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Road Based Public Transport System for De-Congestion

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Public Transport

As we have seen, read and heard about ABIDE, BCIC, BMLTA and various government and non-government agency's plans and efforts to decongest Bengaluru's roads. There is one thing common in all their plans - Public Transport to be the lead entity to de-congestion. In that Public transport system, road based public transport system would be a major share holder. There are no 2 opinions on this. In past various discussions on Praja has demonstrated that with minimum changes/investment in Road Based Public Transport Infrastructure, a lot can be achieved in the pursuit of de-congestion. In that endeavor, our friend Naryan Gopalan's post on BMTC Zones and Routes is an important attempt to suggest a doable fix for existing pathetic public bus transport facility.

In past few weeks the ABIDE published their "Plan BENGALURU2020", BCIC working frantically to get CRS started ASAP, and Praja members made their presentation to BCIC on "Congestion". And many more efforts are being going on in this direction. In the follow up to Praja's presentation on congestion, I have worked on a power presentation to illustrate some simple and doable solutions to fix the public bus transport. It is my firm belief and conviction that, the suggested solutions are the best possible fixes that neatly fits all the plans that are in pipeline for de-congestion on roads of Bengaluru.

The highlights of my presentation are:

  1. End BMTC Monopoly
  2. An Independent Authority/Regulatory - Working under over all transport authority like BMLTA
  3. Infrastructure
    • MMTC - Integrating with other Mass Transport & PT
    • Bus Stops, Parking, Maintenance Sheds at right locations for all PT vehicles
    • Customer Service at finger Tips / Call away
  4. Redesign the Routes & Schedules
    • Re-jig the current BMTC routes & schedules
    • Divide the city and adjacent areas into zones - CBD, ORR, Satellite zones
    • Routing and frequency based on need and requirement
  5. Trunk/ Main Road Service Providers
    • Leverage BMTC Fleet and operations
    • Private Players to fill the gap, expansion and charter needs
  6. Feeder/Last Mile Service
    • Leverage Min-Van, Shuttle, Cabs and Auto

Looking forward to some interesting review feedback.


Road-Based-Public-Transport -v1.pdf221.16 KB


gopalsivas's picture

Bangalore in the Pangs of Development!

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This comment has been moved here.
trimurthi's picture

Plan to end BMTC bluntness

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I can't make out what gopalsivas has written in the last post. No mention of "Road Based Public Transport System for De-Congestion", and completely tagential, unrelated reply.

I beg to differ with some sections of the pdf that say "no evidence". I remember a sms service that would let us know where our bus (route numbers) are located. There is an intent in BMTC to make more collection, but lack of efficient direction.

Regarding changes in BMTC:

1. Is there a working interface between BMTC and members that will help at least try the "zone" and "spoke" concept in a small way? We need a trial/experiment for the ideas. Helps a great deal.

2. I think the bus route numbering system does need to change. The transition system will be painfull for old, regular customers though. This justs needs both old and new route numbers to be displayed for while.

3. Marketing by BMTC: How many people travelling by single person driven cars know about a BMTC bus plying in the same direction? We need some mega marketing, so people are aware of bus options.

4. Frequency: BMTC is aware of this aspect. They do want increase in collections. All non-AC buses I think are monitored by a control room on location and timings. Ofcourse, this system has to be strict though. I think the commuter complaint processing system should get stronger, with actions taken daily on irregular buses.

5. Peak hour bus frequency management: Small study with conductors, about peak hours. Find out ways to add additional buses/re-route, I think this will be zone specific strategy. This has to tried in practice.

6. Alerting system at main bus stops regarding buses arriving next, so people wont wait in vain. This has to work around thefts.

7. Transit factor: Long term goal, and requires additional infrastructure. I have little hope on this with BMTC commercialising most of its terminuses.

I think most important factor is peak hour bus traffic management. We should be looking to address that first, as it solves other related problems.

What do you say Syed?
idontspam's picture

Depend on BMTC?

