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City buses and Privatization - Punjab way

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We have talked about some models for BMTC to outsource or competize some parts of its operation. (Reforms around BMLTA...). We had seen UP government try this, thought not for city buses. Now last week, I see this notice from Punjab goverment wanting to introduce privatization for city public transport. the best part is, they are doing it under JNNURM!

The notice, called expression of Interest (EOI), invites "Bus Operators" to help with:

"part financing & procurement, Operation and maintenance of city buses on specified Routes under City bus services project in Amritsar & Ludhiana under JNNURM".

You can read the full EOI press release here (TOI epaper link). It talks of

  • 150 buses for Amritsar, 200 for Ludhiana
  • Three categories: Low fllor, Semi-low floor, and mini-bus
  • I see AC as well as non-AC mentioned for all bus types
  • 15 routes in each city (total 30)
  • Project being implemented under a "sustainable PPP" model.

Exact model is not clear -  will they hand out each (of total 30) route to best bidder, and have one operator per route on a "performance based renewal basis", or will they have multiple operator per route?

And what could BMTC do? It has two options:

  • Try to bid for this EOI, and do business in Punjab
  • Learn from Punjab (and UP in recent past), and think about some outsourcing or privatization for its own operatons as well.

There is no website mentioned by Punjab government, hope papers will carry more than just tenders to help us track how their experiment goes.

Comments

Rithesh's picture

More details on the project

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There is an EOI document on IL&FS which states the following 

- Each of the 15 routes will be "monopoly" and "exclusive" routes and will be allocated to only one operator (no competition).
- Ticket tariff details - Rs.5 - for upto 5Km, Rs.10 for distance between 5 and 10Km, Rs.15 for beyond 10Km.
- Special purpose companies will manage the sale of the passes and advertising rights. The operators will get a share of these revenues.

The EOI document can be accessed from - http://www.iidcindia.co.in/invitationlist.aspx

This concept seams to be an extension of "Licence Raj". From what i understand, currently there is no urban public transportation system, in these two cities and this is an effort to solve this problem. 

But instead of considering a holistic approach of auctioning transportation for the whole city to one operator (and gradually open it up for competition), they have identified 15 different routes and in the worst case there could be 15 different operators - one operating on each of the 15 routes. 

It would be interesting to find out, if they conducted any traffic studies to identify these routes and how they plan to achieve inter-operator co-ordination. 

The "High networth criteria" condition for identifying qualified bidders, is also a cause of concern, it dilutes the technical requirements criteria - 
"The bidders, single entity or jointly as consortium, having a Minimum Net Worth of INR 1 Crore per route as on March 31st 2009, are exempted from the Technical Criteria mentioned at (a) above."

If BMTC were to bid for this project, it will be a cake for them - both in terms of qualifying for the project, as well as operating it.

s_yajaman's picture

Learn from UP and Punjab? be careful what you want... :)

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SB,

Be careful what you want.  You might get it.  :)  Last time it was Hyderabad's Metro that we were supposed to learn from :)

Can you identify about 5 operational issues in BMTC that arise out of it being a govt held company and not because of anything else.  There should be a fairly strong causative relationship between govt ownership and those issues. 

E.g.

a. Revenue loss at ticketing.  Private company means that conductor can get fired if he is caught stealing.  Or that private company will mean adoption of cashless transactions at ticketing via card readers+cards.  Or that private companies will pay their conductors/drivers better so that they don't need to do it. 

b. Coverage ---

c. ...

Srivathsa

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

Naveen's picture

Punjab Model Looks Okay

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This concept seems to be an extension of "Licence Raj".

Rithesh - India's famous "License Raj" is commonly associated with the unneccessarily large chain of requirements involving multiple govt agencies wherby prospective applicants had to spend months, if not years & pay bribes at multiple points to be conferred licenses for operation. I dont think this will be case with the Punjab public transport initiative.

Regulation by government is very much necessary, particularly for operation of public transport since safety & lives are involved + it is a social service sector which is the reponsibility of the govt, in any case. The development process to get reliable & responsible private parties is essential for various transport & related services as also to actually operate the services, provided social goals are met in harmony & with at least the same degree of efficiency as public operators - sadly, this has not been the case in India so far, but things might change with the likes of Indore & Punjab taking some bold steps toward this.

