Controversy brewing over commuter rail, Metro to blame?

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Commuter Rail

Time to indulge in some talk on Namma Railu aka Commuter Rail Service (CRS). RITES has submitted a report to DULT last week. Sources claim that Rs 3000-4000 Crore can give Bangalore a 15 minute lead time commuter rail system covering 200 odd kms of distance. We will validate this once the RITES report is made public. But a disturbing thing we 'hear' now and then is that behind the scenes, BMRC folks are trying to scuttle or trim the scope of CRS project. Pardon me for the loose talk, but sometimes, its best to make allegations in open.

There have been suggestions that Commuter Rail be run as a service that would terminate near Metro stations (or, transportation hubs) in the peripheral areas. One would assume that such thoughts are being pushed by those who want to "protect" revenues of incumbents, mainly Namma Metro.

If BMRC guys are really serious on trimming the CRS down to "terminate on peripheral Metro stations", nothing wrong with that. All I would want to see is a change or extensions in Metro alignments to make sure that they overlap neat and clean with Commuter Rail stations on all peripheral areas - Bellary Road side. Tumkur road side, Mysore road side and anywhere else possible. Because, except for Byappanahalli, don't think any other Metro station is or is being planned with such connectivity in mind.

Best way to kill the Commuter Rail thought is to run these "terminate outside the city" services with poorly designed "hubs" to connect to a Metro station. Lets not even talk about connecting to a Bus station, we know how the simple short distance exchange hubs at Marathahalli Silkboard etc are managed today.

The core theme behind Commuter Rail service is de-congestion through PT corridor - spread people around by promising an hour long ride to the center of the city. Such public transport corridor based de-congestion would ease out pressure on affordable housing, and even help spread jobs out of the city (one can live in the city and go out too, if reliable ride times are promised). And the costs involved are not as high.

  • If you work backwards from this objective, the "terminate near Metro" concept doesn't fit unless it can guarantee exchange times (Commuter Train to Metro) of not more than 2-5 minutes. Looking at current Metro / Railway line overlaps, it is not.
  • Why is Metro so scared of Commuter Rail concept? There is more than enough demand to meet, especially because there is very little clash with Metro's published plans today. (if referring to the alignment proposed in the widely accepted Namma Railu report)

Those who talk of cleaner and comfortable ride on Metro train forget that despite mostly "old world" buses, majority of public transport users are good with BMTC's regular services. There is no such demand for "comfortable and air conditioned" ride, the idea doesn't need to be forced on commuters who mainly want good enough but reliably timed rides. If "air conditioned" ride has to be the benchmark, even Commuter Rail Coaches can be as "modern" as you want.

Bottom-line, something doesn't fit. We have seen enough to feel that if state government really were to push, Bangalore can get a commuter rail service in a matter of 2-3 years. But if the "loose talk" of Metro guys not wanting the project is true, then one has to look at numbers involved (40 KM in phase 1, in 3-4 years for Rs 11000 Crore and the promise of 200 KM coverage, greater long term impact on Bangalore through real de-congestion, for Rs 4000 Crores) and suspect that big money is the driver behind the preferences of someone somewhere in the decision chain.

My dear BMRC exec team, there is space for both systems, your fears have no basis. If you won't accept anything short of "terminate on periphery" service, then please put your money on the concept and ensure your alignments change to 'really' connect with Commuter Rail Stations. Or, best, just let the Commuter Rails run across cross the central city area with very few stations.

My dear BMRC team, if Commuter Rail is indeed going to eat into your projected revenues, then we need to know that too. Please publish the numbers that are driving your 'fear'. The public needs to know so that we can trim your bulging budgets and alignments.

Look forward to some more "loose talk" on the subject. Because enough is enough, and its time to de-congest Bangalore and increase focus on connecting satellite towns and far flung suburbs when it REALLY is possible to do so..

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Comments

A/c rakes option available

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If 'quality' of service is a big deal, A/c trains are possible for commuter rail service. See this recent news report.

The railway board recently placed an order for the first such 12-car rake with the Integral Coach Factory (ICF). Each coach will be able to accommodate a "crush load" of approximately 375 commuters, including standees. In effect, approximately 4,500 commuters will be able to travel in one 12-car rake.

Not really needed in Bangalore if you ask me, esp if 'quality' rakes will make for higher fares.

 

Ramanagara to City in 45 minutes - how?

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To understand the problems with "connect with Metro" through a peripheral station, can someone explain how would I take the train at 7 am from Ramanagara or Channapatna, and where and how I would be able to connect to Metro? Time calculations please, to indicate if reliable 45 minute commute would be possible.

That is not a commuter rail service?

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The GOK/DULT/BMRC proposal is not a commuter rail service proposal. It doesn't fit the very definition of a commuter or sub urban rail service.

According to Wikipedia,

Commuter rail, also called suburban rail, is a passenger rail transport service that primarily operates between a city center, and the middle to outer suburbs beyond 15 km (10 miles) and commuter towns or other locations that draw large numbers of commuters—people who travel on a daily basis.

The sarkari proposal is best fit to be junked. It serves no body.

Why would a commuter from Chikaballapur take CRS to yelahanka and then get onto metro and then take BMTC to reach his destination, say Majestic/Vidhan Soudha/Market? Rather he is best adviced to take a KSRTC bus and reach Majestic/Vdhan Soudha. Isn't it?

Same goes for commuters from Ramanagaram, Hosur, Doddaballpur, Tumkur commuters.

CRS is not a second fiddle to METRO?

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For unknown reasons commuter rail is touted as "SECOND FIDDLE" to METRO. That is how CRS is pitched as in-consequence in city's PT systems. It is not only utterly false, but commuter rail service can beat any PT systems hands down.

As SB said in his comment, commuter rail is by iteslf an important and valuable PT system needed by Bengaluru. It is certainly not 'Second Fiddle' to other PT system in city.

It can even exist without METRO also? But public good demands integration of all the PT system with one another.

 

 

Baseless thinking by BMRCL

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BMRCL should not worry about commuter rail as its competitor. Very few places where commuter rail can compete with BMRCL. Main competition would be the East - West Corridor between Nayandahalli to Byappanahalli (in future whitefield).  This would be only for terminal stations and not intermediate. Say for instance MG Road / Vidhana Soudha cannot be connected by Commuter Rail. Person staying in Nayandahalli still would take a Metro if his destination is M G Road.

It is senseless to stop commuter rail at Metro Terminals. How well designed are our interchanges? That will reduce the usage of PT systems and thereby not reducing the pressure on our roads. Atleast they should connect City Centre with commuter rail if not criss-cross the city.

Why does BMRCL have a say in commuter rail?

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BMRCL is a end point mass transport service provider with a mandate to provide service in specific area. Also, they are going to cater to only small percentage of the bangalore population and they should not have any say in how many parallel transport options are provided in Bangalore.  However, if BMRCL has commuter comfort in mind and want to provide seamless connectivity it is understandable.  But, if they object because of revenue loss, then it is ridiculous.  

Many cities in the world have several parallel and complimentory train systems running to make the commute hassle free. As far as parallel services are concerned, i feel it is more the merrier. if two rails systems are running parallel in some areas,let it be.  In this case, for commuter rail, we are using the exisiting infrastructure and BMRCL or any body should not have any objection.

For example, KL Malaysia have 4 different companies (Star LRT, PUTRA LRT, KL Monorail and KTM Komuter) providing rail services.  the KTM Komuter a suburban rail system connects the suburbs upto 80 Kms from KL Central.  When they reach the city one line runs parallet to the LRT (Light Rail System) and it does not mean, that LRT should have any objection to the KTM Komuter train.    

 

http://kiat.net/malaysia/images/klintegratedrail.pdf

 

 

 

the Metro Guys are really

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the Metro Guys are really acting as per their whims and fancies....forgetting the basic thing..that TRANSPORTATION is the idea...we citizen whether its metro/mono/lrt/bus/crs etc...want good/safe transportaion/connectivity . if Metro is there in one particular line it doenst mean other mode of transport should be banned/terminated at some point......this is common sense....choice should be give,,,authorities should not force people to take metro...

Recently i travelled on CMH road...it has gone worst,,,thanks to Metro..still lots of buses play below metro....making life hell on the road...WE NEED TO TAKE METRO GUYS travel below metro line  to make them understand the actual situation....they travel in metro and say thats cool...Mr.sivasilam please travel below metro along with ur team.

As a normal citizen i would like to see all modes of transportation...Mr.CM please give nod to CRS its the need of the hour..its too late already...

 

What shall we do?

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A natural question after reading how we feel from all the posts above.. what shall we do? Anyone planning a meeting soon to take this to different level? FB and other campaigns to make people aware of the need of CRS can be planned.

RITES report is available

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RITES report is available here for feedback

Pay particular attention to section 4.5 which proves with data why termination of trains short of the city will reduce patronage, eliminate seamless changeovers for cross sector traffic, increase inconvinience to commuters during transhipment (intermodal changeovers), reduce the capacity of the system. In short it will be a foolish move.

Interesting remarks!

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Just had cursory look and looks like RITES while making a string pitch for CRS has made the report wide open for implementation.If one were to take this on face value, it lobbies for what PRAJA and others have been demanding.

In Section 4.5, it makes a interesting remark:

Therefore, it is recommended not to terminate the commuter trains short of
Bangalore. Terminals need to be the farthermost stations in the CRS i.e.
Tumkur, Mandya, Bangarapet and Hosur etc. All other stations including major
stations like Bangalore City, Yesvantpur etc. need to be passing through
stations.

In fact, with EMUs, every station can act as terminal. The EMU gets
terminated at a station, within 5 to 10 minutes, it can start journey in reverse
direction. An additional line (or two) at every station (or at every alternate
station or so) shall be handy to terminate the EMUs. This type of Omni
Terminal system provides lot of flexibility in operations and the services can be
tailor made as per the changing needs of travelling public. This also avoids
congestion at any particular location.

RITES report is good but the

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RITES report is good but the ball is in GOk's Court....as the report clearly says the project cost has to be born by GOK...will GOK does it ??? very curious to know it. even DRM also clearly said Railways will not invest anything in CRS Bangalore...with fancies of metro/mono/LRT...will GOK push hard for CRS...wish our CM Mr.Sadananda does it.

It is a good start

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 The Metro is running full on Sundays which shows people want to travel in trains, but they are not given an opportunity. The only real commuter rail available in Bangalore is Bengarpet-KR Puram route, of course for Bengarpet residents only. Other routes it has been denied.  Example in Ramnagaram-Kengeri route, all the trains are towards Ramanagram in the morning, which is opposite to what people travel in the morning.  There will be lot of demand for CRS even terminating at peripheral stations like Kengeri. By this proposal, people will start riding in trains, and start liking it and with it, there will be more support.

Chennai is building Metro with existing  commuter rail, also Mumbai etc even if we take example in India. Anyway, the BMRCL approach is wrong by doing secret lobbying. Secret lobbying is not good for democracy. BMRCL Metro's real competition is the cars, but they cannot take the cars on say by recommending congestion charges. The CRS's competition is buses.  BMRCL going against CRS may have other motives.

Actually, there are not even enough long distance trains connecting Bangalore. Bangalore could have gotten CRS long ago because there were so many Railway ministers from here. Also it is right of the city, because Hyderabad and Chennai have it. Bangalore did not get maybe because there was even opposition to it.  The administrators think that the city will be great only if everybody travel in cars. So this proposal is good enough without ruffling too many feathers.

Even if the current proposal is the final plan, we could work on doubling lines in Bangalore for the future, even making CRS profitable by getting carbon credits for the Railways!.