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"We need some mega marketing, so people are aware of bus options"

I knpw about it, but I cant rely on it. I dont know when it will come, how often it will come and also if the one I am waiting for will come at all. Put simply I cant depend on BMTC as I could miss appointments and be late for critical stuff. Of course it also has to be frequent enough to be useful.

I want to see published timetables and puctuality before I put my faith in the system. 

trimurthi's picture

"published timetables and puctuality"

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Syed or someone, can we remove  "gopalsivas" reply?. It does not be(long) here and causes the page painfully long.

Timetables:BMTC has published details. Click on the route number for more details:
  • Regular buses (this needs to be updated and improved though. search results are not correct/relevant most of the times. I'm damn sure there are lot more buses that what is displayed)
  • Grid system buses (list needs to be more reader friendly, and time at each stop mentioned - not just start and end)
  • Volvo services (list needs to be updated with new buses, and time at each stop mentioned - not just start and end)
  • Suvarna buses are not here. Wonder wheter it was meant to be a "surprise, surprise" service.
The published data requires improvement, but its customers (we) need to give feedback to BMTC. We should compile a list of improvements to be made. I think that should be seperate thread "BMTC's existing schedule page and improvements required".
Side note: This list should somehow be dynamic, and linked to BMTC's traffic control room data. Just an idea.
We all know the traffic situation in Bangalore. It can never be punctual, but I agree it should have acceptable tolerance time, say + or - 10 mins. It will difficult to predict traffic and declare strict time, but this is where I think GPS tracking followed up by SMS service will help.

GPS based SMS service:
BMTC has GPS installed on most of its buses. I have enquired with conductors and they say buses are tracked. Maybe the source is not reliable, but there is no reason in not having SMS service till ALL buses are GPS enabled.

We (atleast 5% of existing commuters) should put pressure on BMTC to re-start its suspended SMS based query service. I called CL infotech and they said they in talks with BMTC to re-start this service, which
We need to understand why this service was stopped, how does it work ,and why is it not extended to every bus route when it started.

I think you will appreciate if you get a SMS saying the next buses are on its way may arrive in 5 mins.
At a later stage, this may also need improvement as this SMS service requires assumes commuters know their route number(s) and not missing out on a easier transit route option.

Last but not the least, we need Bangaloreans to be aware of this information. It just takes 5 mins of web browsing to know that they have public transport option available.
idontspam's picture


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We all know the traffic situation in Bangalore. It can never be punctual

It can be if the routing was designed appropriately. Short haul feeder which dont leave the zones can be more timely than across the city bus service. You can then provide multiple options on the trunk route to reach your destination so even if the exact one you need is not on time you can chose another one that will get you where you want to go even if it means an extra changeover. Zonal routing with feeder and trunk services will help manage puctuality.

I think you will appreciate if you get a SMS saying the next buses are on its way may arrive in 5 mins.

Instead of SMS just feed that information to a display board in the bus stand.

A cheaper option will be to use some of the scrolling LCD panels from the buses and show the next 5 bus route numbers and their expected arrival time scrolling across like this *** Time 16:30 *** 276A in 5mins *** 276C in 8mins *** 276F in 10 mins *** 276N in 12mins *** 276H in 15mins

trimurthi's picture

What was the reaction of

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What was the reaction of BMTC regarding's re-routing strategy? I guess there would have been several rounds of discussions already. Was there a trial run atleast?

LCD boards is an additional investment. May not happen immediately, not in the short term too. There is an issue of security too, such electronic boards in public places like bus stops... well I'm not sure it will survive the nights.

Whereas, SMS service is an established technology. A stop-gap arrangement till re-routing and display boards.
kbsyed61's picture

Should be system centric, not BMTC centric!

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Trimurthi and others,

 If you read the presentation carefully, you would notice that the suggestions are for a system centric, not BMTC centric. The proposal is for a completely re-hauled/new system that caters to the needs of the city's transport needs.