The cities that are being covered are smaller & never had public transport before. Therefore, this initiative must be commended. I think we also need to closely watch how it progresses, as Srivathsa has cautioned.

Further, the high networth criteria, I think is acceptable as the quality of transport operators has been pathetic. This is an invitation to the bigger players to bite & take the plunge into public transportation. The chances of seeing some good evolving here might be better.

murali772's picture

completing the list

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Yajamaanre' - I'll complete the list for you:

b. Coverage - they will run various kinds of services, covering every nook & cranny, unlike in the case of BMTC, where the driver/ conductor mafia decides which are 'profitable' routes.

c. Destination boards in English, apart from Kannada - Here again the politicians in-charge of BMTC have to pander to the language chauvinists, whereas the private operators have no such compulsions.

d. Route rationalisation - bringing down the current number of routes from the present 2000 odd to some manageable number, making it easy for commuters to comprehend the system at one single glance of a route map.

e. Three shift operations, even if the third shift is skeletal.

f. Yi service.

g. Courteous behaviour even towards non-Kannada speaking passengers.

saakaa???

Muralidhar Rao
s_yajaman's picture

Are you so sure

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b. They will cover every nook and corner.  BEST covers every nook and corner inspite of being a govt run service.  Is this just poor design or is it because it is a govt run orgn?  You make it sound like this is a given!!! 

c. Destination boards...  Hope you've been reading the paper.  Very soon your menu cards in restaurants will be in Kannada.   What makes you so sure that a couple of burnt buses will not make any private operator put only Kannada boards.  Anyway BMTC now has bilingual with LED boards.

d. Route rationalization.  Right on that count.  

e. Three shift operation.  Possible.  Not necessary. 

f. YI possible.  But BMTC is coming out with its own PIS. 

g. Courteous behaviour.  This is not the exclusive right of private operators.  BMTC conductors on the VV service are pretty courteous.  

Srivathsa

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

Naveen's picture

Assumptions Again !

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Coverage - they will run various kinds of services, covering every nook & cranny, unlike in the case of BMTC, where the driver/ conductor mafia decides which are 'profitable' routes.

This is mere wishful thinking. We have been seeing some of the private operators with dilipidated buses on Hosur rd, who appear during peak hours & disappear quietly during off-peak hours. What makes you think that they will cover each "nook & cranny" when they choose not to operate even on a high density road during off-peak hours since loads are smaller ?

The thread you referred to quoted discussions about profitable & non-profitable routes for drivers /conductors (for dishonest practices) & said nothing about BMTC not running services on non-profitable routes - in fact, services are being provided on such "non-profitable" routes too, isn't it ? So, what is the relevance here ?

Destination boards in English, apart from Kannada - Here again the politicians in-charge of BMTC have to pander to the language chauvinists, whereas the private operators have no such compulsions.

No such compulsions ? Are private operators immune to attacks from the language chauvinists that you speak of ?  Also, BMTC has of late been displaying boards in english & kannada, atleast on the LED displays on buses.

The language issue was discussed earlier & is a real problem in many cities & states - not just in bangalore or karnataka. This is likely to continue unless the central govt steps in & makes it mandatory for displaying bus boards & regn nos in both languages, as I had mentioned previously - I think they are already taking some steps now.

Route rationalisation - bringing down the current number of routes from the present 2000 odd to some manageable number, making it easy for commuters to comprehend the system at one single glance of a route map.

I reserve my comments here since I would first like to see how they connect every "nook & cranny". Until then, your assumption will remain hypothetical.

It is true that the number of routes is too high & BMTC could also reduce them if they put their minds on it. In any case, the ones using the particular route will always know which bus to take & therefore, I feel this is not a very valid point in support for privatization.

Three shift operations, even if the third shift is skeletal.

Not just an assumption, but this is imagination running wild - what makes you think private operators will operate three shifts ? They cannot operate during off-peak hours satisfactorily on a main rd during the day, & you are imagining that they will run a shift during the night ! Even state-run not-for-profit services are not being run in this way.

Yi service.

