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BBMP doing bus bays for BMTC - slow progress?

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Late last year (Nov 2007), we were told read about BMTC requesting BBMP for 140 bus bays. Refer this Nov 07 Hindu article:

The Traffic Engineering Cell (TEC) of the BBMP has ... invited tenders for 100 bus bays out of 140 proposed by the BMTC ... official of the cell told The Hindu that construction was likely to begin in a month and completed in three months.

But no news since then. Nothing new on this subject on BBMP website recently. However, I did see a tender from BBMP couple of days ago in newspapers. I just can't locate it now (was in papers, but is not on BBMP website, that tells you that the website doesn't expose all their tenders!) but it talked about doing 25-30 bus bays.

So how is BBMP designing the bus bays? Whats our city's past record on Bus Bays? Talking of speed of execution, this note in that same Hindu article seems critical:

The BBMP on its own was constructing 40 bus bays, the process of which began in 2003, the official pointed out ... work on 28 bays out of 40 was under progress, work on the rest was pending for lack of suitable location ... with every road often being widened it has become difficult for the BBMP to locate suitable places.

Wonder how they will manage to locate 140 bus bays. Enforcing BMTC drivers to stick on the bays will be the next challenge, but thats the easier battle. I was bothered more about the details of this work - what exactly does it include? Why is it not part of BTRAC - funds are available there, and this fits under traffic management. Does the work also involve sprucing the bus stands adjoining these bus bays? Will the work also include paint jobs or street furniture to help bus users cross the road in question?

PS 1: Photoyogi sir - can you get some info from your contacts in BBMP's traffic engineering cell (TEC) ?

PS 2: For your spare time reading:


rs's picture

Ha !

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I just saw your attachment on bus stop design - I suppose in London. Do you think the BMTC/BBMP etc have the foresight to plan carefully where to put bus stops and bus bays ? The way I see it its almost the case that bus stops are designed 1. To ensure that a disembarking passenger has to risk his life. 2. To ensure that the bus stops as many vehicles behind it as possible. 3. To be at the most inconvenient location as possible. For example, the 18th Cross Malleswaram bus stand is on the wrong side of the road... My fellow car drivers are no better - they think buses stop not to allow passengers to get on and off but simply to add to the misery of their daily commute. So they try to go around a stopped bus. It does not help that the bus is has anyway stopped in the middle of the road. Frankly, I dont think there is a solution. Unless you physically stop them people will get on to the road in order to block an on coming bus simply because they dont trust it to stop otherwise. As a consequence a metre and a half of the road has people on it and if the bus stops it stops in the middle of the road.
narayan82's picture

Employ more attendants

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Cameras, GPS and and other tech items dont seem to very effective here in enforcement. The only way it can be enforced is buy supplementing these gadgets with a person. We have a rather high unemploymnent figure, BMTC can easily recruit 500 unskilled emplyees, train them in monitoring busses/drivers, give them a uniform and station one at each bus bay. Backed up with Cameras these attendants can enforce erring drivers.
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
rs's picture

Enforcing the law

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Well, for some reason I dont think employing more people to enforce the law will work here. I find it remarkable that while in a country like Canada - with a population slightly twice that of Mumbai - if you park illegally a cop comes and tickets you withi a short while. While in Bangalore you can park in the middle of the road, pointing the wrong direction, with a `No parking' sign on both sides of the road and no one will trouble you with a ticket. Further, even if the get around to giving you a ticket you can tear it up and they wont bother you any more about it. Its absurd. I dont see why the BBMP doesnt try to make up for their shortage of funds by fining parking violators. A five minute walk in any part of Bangalore would assure you that this is a cash cow crying to be milked.
silkboard's picture

What you do, do it right.

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Dear rs, its easy to get lost in - ah, whats the point of designing these well, people will anyway stand on the road, cabs and autos will fill the bus bays, and the buses will continue to stop in the middle of the road. Even when I talk to some babus, they kind of talk this language.

The thing is - we all must do our part to perfection first, and then see what happens. Lets build proper bus bays, with pedestrian fences around them, with clear "300 Rupee fine if you stop here" signs. Lets do this at 50-60 bus stops, and then see.

Just because things aren't enforced, doesn't mean we should not put signs around everywhere. More signages and street furniture, better are your chances that at least some people will feel guilty doing it again and again as they see the big and clear boards.

Further, sooner or later, this problem of weak enforcement will gain importance and get addrssed. When that time comes, lack of proper signages and street furniure shouldn't be cited along with - "ah, just enforcement wont help it, look at how bad our bus stands are".