Metro must come clean, or we do a "demand rally"

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There is a need to get a clear public statement from Metro aka BMRC. We are not Metro bashers here, but just need to know their stand, and if they are taking actions that match their stand

  • What are their preferred routes and alignment?
  • Justifications for their preference.
  • If you say I need ANOTHER study or survey to provide a 'public stand' or justification, why is RITES report not good enough for you?
  • If you are for "terminate on the periphery" approach, what changes are you making to your plans to make the "inter-connents" work?
  • Define your standards for "inter-connect"? How much time is good "inter-connect". and how much money would you put towards maintaining inter-connect infrastructure (pedestrian walkways/bridges etc).
  • What is your vision on connecting far flung places to central Bangalore. Lets take the popular example of Malur village (beyond Whitefield), or Ramanagara (beyond Kengeri)? How much time do you think is okay for someone to consider a daily commute from these places practical or viable?
  • What is your estimated "revenue loss" impact if cross-city commuter rail lines were to be implemented? And the assumptions behind the estimated "revenue loss"
  • Are you open to having a stake in a new vehicle or JV should one be proposed to operate Commuter Rail Service?

I am going to send these questions to BMRC PRO, and request for a meeting. If we don't get appropriate written responses or time for a meeting, I say let us do some placard holding and demand rally outside BMRC offices. If 15-20 people can join in, we can get some more media and policy maker attention.

Let us plan this 20-person "demand rally" through a separate post.

WOW !

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Am I seeing a charged up SB? Wow!, super way to ask questions. I liked your idea of PLACARDS outisde BMRC.

BTW, check the BMRC email address. Recently my email to BMRC returned undelivered.

lets take an example..

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Metro is planning to connect Kadugodi and kengeri in PH II..and if we have CRS in place too..as a traveller starting from Whitefield, I will prefer the cheaper and faster commuter rail to get to majestic or even further to mysore road/kengeri/bidadi than take the Metro which will be more expensive (10 times?)..to get to the same locations..KR puram/Benniganahalli/BYP/Majestic/Nayandahalli/Jnanabharati/Kengeri

Probably thats what is scaring BMRC..but what they are forgetting is metro is not a solution for end to end travellers..its best used for shorter distances..

Also, they dont allow heavy luggage on metro..so CRS will be the best and the only operation for getting into the city by many people who come from the villages around the city..

Changeovers & terminals

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Kadugodi to Kengeri is fine, how about Malur to Bidadi? Dabspet to Anekal? Even if you force me to change to metro, interconnect is not seamless. Tell me how will you change from Yelahanka metro stn which will come 10 years from now to the Yelahanka SWR station? So if I were to go from Dodballapur to Malur what would they have me do? 5 changes?

Anyway since the RItes report has trashed this stupid concept in section 4.5, there is no standing for the GoK to do this. TIme to get moving on a proper commuter rail now

Concept is fine

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Core use case for Commuter Rail is Malur / Dobaspet / Anekal to stations in core central area. Malur to Bidadi with two changes (Malur to BYP on CRS, Metro to ?, ? to Bidadi on CRS) is also fine as long as there is a commitment to put money on the inter-connecting stations.

As you said IDS - its time to move beyond this concept (section 4.5 of RITES report). But, BMRC too has to come clean and state that they are moving on and would NOT play spoilsport for the Commuter Rail concept. We know how things get scuttled behind the scenes and we DO NOT want that to happen.

Metro - CRS Combination can increase PHPDT to 3 times

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BMRCL  is projected to handle 50,000 PHPDT as opposed to 80,000 PHPDT of Delhi Metro. Originally BMRCL  was planned for 80,000 PHPDT, but, due to the curves, land problems and short platform stations, BMRCL can have only 6 cars as opposed to Delhi's 8 cars. Also, due to curves, as per Railway Safety Commission,speed has been limited to 65kph which was originally planned for 80kph. This has reduced the overall PHPDT.

During peak hours, once Metro is fully operational, 50,000 PHPDT will not be sufficient, especially with the increase of Bangalore population at 1 Lakh per year. At that time, Gok will have to start scratching its head.

Gok on top of this wants it commuter rail passengers to take Metro. This is like putting more pressure on an already pressurized Metro from say 5 years from now.

CRS can take the 'burden' from Metro to a large extent by complementing it if it is allowed to cris-cross the city, especially from Metro terminal stations say Nayandahalli to Byappanahalli / KR Puram / Whitefield / Yeshwantpur.

CRS will not only complement Metro, but, Bangalore itself. Families who have relocated to Bangalore from suburbs like say Mandya, Tumkur, Hosur etc for employment purpose will relocate back to their native for cheaper cost of living.

People from these suburban areas who finish their education and just have got a  job in Bangalore, will continue to live in their towns. This density can be fully handled by CRS which otherwise should be handled by Road, Metro and City Buses.

Gok Should think in these directions. Gok should also take example of Western Cities where people drive down to stations in suburbs, take suburban train, reach main city, take a Metro / Subway / Tube in cities and reach their office which all could happen in 1 hour.

 

Bangalore all entry roads getting tolled : How will CRS helps

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Electronics City expressway toll up by 10 pc

The Bangalore Elevated Toll way Limited (BETL) has increased toll by 10 to 15 per cent on the elevated expressway to Electronics City.

The BETL announced the annual revision of the toll rates which will be in effect from July 1, 2012 to June 30 next year. User fee for two-wheelers for single trip has remained unchanged.

However, the fee for daily pass for the two-wheelers is increased by Rs five and monthly pass by Rs 35 respectively. For four-wheelers, fee is up by Rs 5 for single trip and multiple trips, and Rs 85 for monthly pass.

BETL officials said toll rates have been revised to adjust increase in the (Wholesale Price Index (WPI) as on March 31.
 

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/260690/electronics-city-expressway-toll-up.html

In TOI  today's paper,  saw a tender  for Yelahanka - Dodballapur upto Karnataka - AP Boarder Tolled highway on BOOT.

With this,  almost  all entries  to Bangalore : Hosur Road, Tumkur Road, Hyderabad Road ( NH-7),  NICE Road, Dodballapur road   tolled  ( 5  roads ).  Only  entry left are Kanakapura Road ( mostly will be  tolled )  Mysore road,  Kolar Road ( will be tolled soon ).

When compared with Delhi,  it has only two roads tolled which are of   6 + 6 lane capacity ( One Noida &  second is Gugroan ).  So Bangalore has already 3 roads tolled,  one will start soon,  this Dodballapur will get added.

This type of Tolled highway and  already  ever increasing fuel cost and toll cost,  Commuter Rail really brings relief to  regular  to office, studets,villages & others commuters interms of Travell comforts, cost, speed of travell.

These Tolled highway will increase commuters to use Commuter Rail  to cut down their travell cost.  

Authorities should look beyound  METRO & tolled  roads towards Commuter Rail. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do the BMRCL supports CRS?

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It seems like yes given the response of BMRCL MD, Mr. Sivasailam to Principal Secretary's email. But that yes seems to be laced with a carrot that BMRCL can implement the CRS.

http://praja.in/en/blog/k...

 

We probably means Beuracracy

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We probably means Beuracracy of Karnataka & not BMRCL. But you never know like HSRL this may also be given to him :)

just rambling..

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as mentioned in his own words..its just 'rambling' and he aint got no strong opinions!

Understandably so!

GOK has no interest in Commuter Rail Project?

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Earlier one could only guess the reasons for GOK's delay in according approval to CRS. But as time is passing, now it is becoming evident why the project is being sidelined and ignored.

One evidence is here.

"...The detailed project report (DPR) for the proposed Namma Metro rail link to Bengaluru International Airport (BIA) will be ready in five months, said N Sivasailam, Managing Director,  Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL), on Saturday. ..."

Source - Deccan Herald

move away from HSRL..

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The conection to the airport as we know started with the ambitious HSRL as per Mr Sreedharans impetus..and when ppl started complaining of the costs..they wanted a  comparably cheaper alternative and everyone started backing metro..which at this time is preposterous!

COmmuter rail, I guess, is seen as 'lowly' in the portals of power..cant blame.. as we have never been exposed to the state of art!

Seems, not even considered as 'lowly'

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Sri,

You were bang on us being naive on art of politics and power.

On a lighter note, it seems CRS is not even lowly in political corridors as otherwise politicians would have grabbed by both hands.

CRS vs HSRL/Metro

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The step motherly treatment to CRS is obvious when it comes choosing between CRS & HSRL or Metro. The latter r corporations having stakes of GoK. It is very easy to milk them.  to any extent like irrigation projects of Maharashtra. The railways  being  already a loss making, what moolah they can bring to those in power. Let us hold our nerves, the better sense will prevail tomorrow if not today. Satyameva Jayathe, Naanratam!

Metro line to airport.

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It has become absolutely necessary to stop public funds on this venture. The aspects favoring commuter rail shud be highlighted to the public

-the metro will mostly cater to the flying elite & not the ordinary traveller

-there is a rail line existing to the close proximity of airport & therefore involves minimum addnl work. The cost will be a fraction of what is spent on a new metro line

- with modern EMU coaches the CRS will take almost same time to reach airport from city

GoK now one of the top 6 borrowers in the country shud curtail such wasteful expenditure. The buzz in BBMP cooridors is that the corporation limit will likely be extended upto airport which will be another disaster for this over stretched city

Both necessary

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There isn't any need to criticize metro or start a campaign against it because commuter rail is yet to be considered. Both are necessary to address commuting issues for different segments. Commuter rail cannot fulfil the needs of all city dwellers for quicker access to airport - metro would do it better for urbanites, whilst commuter rail would fulfil the needs for suburbanites & people from across the state who are likely to arrive by commuter trains or long distance trains.

An example is Kolkata - commuter rail to airport has been a disaster though that city has far fewer business travellers & frequent flyers compared to Bangalore & they are now linking two metro lines to the airport there.

Let us concentrate solely on getting commuter rail services rather than pitching it against metro - there is need for both. Even for airport connectivity, there will be sufficient volumes for both as the airport expands & industries start operations in north bangalore - many are already in construction stages now.

It is heartening to note that a govt meeting is scheduled on 17-Nov-12 to discuss the CRS project.

No both are not

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Both are necessary

No both are not necessary, we dont even need a train, the BIA bus coverage within the city is far more comprehensive than any train. Make right of way on Bellary road & all 13 arterial corridors & run priority bus. If traffic increases embed tracks on the segregated road space & run train on the BRT corridor itself.

Nevertheless, both metro & CRS are trains & run on tracks (only guage is different), why would you want to spend more on laying tracks elevated when the surface space is available for laying the SAME TRACKS?  You are confusing rolling stock quality with track type. Why can the existing IR space not be used for laying TRAIN TRACKS & metro type plush rolling stock be run?

Both required

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I am quoting below an excerpt from the RITES report:

4.1 The reality

"No single mode of commuting (say it rail or road or metro or mono rail or so) can fully satisfy the commuting needs of any city. Bus, rail, metro, mono rail etc. have got different applications associated with them. They are meant for different sections of commuters and different trip lengths. An optimal mix of different modes of public transport should be the strategy for any urban planning".

To understand what BIAL connectivity with CRS entails, we need to look deeper at the realities. Approximate SWR track distances to airport are as follows:

1) BIAL from Baiyyapanahalli (via Yelahanka, Chennasandra) – 37km

2) BIAL from City station (via Yelahanka, Lottegolahalli & Yeswantapur) – 39km

Dependable airport connectivity requires frequent & fast services & this implies a dedicated double-track corridor with limited stop trains along the 37km or 39km route. This will pose obstacles for running commuter trains to various other destinations unless independent, physically separated tracks are built, not to mention the land acquisition costs that will be necessary for 37km (or 39km) with almost 10km of tracks within ORR (from City stn) as compared to 23km for metro outside ORR.

we dont even need a train, the BIA bus coverage within the city is far more comprehensive than any train. Make right of way on Bellary road & all 13 arterial corridors & run priority bus. If traffic increases embed tracks on the segregated road space & run train on the BRT corridor itself.