This was a half-baked solution that catered to some, but left out the vast majority. The PIS that BMTC is now going in for, like so many cities abroad is far superior & is a step in the right direction, as I said on another thread.

Courteous behaviour even towards non-Kannada speaking passengers.

I have not come across anyone stating that behaviour is a problem with BMTC staff, except you. This again, is imagining things. Where are the drivers & conductors for private buses going to be imported from ? They will be from this very kannada speaking state & identical to the ones who are with BMTC, except that there will be added pressures on them for heavier collections from their bus owners. Private operators can be very rude & will ignore passenger facilities & safety in their drive for profits - I think this is easy for anyone to understand.

Assumptions galore & imagination !! - they can be incorrect, as I said before !

silkboard's picture

Leased routes could be a model that works

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May be we try rescue this discussion from "why privatize" to "are there any outsourcing models that can bring us better service levels".

The leased route based model could be interesting. See, any model for outsourcing has to include a role for state as regulator, you certainly can't just leave the space free for private operators.

Key is to make the enforcement of regulations transparent. In the route-lease model, regulator would have to do the following

  • Decide the route plan
  • Decide the route bundles - bunch profitable routes with welfare routes. Welfare route = EWS areas, or new areas where the city would want to expand via push on public transport
  • Decide the period for which the lease applies
  • Decide how the operators performance would be measured. This has to include commuter feedback
  • Number of operators per route. May be two. Or just one.

Its definitely not easy.

  • What if operators don't come forward?
  • What profit possibilities are you leaving for them on the table?
  • Will there be subsidies involved?
  • How will they share existing assets. Think of leasing out 2 big 10 routes each per operator. How will the operators share existing depots?
  • And who will measure the performance of operators? Certainly not the regulator itself, because that will encourage corruption.

Regardless of our ideological differences on the subject. I think it will be good if we carry out sane detailing for the best possible setup in both models

  1. State run companies doing public transport. How could BMTC do better?
  2. Outsourcing based model - whats the best setup?

We talk #1 a lot, I think we have beaten this topic a lot. But #2 doesn't get as much brain time. I think it deserves some, just plain thinking, free of preferred ideologies or whether it is possible or whether it will ever happen or not.

Vasanth's picture

Back to the old discussions

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I think we are back to the old discussions of privatization. I second Naveen's thought.

Curitiba and Bogota, they give the carriage contract and pay the bus operator based on the miles they have covered not on the collection made. Bus model is defined by the Government and not the operator. I think same is happening here in Bangalore. I see Satya Sai buses running for BMTC.

Samething, we would like to see with Volvos. But, are there any operators who is willing to invest in Volvos?

 

Vasanth's picture

YI Tracking in Delhi

Naveen's picture

No option but to wait & watch

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As Vasanth mentioned, there are tested models - many BRT cities are using such methods. BMTC may not show any interset in using or even testing such models since they are anyway winning performance awards & making some profits, & such activities might infringe on their turf.

Hence, the push has to basically come from us, citizens. This can be tricky since serious, responsible parties will not get involved due to very low margins for very high investments as ticket prices have to be minimal, it being more or less, a social service sector.

There are also other difficulties & risks with management of private bus transport, such as sharing responsibilities for road safety, high maintenance & depot infrastructure costs, staff managment, bus damages during unrest, etc. - these are obviously the reasons why quality levels of private operators have been so pathetic & their bus services & facilities so poor.

Bigger parties have avoided this as they realize the futility of investing in this highly price-sensitive area, & so, the sector has remained very poorly developed.

An eye-opener was Indore. The punjab initiative is welcome & needs careful watching - we may finally see some progress if it takes off as punjab is a relatively well-off state & is similar to bangalore in some ways.

Until progress is made elsewhere & a model within the country is proven as successful /acceptable, we will only be speculating.

If, however, exclusive infrastructure is provided, such as BRT, I think the proess may be much easier & faster.

murali772's picture

Outsourcing model

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SB avare'

Outsourcing based model - whats the best setup? - doesn't get as much brain time. I think it deserves some, just plain thinking, free of preferred ideologies or whether it is possible or whether it will ever happen or not.

