underutilized, transported 450,000 people/day last year over a network that is similarly dense to what mono BOOT is proposing. And ridership is yet to peak, meanwhile benefits have begun to accrue.

So if we take all the trouble to build right of way based system then might as well put a high capacity carrier on it. Why settle for a low capacity carrier, and limit our potential, especially when overall costs are similar.

If you average the operation & maintenance costs per passenger per mile, over a set of mono systems and Metro/Metro type systems in this list you get $0.66 for mono and $0.44 for metro. If you considered the park monos too, then mono is infact, $1.26.

For a proposal like mono’s BOOT the principle gain is return on investment. Metrics that are important to Bangalore are only secondary. Irrespective of effectiveness of it in actually moving people in Bangalore’s overall context, mono BOOT will make money, if only due to the sheer size of Bangalore’s population. That is guaranteed. But what is not guaranteed is that it translates as any relief to Bangalore. (Notice, that BOOT mono proposal usurps exclusive rights, and there is no balance of competition that would ensure that what happened with reach and service in cellular networks will happen with transit networks.)

Bottom line is this, Bangalore needs a public transit that alleviates the congestion problem as much as possible, it does not need a public transit system naam ke vaaste, so that we can say Bangalore has public transit, without it actually translating into something meaningful for Bangalore itself.

Visitor's picture

Mono is only a short-term solution

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Presently, mono may look like the ideal solution which address the problem in a short time. That being its only advantage. As long term it will prove costly. Considering the carrying capacity of metro vs mono and the cost/passenger. It is just a matter of time when metro is more cost-effective than the mono. Also with the push of larger Bangalore, the population of those peripheral areas hold the most potential for population increases and the mono will fall short to address the demand. Same like how Bangalore is bursting at the seams to handle the population surge in recent years. Atleast the old planners can be excused as no one in their wildest imagination would have predicted such a growth story for Bangalore. But now that we are wise to the fact, it would be inexcusable to plan for such half-hearted solutions which we know will not be able to handle future traffic. As tarlesubba pointed out, when most of the work (acquistion, construction) needs to be done for mono, then why not go the whole nine yards and instead plan for the metro.
rvas's picture

We need a feel for mono at least in some part of city to debate

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As everyone says, Metro is highly beneficial and it is unparalleled. Earlier, there were plans for Elevated Light Rail System - whose carrying capacity comes between mono and metro - Even this can be considered. But, what we need is a POC site on mono between two places on the planned monorail map and give people a feel about how it works for Indian conditions. After that everything seems to be clear. If it does not work out, we can go for ELRTS but with narrower tracks than metro, which has more carrying capacity than mono and occupies less space than Elevated Metro. Currently, everything is imaginary and we do not know how these technologies suit for our Bangalore conditions. BOOT is one way good that we get a system without Government money, but, in India, it never works out successfully as we have seen with NICE. All of a sudden, environmentalists and other 'intelligent politicians' poke in. Even it will happen faster compared to Government investing money. Whatever the technology may be, BMRC should act fast. Earlier there were many reports in news papers about Metro, now we do not see any news
mii2's picture

Costly experiment.

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Construction the mono to get a feel of it is just a costly experiment.

As far as suitability to indian conditions is concerned then we know that Delhi and Calcutta have successfully implemented the metro solution. Are there any mono implementation in India ?

 We don't have the luxury of changing the design/system midway to ELRTS if the mono is deemed unsuitable.

 

rvas's picture

Mono Has Been Already Planned by BMRC-It will not be experiment

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Mono has already been planned by BMRC and tenders have been called. It will not be any waste if we have it in some part of the city as quickly as possible and checkout how it works out. Ofcourse, people always say Metro should have been here - but the land, the time and expenses are too high to be planned in all parts of the city.

Even Singapore, London,Tokyo and Kualalampur has got monorail in some or the other part of the city. It is a waste if a metro runs where very less people use it  and also which comes at a very high cost and lot of people loosing their houses. Currently, BMTC introduced Volvo buses to attract people using private vehicles, but, even then, it is successful only to ITPL route. Rest of the routes, it runs vacant with huge loss - Samething should not happen to Metro.

 

Vasanth's picture

Why delay in Mono

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No updates from BMRC so far on mono. They said it will be too much for them to handle mono too. If they are not working on this, start an agency for handling monorail immediately. Otherwise plan for Metro itself even on the mono corridor. Whatever BMRC does, it should do it fast. Already it is too late and land rates will increase making the project much more expensive. Currently BMRC is not working parallely. It is serializing its work resulting in unwanted delays. Just for taking decision or to appoint a consultant for Mono, it is taking months.
tsubba's picture

mono-logue

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exactly Vasanth, its end of August and we have not heard anything on that front. I agree on serialized metro plans too. wonder why they didn't go about the four arms in parallel. I am guessing it is because of land acquisition and all the due process involved in that. perhaps taking up all the four arms simultaneously would have drowned BMRC in litigation.

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