Trains will definitely be necessary – buses may be serving the airport to the best extent possible, but even as of now, they take too long due to traffic congestion almost throughout the day (my last trip from HAL to airport took two hours). BRT along Bellary road may help (it is being made signal-free anyways), but the delay is almost wholly within the city up to Hebbal.

The suggestion to lay surface tracks on all main streets (i.e. the 13 arterial roads) is impractical, disruptive & will not be feasible due to sharp turns, curves & the maze of intersections – even BRT is not feasible on all of them except on IRR, ORR or outside ORR (I had attempted this exercise for BRT long ago, but could come up with only single lanes & circular routes on few streets & even these were confined to short routes that serve as feeders for Metro). Any attempt to have dedicated corridors on the arterial roads will involve huge land acquisition problems that may cost several times more than building Metro tracks on the 23km or so past Nagawara - it might never be possible due to litigations & court directives.

why would you want to spend more on laying tracks elevated when the surface space is available for laying the SAME TRACKS?  You are confusing rolling stock quality with track type. Why can the existing IR space not be used for laying TRAIN TRACKS & metro type plush rolling stock be run?

I don’t think one can be so sure that Metro tracks are going to be only elevated (or underground) throughout. The airport Metro DPR is still under preparation & we do not know what it will come up with. However, there are indications – Gottigere-Nagawara line is to have over-head electric collection (OHE) whereas all other routes are with third rail. It’s a strong possibility that this has been done to allow for higher speeds on the 23km route past Nagawara – the tracks could well be laid on the surface & dip underground at BIAL.

Both (i.e. Metro & CRS) might seem excessive as of now, but will it be so in the decades to come with the levels of urbanization that are already underway? The present traffic scene is bad enough not to mention the volume of construction activity which gives an indication about how much more worse it will become – and to deal with this squarely, steps need to be taken now for both suburban & urban needs.

CRS costs 100-150 Crores, Metro will cost 4,600 Crores!

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If the question is about money, then cost of builing Metro to Airport would fund the Phase 1A and 1 of CRS and could neatly roll Airport Connectivity in Phase 1 itself. Therefore in a realistic terms, the choice between Metro or CRS for airport connectivity is simple as choice between Vanity and economics.

CRS Cost Per RITES final Report, Sec 8.11, Page 89,

"...Extension of CRS network to airport (about 6 Km) on grade costs less than Rs 100 Crores. Even if small part of this is required to be taken on elevated route, then also the costs are far less than the costs contemplated for HSRL..."

Metro cost

Considering the easiest option of extending Nagwara line to Airport which is about 23 Kms, @Rs. 200 Cr Per Km over the grade, cost would be about Rs. 4,600 Crores.

Cost comparison of CRS Vs Metro for Airport Connectivity is:

 Rs. 100-150 Crores against Rs. 4600 Crores.

It seems it is a choice between Vanity and economics. But in Power Corridors, it is something else.

Naveen, once you had said it right - Transportation is not about economics, engineering, it is all about POLITICS.

Our politicians seldom realizes, good economics is good politics.

 

Unbiased, objective opinions please

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I think the long held biases & the belief that CRS is being neglected due to metro needs to be shed off since reasoning abilities seem to have been dented. Whilst the earlier suggestion was to lay rail tracks on arterial roads, there is the term 'vanity' being used since it is metro with a notional cost to boot the argument.

By this logic, spending 80 lakhs per volvo bus & 11k crore for metro rail are also unnecessary since they cost too much. Cheaper truck chassis buses & only CRS should be sufficient!

Volvo or metro are essential parts of the transport network that cater to different sections. Extending metro to airport will surely help a large section of urban commuters & flyers (from wherever metro operates). Similarly, CRS will benefit other sections & suburban residents including people from upcountry who have access to it, or even urbanites who live close to a station. I think this is plain & simple.

NUTP recommends differentially priced services (cheaper fares for those who cannot afford higher prices and premium services for those who would shift from personal vehicles if they get quality services). There is certainly a case for metro to the airport as there is a case for CRS as well. As of now, neither commuter rail nor metro may seem urgent, but both will become essential in future. Thankfully, investments on CRS are not much & this makes it possible to divert some trains to airport instead of Chikkaballapur, though it will not be a limited-stop, fast service & will not suit flyers.

Considering the easiest option of extending Nagwara line to Airport which is about 23 Kms, @Rs. 200 Cr Per Km over the grade, cost would be about Rs. 4,600 Crores.

This calculation is incorrect - what is "over the grade"? If parts of the Metro are built at grade (as it is likely to be), the cost would be significantly lesser.

"Transport is not a technical problem. It is not an infrastructure problem. It is not even a financial problem. Most often, it is a Political problem" – this is what I had said & it was a generalization. However, in this case, I think the govt is doing the right thing by studying various modes, their pros & cons, etc before taking any decisions.

 

Cost of Metro Per KM!

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Naveen,

Loving your logic of dismissing other arguments citing lack of reasoning, objectivity etc. All other references Volvo vs ordinary Chassis etc will require another post to argue. The fear of CRS neglect due to Metro is not based on personal biases or prejudices against Metro. It was based on information collected during the past 2 1/2 yrs while interacting with various govt agencies. We all can dismiss this and other facts, but truth remains.

For the sake of discussion on topic, I will confine  my comment to contest your one notion of

"..This calculation is incorrect - what is "over the grade"? If parts of the Metro are built at grade (as it is likely to be), the cost would be significantly lesser."

Since you didn't cited any numbers let me quote the numbers from 2012 RITES Report

3.4.1 Cost Assessment: Metro Vs CRS
Cost of construction of a metro system per kilometre is around Rs. 250 Crores for an elevated system (as per WSA reports) and Rs. 350 – 400 Crores for an underground system. Compared to this, upgrading a conventional rail system to suburban needs would cost around Rs 15-20 crores per kilometre.

The numbers I quoted were based on data from this RITES report. Even if the cost goes down to 50%, it will still cost 2300 Crores.

Let me know if this calculations still doesn't measure up to your numbers.

unbaised objective???

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Naveen

   it is not the question of having one form of transport over other.  the question is what we can afford or what is the state transport budget for Bangalore.  I am sure it is not unlimited and if metro eats up most of the budget with lesser impact, then definitely GOK has to prioratize what they can do and what they cannot.  

leaving aside the phase 2 metro which is already committed,  the CRS and airport express would be competing for funds.  with the BMRCL influence on the GOK and may be bigger bite the politicians can get with new infrastructure, guess which option will get first priority.  

17th Nov would be a important date for CRS dream to be realized.  if things don't pan out as per our expectation, then the only option is to kill the Airport metro and give priority to CRS.  As I said earlier, we may have to look at PIL option in order to stop the airport metro.

look out for the tone of the 17th meeting outcome. they may not out right reject it but, conviniently postpone it until the airport DPR is ready.  

 

 

 

 

Sheer Numbers!

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I made the point about vanity in a context. Everything talked here is in comparison. Let me throw the numbers to put the Vanity is perspective.

RITES makes references to HSRL in discussion for Airport Connectivity. It's remarks in comparing HSRL with CRS is worth noting:

  • Extension of CRS network to airport (about 6 Km) on grade costs less than Rs 100 Crores. Even if small part of this is required to be taken on elevated route, then also the costs are far less than the costs contemplated for HSRL (That is about 8325 Crores @ 250 Crores  Per KM for 33.3 Km)
  • In view of the heavy cost implications and in view of the minimal time advantages to larger air traveling population, it may be worth reviewing the issue in detail before making any final investment decision.
  • Savings by such review alone may finance the entire CRS project costing Rs 8000 to 9000 Crores.

If Metro is to be considered, the numbers would be as follows:

Total Airport Ridership estimates:

By 2011 - 40,000

By 2021 - 90,000

Source - DPR for HSRL by DMRC, 2012 Rites Report.

Metro will cost little less than HSRL cost based on assumption that it only need to build 23 Km infrastructure.

For 23 Kms, based on WSA figures, Metro will cost anywhere between 3500 Crores to 4600 Crores assuming all at/above grade.

Please do remember that this 4000 Crores are for ferrying 40K to 90K commuters per day.

What does CRS Promises? Per RITES Report, Sec 8:

Phase 1A, Cost Rs. 173 Crores will support 4 Lakhs Ridership / Day

Phase 1, Cost Rs. 3833 Crores will support 8 Lakhs Ridership / Day

Phase 2, Cost Rs. 2251 Crores will support 15 Lakhs Ridership / Day

Phase 3, Cost Rs. 2504 Crores will support 25 Lakhs Ridership / Day

Plus in Bonus, CRS is going to enhance the existing railway capacity for long distance travel.

Therefore argument or point being made is, for the money that could provide Metro line for airport (From Nagwara), can easily fund a large portion of CRS project catering to 10 times the airport ridership. 8 Lakhs Vs. 90 thousand

Even comparing just the Airport Connectivity portion, Cost is 100 Crores for CRS compare to Metro's 4000 Crores.

The issue in question for metro is cost for connectivity to Airport. It is not in comparison for it s planned phases inside city limits. Though cost wise it does cost more than traditional railway lines.

Already have land at grade

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If parts of the Metro are built at grade (as it is likely to be), the cost would be significantly lesser.

But we already have land at grade is my point, what else will the metro be building at grade? tracks? build it in IR space why spend on fresh land acquisition? what else, plush looking train? run the nice looking rollign stock on this track for airport. I dont mind using a nice looking ride to the airport as I am a volvo bus patroniser myself

Also heavy luggage is not allowed on any metro, even if they make an exception on the airport line only it defeats the whole purpose for one has to take the bus/taxi til the airport line even if they have a metro running next door. While commuter rail apart from allowing heavy luggage can allow people from the suburbs to reach airport since suburbs dont have BIA buses. Imagine what mysore/mandya/bidadi, tumkur, cbpur & Hosur/EC/ORR/ITPL belt can do to airport traffic.

On a related note hows the Delhi airport metro line doing?

PIL for CRS

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I agree with @ashfaq PIL should be the next step, lets see what happens on 17th. Against airport metro line we can file as individuals, for full CRS we have to file as Praja RAAG.

Biases again

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The fear of CRS neglect due to Metro is not based on personal biases or prejudices against Metro. It was based on information collected during the past 2 1/2 yrs while interacting with various govt agencies.

What information led you to believe that CRS was being neglected in preference for metro? I think the govt is certainly interested in CRS since DULT raised pertinent questions to be included in the final RITES report whilst in the interim, an assumption was made that metro was being favored, isn't it? Wasn’t this a case of jumping the gun too fast?

For 23 Kms, based on WSA figures, Metro will cost anywhere between 3500 Crores to 4600 Crores assuming all at/above grade.

How did you derive this estimate? When metro airport DPR is out, accurate costs & other information will be known. Till then, I don’t think speculations can be made based on what RITES /WSA reports state since it may be way off the mark.

CRS and airport express would be competing for funds.  with the BMRCL influence on the GOK and may be bigger bite the politicians can get with new infrastructure, guess which option will get first priority

I don't think they will be “competing” for govt funds. Since CRS will be cheaper & feasible more easily with existing infra, govt will most likely clear it. Both might materialize since we have a unique problem with airport too far from a city that also has excessive congestion, even by Indian standards, probably the longest road commute time to airport for any city.