In fact, that's what I had attempted ages ago at http://praja.in/blog/murali772/2007/12/12/better-bussing-green-bangalore. From the responses to it, the contentious issue largely appears to be on account of this future scenario that I had projected:

"Corporates like TVS, Ashok Leyland, etc, alongside the present contract-carriage operators like Blueline, VRL, Sharma Transports, KPN, etc, apart from co-operatives like those formed by ex-servicemen, likely to come on the scene with hundreds of buses, catering to all kinds and classes of demand".

On the other hand, if I had stated that just TATAs, TVS and the likes, who can bring in fleets of a minimum 100 buses each, will alone be licensed (like UP, Punjab, etc are now talking in terms of), perhaps it would have found more acceptance. But, then the Socialists, for whom the P-word itself is an anethama, would have come after my blood.

Whatever, now that a 'Dalit ki beti' has stated it first, I am also taking bold to say that there should be a minimum investment criterion to keep the riff-raff away. The problem with Delhi's BLUELINE and Kochi's private sector operations (otherwise, very efficient) are largely on account of that, and the unremunerative tarriff regime imposed on them by the government.

All said and done, we need solutions fast, and for that, we need to think out of the box. On the other hand, with all the brain power at our commend, if we have to wait indefinitely for others to set up models for us, it will indeed be a pity.
 

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

Delhi's TRAKO

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Yes, this Delhi's TRAKO is more or less like Yi. It had to happen sooner or later, the tremendous benefits being obvious, for those who wish to see. But, a close look at the two will show Yi to be a lot better. And, mind you, BMTC had a lead of over three years. If they had exploited well (like say a TATA would have), they as well as their customers would have benefited from it greatly. It also offered the potential for a world-wide patent and further benefits thereof. Another sad let down, I would say, of our so-called knowledge capital.
 

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

not totally sure; but, fairly so

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b. They will cover every nook and corner.  BEST covers every nook and corner inspite of being a govt run service.  Is this just poor design or is it because it is a govt run orgn?  You make it sound like this is a given!!!

But, BEST ran up a deficit of Rs 372 cr in bus services, in '08 alone (and Rs 221 cr in power supply). How long can the Maharashtra government continue subsidising the BEST operations? It is poor design, and because it is owned by government, it can't bother to change, whether it serves any purpose or not.

c. Destination boards...  Hope you've been reading the paper.  Very soon your menu cards in restaurants will be in Kannada.   What makes you so sure that a couple of burnt buses will not make any private operator put only Kannada boards.

Private sector will do everything possible to increase ridership (and, thereby profits for them), and they will not allow such matters to come in their way.

Anyway BMTC now has bilingual with LED boards.

Which constitute some 15% of the fleet. What about the rest, and how long do they want to take to implement the change - doesn't look like they accord any priority to the matter.

f. YI possible.  But BMTC is coming out with its own PIS. Check this

g. Courteous behaviour.  This is not the exclusive right of private operators.  BMTC conductors on the VV service are pretty courteous.  

May be - but, why not of the rest? And, same as at c above.

Srivathsa/ Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
Naveen's picture

Patent ?

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This link is to an article dated 16-May-2005.

London buses had already planned to use a GPS-based system for real-time bus information for countdown signs at stops as well as real-time bus information for internet, phone and text users. Likewise, there are other cities in Europe that have been using such systems for years.

YI & Trako are nothing new to the world. Such systems have been in use since at least 1998 onwards, though I am not certain when they began to be used for public transport buses.

asj's picture

Unfair statements about BEST

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I will repeat what I have said elsewhere because a novice reader will get wrong impressions about what is easily the best bus based transport in India - BEST buses in Mumbai.

I do not understand what what is wrong with subsidy? How many mass transit projects worldwide earn profits in true sense, how many are not given subsidy of some kind? What is the ratio of non-subsidised V subsidised enterprises (just in case someone decides to mention one or two examples here and there).

Further, if loss making is an issue then BMTC apparently is the only profit making bus service in the country - does than mean it does its job successfuly?

Subsidy is a complex subject that can't be reduced to simple net profit / loss maths.

