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Sustainable transport idea: Mass transit corridors

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Metro Rail

Suppose we were to plan on some transport solutions long term for Tier 2 cities - such as Indore, or Hubli or Nagpur etc. We dont want them to see the situations see in a Mumbai or a Bangalore 10 - 15 yrs from now. The METRO solution is more  a reactive one, once the problem goes out of hand, you pump in tens of thousands of crores. As I have mentioned previously, that is not scalable to the country. We just dont have that kind of money - probably a Delhi can afford it as in some sense it is cross-subsidised by the revenues from across the country.  Even 100 km of METRO line costs upwards of Rs 20,000 crore and that is the absolute minmum you need to make an impact on the city transport infrastructure.

The suggestion here  is to probaly plan in mass transit corridors. That is have a grid of corridors, reasonably spaced. The key is these are exclusively for mass transport. ie private vehicles are not too be allowed on those. Now the mode of transport is the one which is scalable. ie you start with say a simple bus with signalling at intersections with cross roads, a la BRT, move on tograde seperation at major intersections, then  local style trains or an LRT if the loading starts becoming heavy  and with complete Right of Way for long streches and eventually start replacing whole sections with METRO if the loading becomes exceedingly heavy.

The corridors need not be wide, ie 10m wide say, so they dont take much land, when land is not so expensive at an early stage. You dont spend too much money upfront, you only put in money when neccessary. The advantage is your city can plan around it, ie you can have high density complexes along these transit corridors, so that it keeps the rest of the city pretty clean and traffic free. You dont have to fight for alignment later. And these by law should always exclude private vehicles and be exclusive (not part of a wider road) so the road network develops exclusive of it. What I am trying to emphasize here, is because these are allocated upfront, everybody from the commuters, house owners, real estate developers, town planners, buisness folks etc know about it and this alone will significantly ensure the city grows in the right way.Buisness folks can plan their malls and office complexes along these stations. Since the land is already there, it becomes much easier to lay the METRO etc if you want it, later on.

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