Total Airport Ridership estimates: By 2011 - 40,000; By 2021 - 90,000  Source - DPR for HSRL by DMRC, 2012 Rites Report.

These numbers are for a dedicated, non-stop HSRL & not for metro that inter-connects with other metro routes & then speeds up probably past Nagawara - the numbers for this service may be much higher & a better informed projection should be in the DPR.

But we already have land at grade is my point, what else will the metro be building at grade? tracks? build it in IR space why spend on fresh land acquisition?

I don’t think this is solely dependent on the assumption that land is already available with IR. Needs & conveniences for all sections of commuters is primary. Existing IR land will be needed for developing commuter rail services to various destinations as also future track expansions for inter-city trains. If dedicated commuter airport rail infra is planned, it might involve expensive land acquisition since 10km of track lies within ORR. Besides there will be additional costs for the longer track distance by abt 15km.

No decisions can be taken until all relevant issues are fully understood including cost /benefit analysis. The likelihood of lesser ridership with increased /circuitous route length for CRS & if at all it will attract urban air passengers (due to longer commute time) & any other obstacles it might pose for running CRS to other destinations will no doubt have to be considered.

heavy luggage is not allowed on any metro, even if they make an exception on the airport line only it defeats the whole purpose for one has to take the bus/taxi til the airport line even if they have a metro running next door.

Not necessarily – luggage scanners are planned in stations (installed on reach-1 stations, but not in use yet) & similar scanners can be made available on other routes & stations. Further, remote city check-in may also be planned - we will know details when the DPR is out.

Imagine what mysore/mandya/bidadi, tumkur, cbpur & Hosur/EC/ORR/ITPL belt can do to airport traffic…Against airport metro line we can file as individuals

Metro can do well for city /urban air passengers & CRS can do well for suburbanites – both have merits. I think these arguments favor only CRS & against the metro, neglecting other equally larger sections (probably higher numbers) that have access to metro but not CRS. Threats with PIL will only be counter productive. The objective is to ensure CRS comes through & there isn’t any reason why it won’t, given the benefits it can usher with far lesser costs.

On a related note hows the Delhi airport metro line doing?

The ridership was 20k per day (almost same as reach-1 of namma metro now) before it closed down for repairs. It is expected to reopen soon. Fyi Kolkata commuter train to airport is performing much worse with abysmally low ridership, sometimes in single digit numbers & now, there is only one train in the morning & another in the evening though that city has very large number of low cost flights that cater to migrant workers in Bangladesh, Malaysia, Singapore, etc (unlike Bangalore which has a very large proportion of business travelers). So, whilst these are indicators, all aspects relevant to Bangalore need to be scrutinized before conclusions are drawn.

Anyway, for Bangalore, I think both (i.e. CRS & metro) will have sufficient numbers, given that the airport is way too distant & takes far too long for people to reach by road + cost for bus commute is high.

Numbers not right?

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Naveen,

One thing about numbers is they don't lie. It is different matter whether we would to accept them or reject them. You are right with biases, we tend to reject the numbers also.

How did you derive this estimate?

Source # 1,  BMRC Website (View it in IE Browser)

Phase-1, 42.30 Kms of Metro Network  (East & West Corridors),

Total Cost 11,609 Crs, which translates to  Per KM cost of 274.4 Crs.

Of 42.3 Kms, 33.48 Kms is elevated and 8.82 Km underground.

Source # 2, 2012 RITES Report on CRS (Final Version)

Page 21, Sec 3.4.1

"...Cost of construction of a metro system per kilometre is around Rs. 250 Crores for an elevated system (as per WSA reports) and Rs. 350 – 400 Crores for an underground system..."

Elevated Metro system - 250 crs per KM

Underground - 350-400 crs per Km

My numbers for 23 Km Metro Line to BIA

My numbers were based on BMRC's own words reported in news "...The Corporation suggested the Central government that the proposed Metro corridor from Gottigere to Nagavara be extended up to the BIA, under phase II..."

The distance between Nagavara and BIAL is anywhere between 23 - 27 Kms. I quoted a figures of 3500 (23 x 150 crs) to 4600 Crorers (23x200 Crs). Actually I am quoting less than what the above 2 sources have recorded in their respective official documents.

Yes, if the choice is for Metro Line to BIA over approval to CRS, my vote is for CRS first. But if govt is keen on both projects, no problem, we all welcome it. As the saying goes, Sone-Pe-Suhaga. But certainly I am not for chosing Metro BIA Line over CRS.

I too would like to be overly optimist like you about GOKs interest in projects like CRS. That is the reason, my self and other Praja members have kept on this campaign alive and kicking. If we had listened to SWR's, IDDs informed opinion in that 2010 Roundtable Conference at CiSTUP, we would have stopped our efforts post meeting with Chief Secretary.

But this optimism will soon fade if the 2012 RITES report is let to start collecting dust in DULT due to IDD's indifference under BMRC's weight. GOK's seeking of approvals for HSRL and metro's Phase-2 & 3 from Union Govt at lightning speed is proof in Black & white highlighting the interest shown for CRS.

Believe me, if DULT had not shown interest, even the 2012 RITES report wouldn't  have been out. Full Credit to the Commissioner of DULT for persistently pursuing this project in spite of opposition from different quarters. It doesn't need elaboration to prove my point.

This is not the first time a determined effort has been made for CRS. For past 27 years many attempts have been made, but none has seen any progress.

Hoping that, Nov 17th meeting will prove the current cynics wrong and the CRS train actually reaches Vidhan Soudha for that Cabinet approval stamp.

As Sanjayv alluded on FB, Nov 17 meeting is a incremental step towards CRS reaching its right destination.

The final destination is not Vidhan Soudha, but approval from GOI and Indian Railways.

The journey is still on, but I am bored with train getting halted at DULT station since 2010/2011. Man, there is no fun with this stopped train. Need fresh air from the fields of Tumkur, Dodballpur, Chikballapur, Ramanagaram, Hosur, Malur, Bangarpet.

Baggage rules

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Not necessarily – luggage scanners are planned in stations (installed on reach-1 stations, but not in use yet) & similar scanners can be made available on other routes & stations

It has nothing to do with scanners. Bangalore Metro Rail (Carriage and Ticket) Rules 2011 limit the weight of personal baggage to 15 kg. Rule 3 says: “No person shall, while travelling in metro railway, carry with him any goods other than a small baggage containing personal belongings not exceeding 60 cm by 45 cm by 25 cm in size and 15 kg in weight, except with the prior approval of the metro railway administration.”

Source

Needs & conveniences for all sections of commuters is primary.

What are these needs & conviniences and for which section?

metro going at grade?

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As Syed says..the 150 cr and 250 cr are typically for overhead and UG metro lines..what about going at grade with metro?

One of the last reports I heard was that metro line would go on NH7 itself to the airport..then probably going at grade might not be an option..but if they decide to take another route..then going at grade for major sections of the airport line might be feasible..

@Syed Light is green!

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For past 27 years many attempts have been made, but none has seen any progress.

Agree CRS should have materialized much earlier. Authorities have been sleeping on it to this point when it has now become inevitable. Metro for bangalore was also much delayed. I think bashing one for the other is not the way to go. I don't think BMRC has "weight" beyond what their mandate is & they will only do what they are told - they do not run the city. Even if politicians try to score points by going after metro, there are several checks & balances since there are funding & viability /ridership issues that will be scrutinized for clearances. It will not be easy for them to get it through, particularly since the Delhi airport express saw lesser ridership than projected.

 

I am bored with train getting halted at DULT station

Cheer up - such projects do take long even elsewhere. There are numerous examples. There seems to be light at the end of the tunnel now!

Bangalore Metro Rail (Carriage and Ticket) Rules 2011 limit the weight of personal baggage to 15 kg.

Metro rules can always be amended - I don't think this is any issue at all.

What are these needs & conviniences and for which section?

I think this is very obvious & needs no explanation. Anyway, what travelers will look for is obvioulsy convenience & reduced transit time. Metro will offer better convenience than CRS for city dwellers since they can board a train from south or west or east easily & change over to the Nagawara route without having to lug their baggage over long distances, whereas for CRS, they will have to come east to Baiyyappanahalli (if the airport train commences there) or go to SBC (if it starts from there) by taxi or auto & then change over. If they go to either point by metro, there will be a long walk with luggage since metro station is some distance away from railway stations. Apart from this inconvenience & additional road commute time, there will also be longer commute time on the train trip due to longer CRS distance, unless a dedicated fast or express commuter train for airport is planned.

However, for up country users who arrive by commuter trains, they will find commuter train more convenient since change over may be within the stations or adjacently.

if they decide to take another route..then going at grade for major sections of the airport line might be feasible

Exactly - we need to wait for DPR before throwing stones!

Metro will offer better

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Metro will offer better convenience than CRS

what are these conviniences? 

change over to the Nagawara route without having to lug their baggage over long distance

They cant even take their luggage in the metro forget about lugging it anywere. Govt have not built convinient interchanges with other modes anywhere. Unless you live next to the Metro station you dont even have proper bus services to these stations.

there will be a long walk with luggage since metro station is some distance away from railway station

Hence commuters who cant use BIA bus services (from suburban areas) cannot lug their luggage to the metro. So they shouldnt build a metro to the airport. It is inconvinient. Instead Commuter lines can take suburban as well as city passengers. The airport train will also be AC with doors & plush seating so metro users dont feel like they are travelling cattle class. Since good quality metro like coaches can be run by extending the existing commuter rail track, Metro to the airport is a useless propposition. GoK should be investigated for improper choice without doing a proper feasibility of the other modes including a report which compares the usage of existing CRS lines for an airport express.

we need to wait for DPR before throwing stones!

GoK should be doing a pre-feasibility report for an airport line not a DPR. We need to challenge this in the courts. Looks like govt is mentally bankrupt to be throwing all problems to BMRC to catch. Its almost like have a traffic jam throw it to BMRC they will run a toy train & problems will be solved.

 

Any data on current commuter rail use ?

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A lot of people use long distance trains to travel between City / Cantt railway stations and Krishnarajapuram. No idea whether they do this on other routes like Kengeri, Yelahanka, etc.

Would RITES or someone else have data on such travel, and would this data help buttress the argument for CRS ?

what are these conviniences?

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what are these conviniences?

The comparative ease of reaching airport by metro for city residents has been explained in sufficient detail & it should be clear to anyone. Read my previous post/s again.

They cant even take their luggage in the metro.

Read my last post again.

Govt have not built convinient interchanges with other modes anywhere.

True, inter-modal transfer facilities are not being developed the way they should be.

Unless you live next to the Metro station you dont even have proper bus services to these stations.

Feeder buses may be run after ph-1 is built - if not, we need to campaign for it.

Hence commuters who cant use BIA bus services (from suburban areas) cannot lug their luggage to the metro.

As of now, yes, things are inconvenient /time consuming for suburbanites' access to BIA buses, but it maybe different once commuter trains run on the chikkaballapur route up to BIA.

they shouldnt build a metro to the airport. It is inconvenient… Metro to the airport is a useless propposition.

This may be your opinion since you seem hung excessively for CRS, but I do not subscribe to such biases.

Instead Commuter lines can take suburban as well as city passengers.

Yes, but after a long taxi ride by city residents that can be time-consuming & inconvenient – most might opt for taxi all the way to airport instead. I have explained this & am not going to repeat it any more.

The airport train will also be AC with doors & plush seating so metro users dont feel like they are travelling cattle class. Since good quality metro like coaches can be run by extending the existing commuter rail track,

Good A/C coaches may be available, but quality of coaches is not the issue – it is about access to the station from where the commuter train starts & difficult transfer/s as explained. Read my post again.