Mumbai's population is well beyond that of Delhi, the densities in many regions are unmatched, yet, the trains and buses in Mumbai (both enjoy subsidy) are the main reason for energy consumed on transport to be 50% less in Mumbai compared to that in Delhi (there is a paper on this written by a transport expert, Mr Badami in Mumbai).

To take this further, can we even start to imagine what Mumbai will be like if it had no system like BEST? Imagine Pune and Bangalore which have more vehicles than Mumbai - if this was the case with Mumbai's 16 million - what pressures will this put on parking space? What might it mean with regards to pressure for building more roads and spending far more than currently needed on maintaining the infrastructure? What may it mean with respect to air quality, noise pollution? What may more vehicles (90% Mumbai uses PT) mean with respect to accidents and fatality numbers? How many more people would be suffering from bronchitis, asthma, COPD, cardiac problems? How many man hours may be lost due to illness, due to people getting stuck in grid locked traffic?

So what ever your figure of losses made by BEST and equating that as subsidy, its a minute amount as without BEST and the trains (Mumbai's lifeline), Mumbai would not be contributing to countries taxes to the tune it does.When the whole picture is considered, not many will agree to the simple numerical suggestion that BEST is useless as it is loss making.

So I suggest, find another way to defend the idea of privatising BMTC other than BEST bashing (it wont get anyone any where). Sticking to SB's suggestion of thinking about 'models' that may be used for this will be better. I have already shared a model (purchaser-provider split).

And work to amend the MVA that prescribes that every bus has a conductor - 30 to 40% of expenses is on salaries ([potentially BEST could become a profit making venture if they were not lumbered with overheads).

Finally, is there real interest by the Tata or TVS or Leylands...........if not there is no point throwing such names in the ring as if the big players are not interested there is every chance we will be left with Blueline like models (there are enough models in this country which also teach us how no to privatise a bus service - Goa being another one).

I hope we can debate on a model which can be applied to any provider, be it public or private. And I keep stating the need to work on reforming the BMTC as I do not see it vanish away just by saying a little prayer. This means we work on finding a way of reforming BMTC rather than simply chanting the mantra of privatisation.

ASJ

 

Vasanth's picture

Agreed with Dr ASJ

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I agree with Dr. ASJ. Private players will not do anything magical that we cannot figure out and give us an exceptional service out of the box. We have to comeup with a model for big city, medium sized city and small city either applicable to Government operator or private operator.

We have to be part of the circle and work within rather than saying a private operator would do a better job for me and simply criticize the whole system.

Let us first clarify what we want in a clear say powerpoint slide and second is how we are going about it by brainstorming, probably then we can discuss this with BMTC.

What I do is I regularly email to BMTC about any corrections that is needed and I get response and action take quickly.

Changing the whole bus model is quite difficult since thousands of people are accustomed to the existing routes and people will find it difficult and may protest. We should have new models running side by side to the existing model, see the response, once it becomes popular and people migrate more to the new model, then gradually we can migrate the buses from existing model to new model.

It applies to any change anywhere, even in a MNC company. Overnight nothing can happen magical.

We saw a great feedback by the planners for the HOHO that this is the kind of model we need, but it was an utter flop with only driver and conductor riding an expensive Volvo bus.

kbsyed61's picture

Vasanth, ASJ, I concur with you guys!

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Vasanth, asj,

I am in total agreement with you on the question of privatization or not? The solution to the problem on hand is not going to be solved by privatizing it. I do not know why the most knowledgeable are missing this one basic important consideration.

First you nail down most suitable transport model and then start addressing the service providers who can serve it better. Once you are in control of the model and know your requirements, deciding on public or private would be automatically answered.

In BMTC case, what is needed is zeroing on the suitable transport model that would best serve the B'lore's needs not the BMTC's needs. It has to have a transport policy and model that addresses 3 major areas:

  1. Best efficient model for existing routes and schedules
  2. Policy, approach strategy and infrastructure ready for all future expansions.
  3. Execution plan for meeting high volume - Peak Hours demand

Once BMTC has addressed these areas in its planning and has the plans on hand, deciding on privatizing, outsourcing or running by BMTC itself would not be that difficult.

I

Srivatsava's picture

forget this discussion

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All,

      We have had this discussion on the efficiency of public/private bodies providing local transport. I think its time we move beyond (in the context of Bangalore).

