Why CRS Makes Sense? Socio-Economic Benefits Analysis!

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Commuter RailPublic Transport

All public utility projects are weighed against the socio-economic benefits that it brings in. Namma Railu - Bengaluru Commuter Rail Service is no exception to that rule.  World over it is acknowledge that investment in public transport system and infrastructure is always a PROFITABLE venture. It not only brings in economic returns but also a sleeve of socio returns that society and community at large benefits.

Here is one such effort in that direction. Hopefully all concerned would be able to appreciate the benefits that CRS would be bringing in.

Socio-Economics Benefits of Commuter Rail Service are measured in terms of:

  1. Affordable Mobility Benefits - Connectivity, Savings in trip cost, affordable mobility
  2. Congestion Management Benefits - Savings in Fuel, Less Vehicles on Roads
  3. Social Benefits - Health, Environment
  4. Economic Returns - Business, Sales, Employment Generation, Tax Revenues

Let us analyze each one of them with the help of data that has been computed exclusively for Bengaluru CRS.

1. Affordable Mobility Benefits

Proposed CRS offers: 

CRS Offerings Initial Targets
Connects Bengaluru with Ramanagaram, Tumkur, Nelamangala, Doddaballpur, Chikballpur, Malur, Bangarpet, Hosur
No. of Routes 6
Distance Covered 376
No. of Services per day 160
No. of Stations 85
No. of New Stations 35
Initial Ridership per day 1.5 lakhs
Catchment Population 45 lakhs
Savings in Fare per ride Rs. 40

Comparative Analysis - Case Study of Existing YPR-Hosur passenger service from Railways

YPR-Hosur Rail Service BY CRS  Bys Bus By Car  By 2Whlr
Distance in Kms 66 Kms 66 Kms 66 Kms 66 Kms
Travel Time 80 Mins 180 Mins 140 Mins 120 Mins
Rider Capacity per trip (Avg) 975 50 3 1
Commute Cost/ Fare per Trip per person Rs. 14/- Rs. 60 Rs. 100 Rs. 70
Fuel Consumption/Cost Rs. 2000/- Rs. 675 Rs. 300 Rs. 70
Fuel Operational Efficiency per Rider for this journey Rs. 2.05 Rs. 13.5 Rs.100 Rs. 70

2. Congestion Management Benefits

A comparative analysis of CRS with Bus and Car. 

Service Parameters
By CRS Bys Bus By Car 
Total Propsed Daily Ridership 1,50,000 1,50,000 1,50,000
Total Distance Covered in Kms 370 Kms 370 Kms 370 Kms
# of trips/services to meet the ridership of 1.5 Lakhs 160 Trips 3000 50000
Rider Capacity per trip (Avg) 975 50 3
Commute Cost/ Fare per Trip per person (Distance of 65 Kms) - Rationalized Rs. 30 Rs. 60 Rs. 100
Travel Time for covering 370 Kms 480 Mins 1080 Mins 840 Mins
Fuel Cost for making Trips Carrying CRS ridership Rs. 3,20,000 Rs. 20,25,000 Rs. 1,40,00,000
Fuel Operational Efficiency per Rider for this journey Rs. 2.05 Rs. 13.5 Rs.100

Pls bear in mind that, these are initial numbers. Even with these initial numbers, benefits from CRS are:

  1. 50 thousand car trips can be saved
  2. Roads will be less of 50 thousand cars - Less travel time for others
  3. Less fatalities - Less number of road blocks and traffic jams
  4. Total Savings in trip cost compare to using cars is Rs. 60 Lakhs daily

3. Social Benefits

  1. Enables people to seek employment away from home.
  2. Provides Industry and Business with labor with econmic and affordable mobility.
  3. Helps Reduce unemployment, hence reduce and prevent social problems
  4. Proposed Bengaluru CRS offers people affordable housing in towns but still be bale to work in Bengaluru
  5. Will stimulate economic growth in adjacent towns and catchment areas resulting in lifting standard of living
  6. Will help people make more trips seeking health care services, Shopping and recreation for families and youth. In absence of CRS, the loss in this sector would look like this:
    Transit Choices for Healthcare purposes in absence of CRS Service In percent
    By Alternate Transport Means 48%
    Look for opportunities near home 23%
    Not be able to seek medical assistance 25%
    Others 4%
  7. CRS offers less fuel usage meaning less pollution and helps environment
  8. CRS would encourage people to walk, bicycle, meaning more physical workout resulting in overall physical health of people.
  9. CRS offers the best help for students and faculty with economical fares in reaching educational institutes. More opportunities, more skilled workers. In absence of CRS service, the loss could be like this:
    Transit Choices for Education purposes in absence of CRS  In percentage
    By Alternate Transport Means 48%
    Look for opportunities near home 15%
    Not be able to attend School/College 13%
    Missed Classes and related activities 22%
    Others 2%