@das - CRS data

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Yes, there is data as part of the RITES report on CRS. Based on demand, the report recommends commuter trains on YPR-BYPL-HSRA, YPR-TK and YPR-CBP in the 1st phase. I think CRS will easily be cleared since the numbers are substantial.

Both are necessary

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I agree with Naveen. Both are necessary.  The CRS is for suburban areas like Chickaballapur, and even Yelahanka because Metro cannot be extended beyond airport in the near future.  The Metro is for airport. The better option would have been a transport hub at Yelahanka with interchange to airport, but that option may not happen.  When airport train comes, there will not be enough stops or they have to build 4 line metro with express line.

Even if Metro replaces CRS, I would like to go in the Metro for sucha long distance and enjoy the ride once in a while, so it will act as a trigger for making people like the trains.  Further, Karnataka is anti-train state, I would argue. There is only one train between Mangalore and Bangalore through Mysore. Why there are no 4 trains btween Bangalore and Mangalore or  trains like Mangalore Hyderabad or Mangalore Chennai that is through Bangalore. There are not enough trains between north and south Karnataka like 5 trains between 5 north and south district capitals which is quite reasonable.

Praja is demanding it, but people are not demanding CRS. Maybe people think they have no right to make demands. When CRS becomes an election issue, it will come. Maybe it is not yet time. If BMRCL is opposing CRS, they have some support from somebody who does not believe in equality.

Regarding cost, there will be other methods developed to waste it. In Indiranagar, park near CMH road is being rebuilt for no reason. In poorer areas, they build concrete roads and dig it up to lay pipes that are not going to last.  If we work against, Airport Metro, the money need not be directly allocated to CRS. But cost will be high, I dont think the metro will at grade anywhere.

Regarding luggage, the rules will surely be changed.

I would like to go in the

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I would like to go in the Metro for sucha long distance and enjoy the ride once in a while, so it will act as a trigger for making people like the trains

Airport train on CRS track can also be of the same quality, they dont have to look like the interstate trains you currently use. I cant believe you guys are dumb enough to  confuse rolling stock with track lines. 

Let me put this another way, commuter rail system has nothing to do with running the airport train on the IR tracks/space that currently goes near the airport which can be extended to the airport. Call it a metro & run it on the current tracks instead of buildng new tracks somewhere else, also this can be done by BMRC and not have to wait for the CRS to get started.

Metro isn't for every locality!

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It seems Metro system is being projected as Mass transit system touching every nook and corner of the city. Is it the case? No. Certainly not.

No Metro system in the world has promised and achieved that. So lets not pretend or fool ourselves that Metro will touch every locality in B'lore. Even after its completion of all phases, there still will be areas not within walking distance of Metro station.

You do need the "Last Mile Connectivity". Here I am not talking about station next door but station within walking distance of 10-15 Mins. Example, for areas Like J C Nagar, R T Nagar, the nearest station will be either at Cantonment or Yeshwantpur. Even this will not matter if I can get another mode to reach station and then carry on.

I see no difference for this last mile connectivity to reach a Metro Station or CRS station.

Instead of treating Mass Transit systems as class leveler, we are already positioning Metro for Elite and CRS for poorer sections. What an irony and sad state of our thinking?

IDS, you are right. We are ready to differentiate tht PT system based on type of rolling stock.

@abidqa - Praja not part of people?

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abidqa,

Praja is demanding it, but people are not demanding CRS.

What is the manifestation or measure of people's demand? Dharnas, Protests, Rally's, petitions, public meets?

Where did you get this idea that Praja is some strange entity not part of the people? Praja community is part of that big entity called people, though we do not claim to represent all the sections. We do represent a section and have made proposal to Govt with information on need, demand and ways to address the issue based on data, facts.

Same can be said about Metro, MonoRail, BMTC's volvo service etc. Haven't come across street protests, signature campaigns, Publci Meets, Dharnas demanding for Metro or any other public utility projects?

In true sense this time around, CRS campaign is a Citizen's campaign for easing city's daily commute ordeals to some extent.

The responsive government is one which take up the public utility projects to meet the need and demand irrespective of whether there is a People's hue and cry or not. Governments should be taking proactive actions to ease the public's day-to-day needs.

Action on CRS is long due and doesn't need to be stalled for want of large people demand.

As our friend Naveen has said in previous comment, there is enough demand and empirical data to justify the approval for a full fledged Commuter Rail System. Even today, there are about 1.5 lakh people using for daily commute using existing long distance trains. It is time to formalize those trips into daily commute trips with the provision of regular Commuter Rail Service.

Praja is part of people but

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Praja is part of people but still not getting support of people, I mean.  Manifestation of demand is people requesting, in whatever way, their representatives for more action for CRS.  I would say not enough people are even commenting in Praja. When people are not demanding it explicitly it can also be interpreted to mean people dont want it by those in power. Of course, govt should anticipate people's needs.

CRS is for economy and capacity, lowest cost and covering long distance from the city.  Metro is for speed and frequency, for needs inside city.  That is my interpretation.  Airport is actually part of the city, so it needs metro.  CRS I believe will run on broad gauge with more than 10 coaches and speed will also be lesser than can be achieved with metro. It is not meaningful to run such trains every 10 minutes to destination 70 km away IMO.

Facts being ignored

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Having also contributed to praja’s CRS effort & with focus on the objective of getting CRS, I am now compelled to make another request not to needlessly argue against metro. The emphasis that airport train connectivity must only be with CRS or only along the CRS route is rather ludicrous & will be counter-productive, given that any sustainable mass transport option must always be welcomed in whatever form. The attention to CRS seems to have resulted in tunnel vision since it may be a pet project to a few. CRS unfortunately has some limitations & this must be accepted. Irrespective of this, the demand should be for “both” due to needs of the future, if not for now. The biases have also resulted in ‘blinding’ since the need for a quick airport connect for people who work at BIA & especially for air travelers is being overlooked.

As I mentioned earlier, existing SWR tracks are circuitous & considerably longer in comparison to planned metro route towards airport. I also mentioned that it might not be possible to run express airport services on CRS tracks unless dedicated tracks are built & separately allocated for the purpose & that it would be impossible with existing SWR land constraints. RITES report also mentions that some land acquisition is needed for doubling /tripling of lines to run CRS trains, let alone land allocation for dedicated fast express train tracks to airport. These aspects are vital if fast rail connectivity is to be handled exclusively by CRS, but they are being ignored conveniently without response, reaffirming the biases & the needlessly great affinity for CRS.

Actually, in comparison, more expensive land acquisition (areas within ORR) may be required over longer distances for CRS than metro if a full fledged express service is to be run to the airport. Even if express CRS trains are run to airport, metro trains will still have an edge due to shorter, straighter routing that will allow it to reach the airport in quicker time since the last 20+km will be non-stop, in addition to better urban coverage, especially in areas in the southern part of the city. Commuter trains will certainly help people near CRS stations, suburbanites & up country folks since it will be convenient to transfer to the airport commuter train from other CRS (or inter-city) trains, though trains may run slower.

Further, RITES report recommends commuter terminal stations on Binny Mill land near SBC (about 1.0km from Kempegowda metro station) & at the marshalling yard at BYP (1.2km from Baiyappanahalli metro station). This apart, other than Cantonment, Yeswantapur, Kadugodi & KRPuram, there is no convenient transfer between CRS & metro & vice-versa. This reinforces the need for both to provide connectivity to airport.

I don’t think anyone is dumb or positioning Metro for Elite and CRS for poorer sections, nor is it any irony or sad state of thinking. We are discussing fast airport connectivity options & routing issues, not quality of coaches, but the ‘fast’ part is repeatedly being ignored to further the argument against metro.

Irrespective of this, the

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Irrespective of this, the demand should be for “both” due to needs of the future, if not for now

AHA! I wonder why all the metro fanbase doesnt go beyond skin deep "I like this nice looking train" & ask along these lines? Why isnt the BRTS to the airport all along the ORR from silkboard see the light of day? Why isnt an investment in easily/quickly achivable CRS to the airport being PRIORITIZED OVER an airport metro line? 

Copenhagen is a good example of this model. DSB services the airport as commuter rail connecting far flung Denmark cities & also Malmo in sweden. The driverless metro services the same airport for copenhagen travellers. CDG Paris (RER & TGV), Zurich & Amsterdam Schipol is completely serviced by both normal & high speed commuter trains. Stockholm;s Arlanda express runs on a seperate stabilized track to accomodate its 200+KMPH speed right next to commuter rail lines sharing the same track space. These are the only ones I have seen. There are many more.

None of these arguments for running a metro is butressed by any official feasibility study which takes into account other modes coexisting or as an alternative. Metro is not required until further investment is made into alternatives like BRTS & CRS & stabilized to service the airport. 

AHA! I wonder why all the

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AHA! I wonder why all the metro fanbase doesnt go beyond skin deep "I like this nice looking train" & ask along these lines?

No point venting out frustration by criticizing others. Re-focus on realities & repair tunnel vision first. I don’t know of any ‘metro fanbase’ (doubt if there is one).

Why isnt an investment in easily/quickly achivable CRS to the airport being PRIORITIZED OVER an airport metro line?

Are you sure it isn’t being prioritized? A decision may be taken to go for it on 17th.

Copenhagen is a good example…..

Fine, good examples may be everywhere. Proper solutions demand fastest connectivity to airport from city also as quoted on those examples.

None of these arguments for running a metro is butressed by any official feasibility study which takes into account other modes coexisting or as an alternative.

HSRL study quotes 98k passengers by 2021. This substantiates need for fast connectivity to airport. The demand for a study that focuses on “co-existence” of other modes is fantasy & sounds like desperation, which is needless.

Metro is not required until further investment is made into alternatives like BRTS & CRS & stabilized to service the airport.

No – it is required & has nothing to do with “stabilization” of CRS. CRS does not require charity & no one needs to beg on its behalf. It will stabilize itself once train services run in multiple directions with new stations along the routes that act as feeders.

Its not either or, and about public demand

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On CRS and Metro, It doesn't have to be the either or argument. As far as Public transport investments go, more the merrier. At least my issue is the "hear say" that Metro doesn't who heartedly support CRS for some unknown reasons. BMRCL should not see CRS through that either/or lens, thats all.

Regarding whether there is real public demand for CRS or not, guys, if you go the pure public demand way, there is minimal demand for public transport itself in general. Given a choice, my family too would want a comfortable care ride, on signal free roads, right from my house door to the destination.

Regardless, I think the demand for CRS thing point can anyway be settled by looking at the ticket sales data for the local trains that exist and run today. Whoever thinks CRS doesn't have the demand needs to go to KR Puram or YPR station in the mornings and evennings, or ask any low skilled labour they employ at home or office on whether they would like to move far away from city where housing would be cheaper, better and yet they would be able to come to the city in less than 60 minutes, reliably.

One only needs a right kind of survey to assess or bring out public demand. Plus, demand-supply is not how you plan cities, or residential clusters. Or else you wouldn't need Masterplans. 

Silk Board ...All these

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Silk Board ...All these survey's which RITES or any third party does, it will be submitted to the politicians, I really doubt whether they go thru all these reports ? secondly do they understand the complexity of the report ? even when the final report (which is good) is submitted these guys are not able to take decision. keep postponing the project. i doubt whether they read or understand the statistics reported.

 

ALL THEY WANT IS FANCY NAMES.....METRO ....HSRL...probably we may have to coin some german or italian name...which is similar to CRS..so that it looks fancy and attractive to them. 

kamal

Controversy based on "hearsay"!

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At least my issue is the "hear say" that Metro doesn't who heartedly support CRS for some unknown reasons.