        Lets be clear that what works for MUmbai is that it has a rail network and a complementing bus service running for the past 100 years, and hence the people have 'culturally' accepted public transport, not becasuse of the quality, not beacuse it is run by govt.

        Let us not take the example of tiny 'cities' like Indore, Amritsar and Ludhiana and provoke the thoughts and sentiments of our esteemed friend, Murali-sir. Let us not take names like Blueline/TVS or BEST and build opinions about public/private agencies based on one or two corporations. My take takeaway from this discussion is that absolutely everyone on this thread agree on route/fleet rationalisation being the next significant we need to take. Lets bother to address this problem, without getting back into the public/private, lossmaking/profit making/subsidy debates.

      I PoV is that the rationalisation of routes should start in 2011/2012 when we have the Metro Phase 1 complete and end in 2014/15 when Metro phase 2 will be complete.Hence we have a lot of time to deliberate on the issue and plan this propoerly. But, I am sure everyone here will not agree on the 'long-term' timelines. Now, thats a point for discussion!!

      Why dont we start discussing the modalities of the route rationalistion. We could even plan a 'live-meeting' towards the end of the month, specifically for this topic.

 

        

-Srivatsava V

Naveen's picture

Larger Picture Difficult to See ?

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Could'nt agree more with ASJ above.

The consequences of not operating such essential public services, such as PTs & demanding that such services be transferred to the private sector (because they lose money, are supposedly inefficient, etc.) can be disastrous - the social benefits far outweigh the monetray losses of operating such services.

BEST & mumbai local trains may run up some losses, but their role in supporting the needs of the city, especially the very large sections of the poor in mumbai needs to be commended, just as the role played by the mumbai dabbawalas & several other social services across the country.

Almost all PTs are subsidized around the globe, even if they are privatized & even in the developed world - NewYork's MTA is losing money as is London's underground - the two largest metro networks. Hongkong metro is the only metro system in the world that is earning profits. For monorails, out of 13 systems in use, only the Osaka monorail is making some profits. For bus systems (without priorities such as BRT) - perhaps, BMTC is the only one earning profits !

Yet, here we are trying to build up a case for privatization instead of exploring the first option - which is to try to improve BMTC & make it better, especially since it is not a financial burden for the state.

Other than Mumbai which is a linear city, all other large cities are plagued by criss-crossing streets with consequential inefficiencies in street-based PT operations. Unless right of ways are provided for PTs, they will never be more efficient than private vehicles. This is especially true for Bangalore, with too many rich car owners.

Assuming that private parties will operate PT bus services better, fulfill & support all social needs, & increase daily trips to 75% is nothing but imagining things !

Naveen's picture

Perfect Thing To Do

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Srivathsa,

You are absolutely right - I had the same thoughts. If we modify BMTC's routes based on the upcoming Metro system & plan & rationilze bus routes as necessary, we might be doing something worthwhile here.

Some patience is obviously called for because the Metro will take time to be fully operational (both phases), but then it will be a long-term, permanent solution.

Vasanth's picture

First let us concentrate the existing routes rather than new one

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Hi All,

The change in the entire model is a very demanding task. We may say something and the public may some. By changing the routes rightaway saying that it is not good without actually experiencing it and taking the suggestions of 'knowledgable' people travelling on that will end up in soup.

Say for example, I would say instead of all the buses travelling via Ulsoor, let us have a TTMC in ulsoor, run buses regularly from KBS to Ulsoor, run regular services around Ulsoor say ITPL, Indiranagar.

A regular bus taker such as Volvo to BMTC from KBS has to change the bus at ulsoor. He will become reluctant to change the bus again since he might have got seat in KBS and he may not get from Ulsoor to ITPL.

Probable approach I would suggest is:

You analyze the existing routes, every route.

Have the statistics collected and grade the average bus occupancy rate like :

180 - 150 passengers per bus (quite possible)

150-120

120 - 90

90 - 60

60 - 30

> 30.

Take a Survey of ' Educated' passengers travelling on that route by having few questions:

1. What is the major problem they face - Buses on route never on time, overcrowded, stinky bus,

2. Which locality do they feel they donot have direct connectivity

3. If the route is like a very roundabout, if the prices of the stages are high or so.

We can add on few questions. Prajagale, please help out.