4. Economic Returns

  1. Every Rs.100 investment would result in Rs.600 in economic returns
  2. CRS operation and maintenance orders would result in cyclic business activity starting from purchase of raw material untill products are made ready for use.
  3. Capital Project and Operations investment would create employment
  4. More transit activity at stations would encourage business activity in the vicinity
  5. Affordable mobility would encourage more freight movement between Bengaluru and its adjacent towns helping specially small time traders, farmers and entrepenurs.
  6. Savings acrued via trip cost would ultimately will be spent in other needs resulting in increase in consumer spendings.
Cross-Sectors (% of Total Annual Ridership of  54 Millions) Savings in trip cost with CRS ( In Rupees)
For Work (45%) 972,000,000
For Education (12%) 259,200,000
For Medical Services (26%) 561,600,000
For Shopping, Tourism & Recreational (15%) 324,000,000
Total Savings 2,160,000,000

NOTE: HLB Social Economics report on 'Socio-Economic Benefits of Transit System in Wisconson' was used for claculating relative data such as cost trip savings, ridership segmentation etc.

Calling experts on Praja who can help us translate or model other socio-economic benefits in terms of hard numbers and money? Leave a comment here.

Attached is presentation on this for quick refernce. This is work in progress.

Suggestion, comments welcome.


Why Bengaluru Commuter Rail Service Makes Sense.pdf738.35 KB


Benefits accrued to US due to Public Transit funding!

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Per THIS report, the relationship between funding and benefits for the U.S. as a whole can be summarized as follows:

  • Every dollar invested in public transportation provides $6 in economic returns.
  • Every $10 million invested in transit capital projects yields $30 million in business sales and 300 jobs, and the same investment in transit operations generates $32 million and 600 jobs.
  • Americans who live in transit-intensive areas save $22 billion each year by using public transportation.
  • Every $10 million invested in public transportation saves more than $15 million.
  • Transit availability can reduce the need for additional cars.
  • Savings to social programs from transit use may be as high as $1.3 billion to $2 billion per year.

Updated Socio-Economic Benefit PPT document Uploaded!

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Updated power point presentation has been uploaded.

Some reasons why CRS is

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Some reasons why CRS is necessary, a summary.

  1.   Long bus routes. Like 600 and very much longer than optimal especially in stop and go traffic. This route is totally about 100 km. Such long trips are too tiring for the staff and even passengers. Imo the maximum length of the bus trip within the city should be about 20 km. Other option would be to make such trips nonstop which is not happening.
  2. Marchetti constant. I got a link mentioning about this from a link in Praja about a speech in an Australian site which I am not able to find. Within the city for many people average time for traveling could be within this limit with the arrival of Metro, use of cars etc. But the people in the suburbs may not be getting the Metro anytime soon, solution is obviously CRS. (I could not find much discussion about Marchetti , about validity etc, but I would try to keep my travel time to 1-1/2 hours maximum.)
  3. Distance between residential areas and business districts within the city e.g. Jayanagar and ITPL. Many people who travel between such places have cars and Metro is coming up. But extra option is always good.
  4.    Some of the characters of the city,
  •  One is the PSUs and military facilities. I believe the city administrators don’t want to disturb them. Although they have been occupying large areas they may actually be environmentally friendly because of the low density construction.
  • Bangalore had hundreds of lakes. Now many have disappeared. The city can expand without affecting remaining lakes, if more area is accessible.

CRS is beneficial not only for people in suburbs but also for people in the city, as it can provide them with more options. Some people might want to live in less crowded area. Others may want to access sports facilities like tennis clubs that are located somwhat far from the city etc.

The cities that already have CRS have benefitted  especially regards to crowd control, travel time, and preservation of monuments and old buildings. I hope those who oppose this consider these and not just negative factors.

One of the main objections that may be holding back the development of the railway is the need for roads to cross the rails. As most of the intersection can be anticipated, provisions can be created for them, by elevating or lowering of rail lines, while extra lines for CRS are constructed. Actually if the new lines for CRS are constructed with light rails there could be more flexibility.

Connectivity Matters!

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Here is an example of how low cost affordable connectivity helps people who can't afford to live in the so called "World Class' Elitist Bengaluru city. That is what 'Namma Railu' promises.

Courtsey - Citizen Matters

"...Most of the villagers prefer to work in the granite cutting factories or the stone crushing quarries as they can earn a lot more money than Rs. 125. "There is good connectivity to the city from here. So, most of the villagers go to work in those factories. They do not apply for job cards," said P. Umashankar, a gram panchayat member of Agara Village..."


Daily trips

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 As per a study got conducted by the Ministry of Urban Development through Wilbur Smith Associates Pvt Ltd. in selected cities, daily trips are anticipated to double from 228.6 to 481.9 million during the next 24 years.


Most of this is going to come from expanded cities & more distances that need to be travelled back & forth to work. The future Bangalore will be in the 1300sqkm BMR region & not in the 700 sqkm BBMP region