Since it is meaningless "hearsay",  why was this thread necessary at all, in the first place? We have a couple of CRS flag bearers here arguing that metro is not at all needed for airport since CRS, the saviour for all, will take care of any & all airport commuters' requirements amongst many other miracles that it can perform!

CRS Miracle and Metro's promise!

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Naveen,

We have a couple of CRS flag bearers here arguing that metro is not at all needed for airport since CRS, the saviour for all, will take care of any & all airport commuters' requirements amongst many other miracles that it can perform!

CRS miracle can only happen when it is implemented. No sign of that yet now. All that we can say now is this talk of BMRC's active support for CRS is blabbering and 'hear say'.

Flag bearers - liked your compliments :)

 

 

 

 

 

this talk of BMRC's active

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this talk of BMRC's active support for CRS is blabbering and 'hear say'.

Unlike tall claims of CRS as the cheapest & only solution for airport, nobody has claimed nor denied your so called BMRC's "active support" for CRS - there is no proof for either. In addition to such bizzare imagination, you seem to have problems understanding posts - recommend you read through again.

CRS Cheapest claim!

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Unlike tall claims of CRS as the cheapest & only solution for airport, nobody has claimed nor denied your so called BMRC's "active support" for CRS - there is no proof for either. In addition to such bizzare imagination, you seem to have problems understanding posts - recommend you read through again.

CRS being cheapest claim is not made by me but made by RITES, a government agency known for expertise in railway infrastructure building consultancy. You are at liberty to dispute RITES's claim.

Regarding BMRC being supportive or not will be known in due coarse from official sources. That will prove whether this thread was mere hear say or there was any truth in it.

I have read this post multiple times before also and this time on your suggestion I did read it once more. I still believe that there is some truth in the meat of this thread.

And I stand by my position on total cost of metro line to airport will be able to fund at least half of the CRS project including connectivity to BIAL. If the choice has to be made between Metro to Airport or CRS , my money is on CRS. But who will ask me?

With that I will rest my case here. Time to take this CRS campaign to next level.

No case yet

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CRS being cheapest claim is not made by me but made by RITES, a government agency known for expertise in railway infrastructure building consultancy. You are at liberty to dispute RITES's claim.

No doubt RITES report states that putting an additional 6km track to airport can come cheaply (& you seem to have clutched on to that), but has it addressed far more vital questions about fast & frequent city-airport train connectivity? No answers to these questions from you or your partner since it would be in the negative with existing tracks that are limited, even for running CRS trains to other destinations.

Regarding BMRC being supportive or not will be known in due coarse from official sources. That will prove whether this thread was mere hear say or there was any truth in it….I have read this post multiple times before also and this time on your suggestion I did read it once more. I still believe that there is some truth in the meat of this thread.

First you say that it will be known in due course, then you say you believe there is some truth – make up your mind! For starters, the fact that DPRs are being sought is indicative that BMRC is open to it.

And I stand by my position on total cost of metro line to airport will be able to fund at least half of the CRS project including connectivity to BIAL.

We’ll see about this – I expect costs to be much lesser since bulk of the double tracks might be on surface. If they do go overhead, it might be expensive (as per your calc) & could be along Bellary road since this will provide dual benefit of connecting various suburbs en-route with limited stops.

If the choice has to be made between Metro to Airport or CRS, my money is on CRS. But who will ask me?

Then you are not a good business man. Unless the 6km single CRS line has sufficient feed through other CRS lines serving suburbs, nearby towns & parts of urban where CRS tracks ply, it will be a dead duck & fail to capture bulk of the urban users who will go in taxis & buses that will be much faster & far more convenient.

With that I will rest my case here. Time to take this CRS campaign to next level.

You have no case for airport transport demand. Running CRS is separate from airport connectivity since it has to be far more demand focused (not supply oriented). Suggest we forget airport for now since the campaign should focus on CRS for other destinations.

Tirusulam in Chennai

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Tirusulam in Chennai and  Vile Parle in Mumbai are the closest commuter train stations to their respective international airports..just curious how much of airport traffic these stations carry..

The numbers will probably will probably give some estimates on what can be expected in Bangalore..

With the exclusive elevated highway coming up on NH7..it would be interesting to see how BMTC gears up with the Vayuvajra service using this road..guess that will take care of travel needs for the immediate future..I would then see Commuter rail picking up aftr tht and the metro coming last..

BMRCL can get the DPR or anything else done..but they are poor in implementation..looking at the progress of Majestic station and UG sections..so those metro trains may just see the light of day end of this decade..that is if we are lucky and if Blr keeps the pace of growth!

Not comparable

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just curious how much of airport traffic these stations carry..

Chennai & Mumbai airports are not far from city. Mumbai’s airport is in the middle of the city & commuting from either end (i.e CST /Churchgate in south or from Thane /Virar on north) is about 1-1.5 hrs by road or train – much lesser from in between. Air passengers & airline staff do not use suburban trains to get to airport, taxis & airline vehicles are used. Some workers may be using trains or buses as there are several buses to airport.

With the exclusive elevated highway coming up on NH7..it would be interesting to see how BMTC gears up with the Vayuvajra service using this road..guess that will take care of travel needs for the immediate future..I would then see Commuter rail picking up aftr tht and the metro coming last..

Elevated highway is outside ORR – vayu vajra takes too long to reach Hebbal from south /east /west, hence the need for train connections.

Does Metro reduce Traffic?

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Delhi Metro is running full at peak hours with more trains and more bogies being added.  It means that people have taken to metro and left their cars and bikes at home, Right? Wrong!. The traffic in New Delhi during peak hours is same as before and number of cars & bikes on the road are same or more.  This phenomenon is hard to comprehend when you see the metro going full but, it is not.  There is a simple explanation.  

People who were traveling by bus and other modes of transport have shifted their mode and using metro.

The very success of metro (huge crowds) is discouraging car users from using the metro.   It takes more than 20 minutes to get into a train during peak hours so the commute time is much more than using a car

The metro has become an air conditioned Bombay local.  In fact Bombay local has more seats than metro.  With only, about 10 % of the commuters would have seats, it is strenuous to travel.  

Last mile connectivity is either very expensive or most uncomfortable.  It is either cycle rickshaw which is most uncomfortable and dangerous to travel or shared auto rickshaw or van where you don’t have say in number of people pushed into them.   If auto rickshaw is hired without sharing the cost of commute sky rockets.   Buses are out of question as they are overcrowded and take lot of time due to round about travel. 

So basically, none of the three most important aspects of public transport are favourable in case of metro (cost, time and hassle) so no wonder it has failed to attract car users.

Commuters in Bangalore have huge expectation from metro but, my gut feeling is that same fate awaits them unless,  some specific measures are taken to provide comfortable ride and last mile connectivity which should reduce at least one of the two (cost or time) and the third one (hassle) has to reduce and definitely,  there is no compromise on that.

Kochi Metro - Tale of political will!

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Kochi Metro project is in news recently specially the political support and pressure it is getting to see its implementation on fast track.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/kerala/political-pressure-puts-kochi-metro-project-on-track/article4127271.ece

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/dmrc-to-back-kochi-metro/article4129210.ece

Look at the political indulgence from Kerala politicians to influence projects meant for Kerala.

Earlier, Mr. Chandy, accompanied by some of his Ministers and Union Ministers from Kerala, met Union Ministers Jyotiraditya Scindia, Jayanthi Natarajan, G.K. Vasan, M.M. Pallam Raju, C.P. Joshi and Salman Khurshid and discussed various issues concerning Kerala.

Power shortage in Kerala, hostage issue involving Keralites in the Somalia ship piracy issue, early environmental clearance for the State’s power projects, deportation of Keralites from Dubai, setting up of an Indian Institute of Technology in the State, and highway/by-pass projects were some of the subjects discussed at the day-long meetings.

To each his own Naveen

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To each his own. Let BMRC come out with a strong public statement saying we want CRS, and here is our response to RITES report etc, and we will see.

But regardless, nobody needs to be "anti-Metro" to support CRS. I am not, and don't want anyone else to be.

The case for CRS to Devanahalli is arguable if its for Airport alone (profile of passengers, changes required, how will they carry luggage, where all will they board the CRS etc). but connecting NH7 side sub urban areas is case enough. The timing is right, airport could already be pulling a lot of residences and offices up north, and making city acces easy for them will not hurt.

The reality is, that

  1. Even today, there is no credible plan for connecting sub-urban areas in the ORR-PRR peripheral band. 
  2. The fact that Bangalore can be spread around evenly beyond just the highway (NH4 / NH 7) ribbon areas has not been understood.
  3. The impact "to city center, in 60 minutes or less" can have on affordable housing situation has not been researched or understood.

Bangalore as we know it today is decaying. and Bangalore of tomorrow will decay even faster without any semblance of planning to connect the peripheral areas that are literally mushrooming today solely in the ribbons around outgoing national or state high ways.

PT & development

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Delhi Metro is running full at peak hours ….People who were traveling by bus and other modes of transport have shifted their mode and using metro…..Buses are out of question as they are overcrowded and take lot of time due to round about travel…none of the three most important aspects of public transport are favourable in case of metro (cost, time and hassle) so no wonder it has failed to attract car users.

Travel by public transport can never guarantee the conveniences car travel offers & expectations from public transport cannot be confined to just a car user’s viewpoint. Car users may continue to use cars or switch over, but substantial numbers of people are able to commute more efficiently than before when only time-consuming uncomfortable buses were available. If trains & buses are running full, it demonstrates that they are serving their purpose & have not failed.

specific measures are taken to provide comfortable ride and last mile connectivity which should reduce at least one of the two (cost or time) and the third one (hassle)

Last mile can be addressed with feeder buses. Other than this, I don’t think there is anything that can be done in a cost efficient manner with low fares. Comparison to cars is inappropriate as costs are far higher.

Let BMRC come out with a strong public statement saying we want CRS, and here is our response to RITES report

RITES report was done at the behest of GoK /DULT. If at all someone should comment, it is DULT – & DULT has indicated interest along four select routes.

there is no credible plan for connecting sub-urban areas in the ORR-PRR peripheral band…. The fact that Bangalore can be spread around evenly beyond just the highway (NH4 / NH 7) ribbon areas has not been understood.

Other than PRR, STRR, IRR, Metro, CRS, Light rail to spread around development evenly beyond just the highway, what more do you think can be done? Agree most of these still remain on paper, but there are plans, at least.

The impact "to city center, in 60 minutes or less" can have on affordable housing situation has not been researched or understood.

I think it has more to do with inbuilt weaknesses in our governance & delivery systems than lack of understanding. The mechanisms must be such that SWR, being a regional railway player, automatically recognizes the need for CRS & goes about arranging it rather than requiring the GoK to build up a case for it & then plead with IR mandarins in Delhi to sanction it. The railway budget again almost always has political overtones & is never based on priorities.

Bangalore as we know it today is decaying. and Bangalore of tomorrow will decay even faster without any semblance of planning to connect the peripheral areas that are literally mushrooming today solely in the ribbons around outgoing national or state high ways.

I think development along highways is the norm everywhere since road connectivity with the city is primary & vital. Road developments off the highways can take care of hinterlands. Eg. Cargo road & IVC road off NH7, Budigere road off OMR, etc since trains cannot be run everywhere in the new areas without tracks.

BMRC MD's response to Syed

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Since I started this post with anti-Metro tone, wanted to take the liberty to post a response from Mr Sivasailam to an email sent by Syed.