Analyze the average income level of the people to which the bus connects - This is very important. Running Volvos to Srirampura or inner Konankunte is not a viable option. Some of the ministers / MLA/MLCs  will force BMTC to do so which will render loss.

On the other hand running lots of Parisaravahini to posh without a single Volvo to areas like Sadashivnagar / Koramangala where lots of car owners who doesn't even see towards that is also not a viable option. We need normal buses everywhere so that a poor man can travel, but Volvos and Suvarnas should be based on statistics.

Use Bendi / Aritculated bus if possible wherever occupancy level > 120 if feasible, if not feasible increase frequency.

Use Swaraj Mazdas / Tata Starbus (probably outsourced) to routes where occupancy level < 30.

Use A/C Mini buses to posh areas like Sadashivnagar where occupancy level is less and income level is high.

We can prepare an excel and a ppt for further analysis.

Coming to route changes after Metro, I had posted earlier that Cricket Stadium - Byappanahalli will be finished as per BMRCL by 2010 December. 1 phase of Bangalore Metro as per BMRCL should be done by 2012. Current need is to connect the Western Portions, Southern Portions and Northern Portions of Bangalore to Cricket Stadium just like complementing the reach 2, reach 3 and reach 4 of Phase 1 Metro. This will save a lot of time to a person say travelling to ITPL or KR Puram  from any of these portions by taking the Metro.

We had earlier discussed on the concept of TTMC with lots of drawings where all the local areas will be linked to TTMC and all other TTMCs are linked. I do not have the link.  We had a major thread going at that time and finally it was concluded that that model would be better than the Grid Model seeing the nature of Bangalore distribution.

We could have such a model running side by side (probably a well established Private operator can also try that). Once people get feel of this and the model becomes popular, we can gradually migrate the buses on the conventional route to this model.

This is what even a private operator would do if he enters. He will do more statistical analysis and data warehousing.

Vasanth's picture

BMTC Website Revision

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52 users have liked.

BMTC Website Redesign Should Consist of:

Travel Plan Creator - Just like any airline / travel agent website like yatra.com, makemytrip.com.

PDF Time Tables - Timetables of all the routes effective from a particular date to another particular date with map of the route, Handicap enabled etc..

Online Monthly / Daily / 3 day pass purchase. With NID (National Unique ID) coming in, this purchasing could be integrated with NID.

Current Bus Location on Map as well as Text for those who cannot interpret the map.

TTMC floor maps like Airport maps are provided.

Service cancellation and delay announcements.

Website Versions Available in English - Kannada - Hindi. I saw Hindi TimeTables on Transport for London Website!!.

kbsyed61's picture

Please don't mix up the issues!

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Guys, Lately there has been lot of mix up in the discussions. This thread is about Privatization in PT space. So lets stick to the topic. BMTC website, SB redesign, Janaagraha Meeting are all different issues and they needs separate discussions.
murali772's picture

how long do we wait?

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44 users have liked.

@Doc ASJ - Perhaps you thought the following part of the exchange between Yajamaanru and me (appended in italics below) was ascribed to BEST. No - that was ascribed to the regular government-run bus services, including BMTC, but not BEST.

SY: Is this just poor design or is it because it is a govt run orgn?  You make it sound like this is a given!!!
Me: It is poor design, and because it is owned by government, it can't bother to change, whether it serves any purpose or not.


My positioning the texts may have conveyed the wrong impression - my apologies for that. But, the rest is a plain statement of facts, and I expect nobody can take exception to that.

I myself have expressed great admiration for BEST - about how they have managed to provide such an efficient bus service, and even more for the efficient power supply service to a demanding clentele, like in Mumbai, even with all the constraints (related to a governmental set up) they are working under.

In the case of power, even as BEST runs up deficits of Rs 221 cr a year, with Reliance supplying, equally or more reliably, at the same tariffs as fixed by MERC, while making fair profits, in adjoining Central and North Mumbai, it is inevitable that the Maharashtra government will be compelled to hand over the area covered by BEST also to one of the many reputed competitors (to Reliance), soon.