Bottomline, each thing that we do, we should do them well. Period. That is how any change begins. 

Back to the bus bays, I only want to see the design of these. I want all of us to seeand judge if BBMP/BMTC are simply wasting money here by making no real or effective  changes to the bus stands.

rs's picture

Enforcement et al.

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Hi Yes, I agree that perhaps one should try what one can but when the commissioner of police says that they dont enforce laws because the RTO doesnt teach the rules properly it gives you very little grounds for optimism. Added to this you see that people are becoming increasingly aggressive and belligerent day by day. Its really frustrating to find these people happily violating the law - by parking illegally on a narrow street and blocking traffic for example - and getting away with it because the cop around the corner isnt bothered. Or worse, when the cop himself is directing traffic incorrectly - like at Yeswantpur circle where no traffic goes around the circle causing an unnecessary jam. There is still hope for Bangalore - but it is diminishing day by day. Bangalore had certain charms - like tree lined boulevards - but the short sighted BBMP/BDA... seem to be hell bent on destroying them. I still believe that much of the traffic problems in Bangalore can be resolved by management and enforcement of law, but there is no will in that direction as there is no money to be made in that. Massive pointless infrastructural projects are just scams for politicians and public officials to make money on the side. It is absurd that the city wants to spend 3000 crores on making a train to the airport ( which cost 2500 crores ) instead of simply utilizing existing train lines. And by cutting down the trees they are killing the goose that lays the golden egg. Trees are the one thing that makes Bangalore different from other dusty indian cities but it sadly appears that we are headed in that direction. I moved back to Bangalore a couple of years ago. I would not be so pessimistic if in that time there was even one public infrastructure project which has been successful and is well done. The magic box underpasses kind of work but the quality of work is really shoddy and it seems unlikely that it will survive even a couple of years. The Malleswaram underpass is pointless as it stands and was designed with very little thought about the global picture, so has not really benefited traffic here. The grade separators in Mathikere and Vijaynagar seem to be taking forever. Trees have been chopped up on Race course road with no clear benefit. They are going to destroy Nirupathunga road next for no reason. In Yelahanka they have cut down several trees on Doddballapur road for no conceivable benefit. And after cutting down the trees the road hasnt been made properly so its completely pointless.... On 8th Main, Malleswaram they built a footpath spending crores but it so monumentally stupid. The cemented path is built between trees and the area on the side of the trees are grass or mud - which shows how little thought has gone in to it. Anyway, the whole road is essentially a `urinary tract' even though there are public toilets at both ends.
silkboard's picture

I share that frustration

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Having moved back to Bangalore just over 3.5 years ago, I share all of your frustrations. Its hard and unbearable for concerned citizens (like us) to see money going down the drain, to see things that seem like brain dead designs, etc etc.

One thing you said there may be true:

Massive pointless infrastructural projects are just scams for politicians and public officials to make money on the side. It is absurd that the city wants to spend 3000 crores on making a train to the airport ( which cost 2500 crores ) instead of simply utilizing existing train lines.

When we didn't have the money, that was cited as the reason for poor infrastructure. Now when we have some, we are not responsible with spending it.

But I have not lost hope. All this mess around us exists only because we take it, and so we deserve it.

I know that one way we can set it all right is by giving this our time and thoughts, by way of taking serious interest (and not by heavy volunteering with blind and misinterpreted faith in "be the change you want to see") and forcing our inputs on all projects, Rs 30 arab (expressway) to Rs 30 crore (your neighborhood flyover) or Rs 30 lakhs (asphalting of your 6th main and 7th cross).

And this is where transparency and participation comes in. Why not publish exact sketch and alignment, and plans? And details of bidding process and the companies who will be getting the contracts? Why not publish simple and quantified short term and long term goals for every project, so that the impact of money spent can be measured. Why not publish full details of the contractors who do the work, and all the bills they submit and get paid for?

Lack of transparency about all these things should tell you one thing - that the only entity everyone fears is "public". Thank God that fear is till intact, and that is what gives me the hope.


idontspam's picture

City connect planning

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I chanced upon the Blr city connect site thru devesh's links and found how they have reengineered the ramaiah hospital junction. I have used that junction for the past 25 years and like the way they have scientifically suggested transformation of the junction. We should do this excersice for each junction that currently exists and will be introduced going forward. Do take a look. I believe we need to push the city authorities to either build that level of capability into their organizations or atleast utilise the expertise that lies outside.

I am yet to see if that suggestion will be implemented. If they dont it is such a waste and shows where our maladies lie. comment guidelines

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