Here is what Syed asked:

There have been rumors that are floating around that projects like Metro, HSRL, Monorail are hurting the CRS chances and BMRC is not very supportive of the CRS proposals. Since you have been participating in various official forums that are held in past to consider the CRS proposals, I would appreciate if you could express the BMRC's position on proposed CRS project? In this regard I will request for your response to the following questions:

  1. Can the people of Bangalore City hope for Commuter Rail Service in coming months/years?
  2. As a chief of BMRC, would you consider the CRS to be a step in right direction?
  3. Do you support the RITES recommendation for 405 Kms of CRS network?
  4. Do you agree with the view that many held about CRS and Metro, will supplement each other? CRS is not a competitor for Metro or any other Mass transit system?
  5. Is BMRC willing to take up the CRS and implement it as per the recommendations of 2012 RITES report?
  6. If not, do you suggest that it should be run under a separate SPV like BMRC?

Looking forward to your esteem response.

And here are the responses from Mr Sivasailam on all points:

My response is as under

1. Commuter rail runs on the track of Indian Railways. Therefore appreciation of the proposal by IR is crucial. The state govt can only be a co-promoter. So the implementation of the project depends on how much the IR considers it as a priority based on its national committments. 

2. CRS is very essential as it is a suburban rail system and caters to a segment different from the metro which is intra-city mass rapid passenger commuter system. CRS will open up new areas for urbanization facilitating decongesting Bangalore or enabling Bangalore to be more inclusive.

3. I saw the presentation which is a pre-feasibility report about 10 days ago. While it is no substitute for a DPR, it traverses a lot of ground particularly the priority of alignments that can be taken up in phases. It is an actionable report to decide on the next course of action particularly the targeted corridors and alignment and go ahead to the next step of preparing the DPR and organise it's due diligence. 

4. Yes. Metro and CRS represent different modes in the urban space and cater to different segments in a metropolis. They are complementary means as is Walking!

5&6. These are matters for the govt/shareholders to decide. 

 

N Sivasailam

DMRCL numbers are out..and how?

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Close to 25L ridership in a day..impressive..but Its still the same old story..close to 80% of the traffic coming from just 2 lines which head out of the city (Noida & Gurgaon) !

more here

What went right and what went wrong? At last (by luck?) travel patterns were figured out while deciding a metro line..but..really did they need metro for this? 

Could Delhi have done with a larger capacity..more affordable commuter rail instead?

Probably one will never know..but celebrations for a landmark 2,362,279 will continue for sure!

Hope Bangalore learns from this!

Absurd claims

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On the one hand, there are demands for good public transport to reduce commute times & restrain traffic growth. On the other, there is criticism against metro, with claims that commuter rail is the one & only solution for all traffic & commuting problems.
It is obvious that both are equally necessary to address various segments & areas. There are also severe route limitations with commuter tracks in Bangalore (& all other cities). For example, commuter lines do not cover the huge arc between Mysore road & Sarjapur road as also most central /CBD areas. So, it cannot cater to these areas - only metro can. Likewise, metro cannot be extended to towns like Tumkur, Ramnagar or Hosur.

As for ridership stats on various lines of Delhi metro:
1) Blue Line has a combined length of 58.7km. Ridership was 925,707. So, on average, the ridership per km was 15,770 with per hour/km load of 927.
2) Yellow Line is 44.7km long with ridership 860,985. Average per/km ridership was therefore 19,261 (higher than blue line), per hr/km load 1133.
3) Red Line is 25.1km & carried over 3 lakh, so average per/km ridership was over 11,952; per hr/km load 703.

4) Violet Line (opened 2010) length is 20.0km & had 169,487 people. Avg/km was 8,774, per hr/km load 516.
5) Green Line  (opened 2010) is 18.5km with ridership 84,243. Average perkm/day is 4,554, per hr/km load 268.

So, the general trend has been that older lines have more riderships than newer ones & new lines will take some time to increase passenger levels.
The claim that DMRC found the answer "at last" & "by luck" is without any basis. There always will be some routes that may not be as over-crowded as the blue or yellow lines - this does not mean that they are ill-planned /not required, etc etc.. With their ability to connect such areas with the metro grid, they are bound to increase ridership levels since growth will take place faster in those areas due to available capacities to transport people.

ratios will remain..

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@Naveen 

I will sure return back to this in another 5 years time and I am confident that the ratios would not have changed even then..as it did not change in the last 5 years..

Read again

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The green & violet lines were non-existent 5 years ago - read my post again.

ok..3 years on?

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If not 5, its 3 years cos both started in 2010..still I will bet the ratios will not change in next 5 years..

My other contention was having a metro line to these out of state lines without trying a commuter rail option..probably it would work even better than the metro!

Just vague assertions

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I will bet the ratios will not change in next 5 years..

Ratio changing or not changing is irrelevant when there are sizable number of users on individual lines, justifying the need for them.

having a metro line to these out of state lines without trying a commuter rail option

Check your facts before making these vague statments - there are no railway tracks from Delhi to Noida or Gurgaon. And what makes you think commuter rail hadn't been tried in NCR? Read this about Delhi Suburban Railway on wikipedia:

"Delhi Suburban Railway is a suburban rail service operated by Northern Railway for the National Capital Region. This railway service covers Delhi, along with the adjoining districts of Faridabad, Ghaziabad and other adjoining places in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. These services are mostly run using EMU and MEMU rakes. This also includes passenger trains and DMU services up to Rewari in Haryana, which is also considered part of the National Capital Region.

Delhi Ring Railway: The system is not popular among individual travelers and has been a total failure as far as public transport is considered. Delhi Ring Railway is considered as an example of failed mass transit system. The major reasons for failure of the system are lack of workable connections to other methods of transportation as well as a low-density population in the areas of reach. Making matters worse, the station exits usually open into narrow, dirty alleyways - often more than a kilometer away from the main road.

The network is now utilized as a freight corridor, though limited passenger EMU train services are available during peak hours. When New Delhi, Old Delhi and Hazrat Nizamuddin stations get overloaded, many of these trains are diverted and made to wait on Delhi's ring rail network
".

check the map..

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Ratios are important because it decides the population section that it is catering to..it might grow more 10 years down the line..but resources are low in this country and needs to be used wisely for max benefits right now..thats why its important to get the allignment correct the first time..

I know about their ring rail experiment..

http://www.mapsofindia.com/maps/delhi/railway.html

are the IR lines too far? could some new lines been planned to link Gurgaon and Noida more closesly?

The drive was never there more in the likes of the thought floating here in blr getting the metro to the airport instead of trying with commuter rail..

It's nobody's case for Metro Vs CRS !

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Naveen,

You are getting it all wrong. Though we are supporting CRS overwhelmingly, but nowhere we have made a poisition against METRO. We are certainly not against METRO or any such initiatives to mitigate the city's urban commute.

But also it can't be METRO only proposition. City like Bengaluru needs multi modes of mass transit systems catering to CITY CORE, SUBURBS and adjacent Towns. Therefore planning has to be for all sections.

It is no brainer to understand that no ONE PT system can cover the 100% of the population.

I wish people read reports with more attention.

RITES Report (FINAL), SEC 4

4.1 The Reality
No single mode of commuting (say it rail or road or metro or mono rail or so) can fully satisfy the commuting needs of any city. Bus, rail, metro, mono rail etc. have got different applications associated with them. They are meant for different sections of commuters and for different trip lengths. An optimal mix of different modes of public transport is normally the strategy for any urban transport planning.

From absurd to bizzare

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Ratios are important because it decides the population section that it is catering to..

So what is to be done? Close down the new lines in Delhi because the "population section that it is catering to" is comparively lesser than the over-crowded lines built earlier? Are you suggesting that metro trains (& by this reasoning, all MRT systems including commuter trains) have to be over-crowded all the time, else they do not justify their construction & operation?

it might grow more 10 years down the line..but resources are low in this country and needs to be used wisely for max benefits right now..

"Right now"? MRT systems are built for the decades ahead, never for "right now". These new lines already have healthy figures of 169,487 & 84,243 in a matter of just 2.5 years & indications are that these figures will increase.
How much was the ridership in 2.5 years for Hyderabad MMTS? Wasn't it just 30,000 though the length (43km) was double? Even now, is it not true that Hyderabad MMTS has only 1.6 lakhs, even after 10 years of operation? i.e. only 232 passengers per km/hr? And Chennai MRTS has 76,800 after 17 years of operations - i.e. about 250 per km/hr. Both lesser than the Delhi metro green line, which has lowest patronage amongst DMRC lines?

thats why its important to get the allignment correct the first time..

Now you are saying that studies carried out were incorrect & alignments were wrong! Then how do you explain these ridership volumes in a matter of 2.5 years? Are you suggesting that commuter rail alignments in Delhi are already more correct than metro routes? How do you explain its total & complete failure then?

are the IR lines too far? could some new lines been planned to link Gurgaon and Noida more closesly?

Your arguments are getting more & more absurd - now you say that they should have acquired land & demolished all constructions just to build commuter rail tracks, turning them towards Gurgaon & Noida. Have you thought about compensation costs that would probably have been several times more than the costs for building metro since commuter trains run at grade, even if such is ever possible against opposition? And after all this, to result in a useless rail system that takes you elsewhere before turning towards your destination, wasting half your day?

You are getting it all wrong.... nowhere we have made a poisition against METRO

Who is "we"? What are all these bizzare arguments then? Also, read Sri's posts again since you do not seem to have understood what he is implying - "did they need metro for this?" "Could Delhi have done with a larger capacity..more affordable commuter rail instead?"

City like Bengaluru needs multi modes of mass transit systems

This is exactly what I have been saying - so you got it wrong, not me. Read all posts again.

an analogy..

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let me try to explain my comment abt resources..we have a excellent piece of infrastructure in the mysore road flyover built 15 years ago..L&T did a very good job in implmentation and its easily still the best constructed flyover in town..

But is it 'really' helping public? Is it being used to its capacity or even close to it today?

The answer is no unfortunately..the reason being the entry points are very poorly concieved and the ramps on SP road are at best shoddy and the traffic is getting bad every day on the JC road/corporation jn few 100 mts from there..

No doubt another 10-15 years down the line the flyover ridership will improve..thanks to our population, but it has failed to resolve the immediate needs of public..

The same is with DMRCL and BMRCL..it doesnt help having a terminal stn at byp just because there was free land available...getting to ITPL and to EC was more important to cater to current public needs..they finally seem to do it phII..which is a good sign.. I hope the same could have been true for DMRCL lines too..if it is I will be glad!

As deifned on wikipedia about Delhi commuter rail:

The system is not popular among individual travelers and has been a total failure as far as public transport is considered.Delhi Ring Railway is considered as an example of failed mass transit system. The major reasons for failure of the system are lack of workable connections to other methods of transportation as well as a low-density population in the areas of reach. Making matters worse, the station exits usually open into narrow, dirty alleyways - often more than a kilometer away from the main road..With Delhi Metro growing at a rapid pace, there has been very little focus to improve the condition of the Delhi Suburban Railway. There have been reports of strengthening the services so that more commuters can avail themselves of the facility. Feasibility studies have also been done, and in deference to the commuter demand, there were also plans to start EMU services from Gurgaon[

Harebrained again

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mysore road flyover ..answer is no.. traffic is getting bad every day on JC road/corporation..10-15 years down the line the flyover ridership will improve..

So, you expected the city market flyover to solve traffic issues elsewhere too? And beacuse it is not yet filled with bumper-to-bumper traffic now, you think it hasn't served its purpose? 'Successful' projects for you appears to mean that they must be chock-a-block with traffic or filled up fully with passengers whilst if they have reasonable levels of traffic, they would be all be failures! Well, continuing from where you left, this is great going!

Imagine a situation without that flyover & figure out for yourself how chaotic traffic would have been in city market area for which it was designed. Authorities did what they thought would help improve traffic congestion there, but Bangalore traffic has continued to grow at break neck pace with congestion spilling over - isn't this the simple explanation?