In the case of bus services, in the face of mounting losses, is subsidy going to be the only option to meet the increasing demand, apart from other future challenges? Sorry, I don't think so. And, if BEST cannot come up with viable solutions to its financial problems, and BMTC, its service related problems, and in the immediate future, my submission is that we will have to look at other options, involving the private sector. The cities and citizens cannot wait till kingdom come for these government agencies to get their act together. Anyway, Delhi, Punjab, Indore, UP, etc, are seriously moving along those lines.

There's nothing too sacrosanct about bus services that they should remain with the government. We, the so-called thought leaders should have been providing the lead. Unfortunately, we are just waiting and watching, I don't know for how long more, even as the traffic scenario in the city is fast approching the break-down point.    

And, for the Nth time, when you repeat the same question - Finally, is there real interest by the Tata or TVS or Leylands - - - -  , my answer remains as at here

@ Vasanth - probably then we can discuss this with BMTC; Ho-Ho was an utter flop with only driver and conductor riding an expensive Volvo bus.

I was the Co-Chairman of an official BMTC task force once. We made so maby recommendations; very little of it was implemented. Before this, there were any number of similar task forces and Committees, both official as well as non-official, and with all that, BMTC's progress has been far below the demand on it. The present efforts of Dr Ashwin Mahesh's team, backed by ABIDe, are indeed laudable. But, clearly, he is facing an uphill task, and only because of the status-quoists within, proof of which was the scuttling of the Ho-Ho services - check this

@Sreevatsava - my good friend - thanks for the valiant effort at trying to rescue me. Your statement - I PoV is that the rationalisation of routes should start in 2011/2012 when we have the Metro Phase 1 complete and end in 2014/15 when Metro phase 2 will be complete.

Now, my dear friend, the biggest advantage of the simple bus system (without the restrictions imposed by the BRT model) is its flexibility, which needs to be dynamic, if necessary even on day-to-day basis, or even hour-to-hour. The plans for today have to be made today, and put in place today. And, as and when the METRO progresses, the changes have to put in place simultaneously.

On Yi - Though many people have talked of providing such services, in my understanding, Delhi's TRAKO (which has come over 3 years later) appears to be the only one that compares with it. I have interacted with London Bus officials through my e-mail. And, it doesn't look like they have this in place yet - open to correction. About other places, I haven't checked.

BMTC's (rather its vendors') problem with having costly display boards at the bus stops, as per the present proposal, is vandalisation - nobody is too comfortable about that.

And, finally, if you have to go by Social considerations, there are many other areas to be covered too - healthcare, education (primary, secondary, higher), water supply, power supply, etc, all of which the governments are indeed handling, but making a general mess of. Perhaps, you would also services like telecom, airlines, banking, insurance, courier, etc also to revert to government monopolies, like in the good old days?
 

Muralidhar Rao
idontspam's picture

Start feeder now

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 Since all overhead metro lines are going along current road routes why not have bendy bus service every 5/10 mins mimicking metro service right now till the metro comes on line. Even have the stops where metro stops are to come up. Even call the Bendy bus a metro route. This way we can begin working on the feeder routes today rather than waiting for 2012 when the trains start running on phase 1 and 2015 for phase 2.

It still beats me other areas not covered by metro phase 1 and 2 arent even on planning stage we may have to wait for 2030 to start work even. Haven we heard of parellel processing?

Naveen's picture

BMTC Feeder for Metro Is On

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Just heard at the meeting with Citiconnect (at Janaaagraha premises) that feeder bus plans are being readied & some proposals submitted, covering each station along Metro Ph-1 route/s, covering between about 1 & 5km of the catchment areas away from each station (both sides).

idontspam's picture

Proxy metro

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 that feeder bus plans are being readied & some proposals submitted, 

This is good news. I had heard about it in the news also as something being planned.

My proposition is to roll it out soon without waiting for trains by creating a proxy metro route using buses and pull out the proxy buses as and when the trains come on. This way we will have a metro like system albeit with lesser carrying capacity and we would also have tested out the feeders and made appropriate tweaks to the system when the trains start running. The people also would have gotten used to the system of travelling to their nearest proxy metro station and changing over.

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