Metro cutting through CBDs with CRS catering to suburbs /satellite towns are both correct answers for Bangalore. Merely CRS or merely metro, both of whose route limitations are well known will not entirely solve problems. Examples for dependance & failures of the "only CRS approach" are Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad & Kolkata - all the major cities (except Mumbai, which is linear). CRS ridership in Delhi is a mere 5000 even now! So, dont try painting CRS as the one & only saviour for that city & all others - it isn't & can never be, especially in Delhi's case where CRS has been nothing short of a disaster.

The same is with DMRCL and BMRCL..it doesnt help having a terminal stn at byp just because there was free land available...

Bangalore traffic studies had always pointed in the direction of MRT routes connecting Indiranagar, Jayanagar, Mysore road, Shivajinagar & Yeswantapur. It is fortunate that NGEF land was available at Byp, close to Indiranagar to take care of depot & control station infrastructure. It also came with the bonus of providing convenient transfers between metro /CRS /inter-city trains /KSRTC /BMTC.

Where else should the depot have been built? Whitefield? or Hoskote? Both are some 15km from Byp. This would have posed serious problems since all trains would have to be moved an additional 15km twice each day, adding to operational costs. Also, since you seem averse to free govt land, do you feel that depot/s should have been built only on acquired land? If so, project costs would have escalated even further, isn't it?

getting to ITPL and to EC was more important to cater to current public needs..

This may be your wish list amongst others & you are now claiming greater expertise than authorities who have carried out a series of traffic studies from the 1970s onwards on the subject for both Delhi & Bangalore. Authorities have to go by traffic studies & data & address the most pressing needs first. Fyi OMR, MG rd, Dr Rajkumar rd, Chord rd, Tumkur rd & Sampige rd all have higher traffic than Hosur rd or Whitefield rd. Whilst traffic may be very high on several other roads & EC /ITPL may be activity centers, it is not possible to build everywhere at the same time due to financial constraints & also not to cause disruptions everywhere at the same time.

I hope the same could have been true for DMRCL lines too..

The ridership levels have spoken for themselves in a mere 2.5 years - & your statement of 'hope' doesn't distort this fact.

lil history..

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Unfortunately no internet links from 1995 decade..but I had read then in DH where L&T folks had approached BDA to have the mysore road flyover ramps starting in front of corporation office to ease JC road/Hudson circle traffic which they had correctly projected the growth back then..unfortunately BDA played with their payments and asked them to drop ramp abruptly to where it is now! L&Thad quoted an additional 10 Cr to do it..but was turned down by harebrained BDA with no foresight and the consequences we are living with to this day!

Yes about depot in whitefield would have actually worked..cos its a waste of primium land at NGEF which is being used for a depot..being close to the CBD it could have been better used for comercial establishments/offices..I have infact suggested this to BMRCL to look at shifting the depot to whitefield if possible..

I never said that CRS is the only silver bullet..all I said is it is ideal to have metro within city limits and have CRS connecting suburbs..

I did not say traffic should decide where metro goes..its travel patterns which needs to decide..most of the roads in blr are clogged because of bad design (hub/spoke)..instead direction based routing for both BMTC and KSRTC with the use efficient use of satellite stations..and multi modal integration can take care of it as you mention..unfortunately thats lacking in the current scheme of things.

harebrained BDA with no

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harebrained BDA with no foresight and the consequences we are living

Yeah - moving the ramp in front of corpn would have worked miracles, no doubt. Destruction of the town square would have been okay I guess since traffic movement must take priority! On second thoughts, being L&T with their accurate projections, why did they not think of moving it all the way to Majestic bus stand itself, I wonder.

This story of moving bottle necks is not new. The more you build, even more the traffic & even more severe the next bottleneck until it becomes all neck with no bottle, & a 2nd tier of bottle has to be built over the neck! I'm glad they stopped it short & preserved the townhall square. Metro is the only solution for such important town centers - not ghastly flyovers. Hopefully, this is addressed in future metro phases & they do not resort to flyovers to move traffic bottlenecks from place to place at important city centers.

waste of primium land at NGEF.. it could have been better used for comercial establishments/offices..

You insist that depot should have been in whitefield - why not even further, maybe Malur since whitefield is also a CBD by itself now, isn't it? How about shifting all the sheds, pit & stabling lines for CRS trains & inter-city trains also to Rajankunte or Ramnagaram or Nelamangala? By this logic, even BMTC & KSRTC can move all their depots too away from CBDs, isn't it? All of this land could be "better used for comercial establishments/offices" since they are right in the heart of the CBD, isn't it? Maybe you should give this also thought & write to SWR /BMTC /KSRTC.

I never said that CRS is the only silver bullet..all I said is it is ideal to have metro within city limits

"really did they need metro for this?"  "Could Delhi have done with a larger capacity..more affordable commuter rail instead?" is what you said. Now you say metro within city is ideal! Please make up your mind.

its travel patterns which needs to decide..efficient use of satellite stations..

Travel patterns is what traffic studies is all about. Satellite bus & train station can be successful only when there is good connectivity - which is what a mass transit can do.

"really did they need metro

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"really did they need metro for this?"  "Could Delhi have done with a larger capacity..more affordable commuter rail instead?" is what you said. Now you say metro within city is ideal! Please make up your mind

Isnt Gurgaon and Noida out side the state of Delhi? So that way they qualify as suburbs..and as I said suburban rail could have been the first choice!

The same suburbs clause applies to your other statement "why not even further, maybe Malur since whitefield is also a CBD by itself now, isn't it?"

 

Isnt Gurgaon and Noida out

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Isnt Gurgaon and Noida out side the state of Delhi? So that way they qualify as suburbs..and as I said suburban rail could have been the first choice!

Note sure if you know Delhi well enough - the whole area between Central Delhi to Gurgaon is urbanized - even areas beyond Gurgaon are now getting urbanized. So, I don't think the term suburban fits the description. Likewise towards Noida - there is heavy urbanization across Yamuna right upto Noida city center & even beyond. Gurgaon & Noida falling in different states does not automatically mean that they are suburban - in fact they are very much part of the urbanized areas surrounding Delhi.

In any case, there are no suitable direct tracks that connect them to Delhi & experiments with roundabout tracks have been tried /tested & have failed miserably. The only chance of success with suburban rail to be successful even in urban conditions is when tracks cut through densely populated areas & access to stations & bus stops are within close reach. This may be possible in Bangalore, but in Delhi, it is really bad as tracks deviate away from populated areas.

The same suburbs clause applies to your other statement "why not even further, maybe Malur since whitefield is also a CBD by itself now, isn't it?"

I don't understand what you mean - depots have to be located for ease & convenience of operations & for access to workers & service men - this is true for trains /buses & also metro. You do not seem to recognize this. By the same logic & reasoning that you apply, the whole defense apparatus, reasearch & several factories like HAL, BEML, ISRO etc can all be moved out to give way for commercial /offices, but this is not possible simply because workers have to reach there each day.

Some math: CRS vs METRO

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Good discussion. Have wondered what is the break point when METRO makes sense than CRS, given we need some Mass Transit system.

Obviously and everybody seems to agree that densely populated and heavily commercialised areas need METRO.

Assume a CRS needs around ~8m of width for double track and train. Over 1 km that is 8000 sq.m. Take a land cost of say Rs 10,000/- sq. ft which translates to 100,000/- sq. m, which would mean the land would cost 100,000 x 8000 = 8x10^8 = 80 crores. Take a CRS laying cost of 20 crores/km, totals to 100 crores/km, still only half the cost of an above grade METRO line at 200 crores/km. The assumption here is METRO does not need land acquisition.

That is it makes sense to just buy the land and build an at grade system rather than build a METRO.

Of course this is overly simplistic and does not take into account demolitions, road crossings and in general disruption to life. But it is to make the point that CRS is a very cost effective option.

We have a successful local train model in Mumbai. The reason it probably worked in Mumbai compared to other cities is that the train lines came first and the city developed itself around it. A Commuter rail planned with foresight will work, there is no reason it should not. The places where it has not worked well its probably more a design issue, lack of supportive urban planning etc than the fact it is CRS. A poorly planned METRO would have poor ridership as well.

In case of Bangalore, my take would be METRO should be used for core city areas since its practically not feasible to lay new tracks, say around the area contained in the Outer Ring Road. But plan NOW for a good at grade system that can help Bangalore grow, outside of Outer Ring Road..

Similary it is imperative that Tier 2 cities incorporate an at grade railway line in their town planning now and develop neatly with a low cost low pollution system. If they do not, 20yrs down the line they will be faced with the same dilemna and spend a lot more money for a very expnsive solution later.

Suhas

Quite correct

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Interesting calculation - & yes, CRS can work more cost efficiently even if tracks are to be extended, especially in suburban areas where land can be made available at lesser cost but there are invariably several problems:

1) Existing routes are almost always circuitous and pass along low income areas with difficult access to roads & bus transfers, thus travel is time consuming & inconvenient.

2) Since land acquisition can be unpopular & problematic, new tracks, if built are usually aligned more on the basis of "where land is more easily available" (examples are Chennai, Delhi & Kolkata) rather than where it is necessary - this is true even of the TTMCs being built by BMTC (they are being built on land already owned & not where they can serve the purpose best).

3) CBDs & normal dense daily travel corridors are almost always never a part of CRS routes (since they were never intended for urban transport) & hence, the bulk of the commuters will remain unserved. So, ridership levels, being low, revenues will always keep chasing operating costs.

4) All railway projects including suburban rail systems are centrally controlled & are being used by ruling parties for political manipulations. So, even a city like Bangalore with 8 million+ population that needed such a system decades ago remains without CRS - this, in part is also because the state govt has never taken it up more seriously, even though the network in Bangalore is better suited for CRS (as brought out in the recent RITES report) than cities like Delhi or Chennai.

Other costs

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The other costs involved with running a surface rail through the city is the need to have grade separated crossings ever so often.   Assuming 1 every km that's probably another Rs.15 crore/km.

And then the cost of stations - assuming one every 2 km - you will probably need 1000 sqm on either side for  the building and another 1000 sqm (conservatively) on either side of drop off/cycle parking ,etc.  Adding 4000 sqm at 100,0000 per sq m. Rs 40 crores/2 km or another Rs.20 cr/km.  Neglecting the building cost

Then for length of the platform which will be about 400m for a 16 coach train take another 6m on either side - or about 5000 sqm of land every 2km - or about Rs.25 cr/km.  

Then there will be the electrifcation costs (assuming that these will be electric traction) and the signalling costs (unless that is included in the Rs.20cr/km) and the station controlling equipment costs.

I was reading some estimates for Bangalore Metro and the traction costs were Rs.400cr, signalling costs Rs.300cr.   Depot costs were Rs.160crores.  The rolling stock was estimated at Rs.900cr.  

http://urbanindia.nic.in/programme/ut/Bangalore-metro.pdf

All these are included in the Rs.200cr/km estimate. 

These need to be added for commuter rail as well to make a reasonably accurate comparison even if  the costs are lower for commuter rail. 

Srivathsa

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

Commuter rail financials

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For tier-2 cities (Mysore, Hubli-Dharwad, Belgaum, etc in Karnataka), it is best to make provision for rapid bus lanes since they are in the early stages of motorization. This will become very difficult later when roads start getting clogged. Commuter rail or metro rail may be too expensive for just million+ populations. Hubli-Dharwad has gone ahead with BRT & Mysore is also planning this.

Referring to Srivathsa's post above, extensions to commuter rail tracks must be very carefully analysed before investments are made - the risks of failure are too real, as has happened in Chennai /Delhi, etc.

Refer my Apr-2008 post about Chennai MRTS at this link.