Much of the city's needs is daily commute. This is where the bulk of the focus needs to be. Also to be taken care is short distance travel, small goods movement, school drop/pickup and special services catering to sight seeing/ places of interest. Also needs to be considered is to accommodate the short/long term expansion to meet the growing needs of the city. Otherwise we will be back to square one.

 In that scheme, BMTC is just a service provider, not the city's transport authority responsible for planning and implementation of the transport policies and plans. If possible there should be more than one operator and next expansions/augmentation should be from private players. Govt will only plan, implement and regulate it.

 The suggestions you have made is other pieces of the proposals that should be part of the next level of details that needs to be worked on. These will be part of the customer services that should function from day one.

 I will be addressing them in the part-2 of this proposal.


idontspam's picture

Economics of LED Displays

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May not be pertinent here but back of the envelope calculation reveal if each scrolling LED display costs Rs10K and there are 2200 bus shelters across Bangalore we will be able to equip all stops for Rs 2.2 crore which is the cost of 3 Volvo buses.

BMTC spends 60 to 80 crores on single TTMC but cant equip bus stops with a simple time display which cost a fraction of a TTMC

murali772's picture

do a bit of homework, please!

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Trimurthy avare'

There's plenty of info on BMTC and how unresponsive they are to change, on PRAJA.  Just do a search and you'll get it all. Do also check this particular post of mine on the matter of the SMS based "Yelli Iddira?" service -

Since apparently the subject interests you, perhaps a quick browse through all that's already available will help you to contribute more to the debate.

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
idontspam's picture

Murali avare

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Request your inputs on my calculations for LED information display. Is it close to reality? Can YI infrastructure be extended to feed info to these displays.

Also I think prior to privatization the Real Time Bus Information system needs to be moved to a neutral body (BMLTA) and standardized so that even Private buses publish to this service.

asj's picture

Can be made cost neutral

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One can also have scrolling adverts. It won't take long to recover the costs at all. ASJ
Vasanth's picture

Our Own New Delhi's System by DIMMTS

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This is for the Delhi BRT buses. ETA for the bus is displayed in bus stop, online we can track where the bus is:

Vasanth's picture

Which City has got the best Bus Routing System in World?

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 All people cannot be satisfied by a particular scheme of  Bus routing and frequency.

Few people do not want to change buses and they want a single bus from point to point, whereas few can hop any number of buses, but they want frequent connections. BMTC connects all the areas to Majestic, Market and Shivajinagar basically. There are other few long running routes which are running good such as 201 series, 500 series, 600 series, 60 series buses. These long routes have got good frequency too. Outskirt areas connected by Red Board has got good frequency, but buses are usually not good because of the bad roads on the outskirts.

I just wanted to know which is the best Bus Routing System in World - City should be a Metro comparable to Bangalore, not a small town  and which city within India has got good Bus Routing System.


asj's picture

Bus routing

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Mumbai, London, Singapore, Dublin, Hanoi  (possibly Chennai, but I have not studied their model) - principles underlying the bus routing in these cities with successful bus based public transport systems are same.

More in the first two links of this post 

And also where towards the end you will see a suggested bus route and frequency plan I have suggested to Pune Transport Authorities based on above principles (its been forwarded to CIRT and ILFS - the tow agencies providing consultation to Pune Transport Staff).

Narayan has done a lot of work - now one can create a map of current services and re-routed maps based on above principles / examples and forward to BMTC

blrpraj's picture

re :Which City has got the best Bus Routing System in World?

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Undoubtedly London. Almost every street and nook&cranny of London is accessible by frequent buses PLUS along with the tube it meshes very well and you can practically reach most parts efortlessly.

But as far as speed and efficiency of bus based public transport goes, ASJ missed Bogota, Columbia which (can I dare say) seems better than London as far as handling large volumes of passengers with a higher frequency of buses running at higher speeds goes.  They have a very advanced bus transit system and by 2015 the coverage of the city (and routing) may rival that of London if not exceeding it.

Naveen's picture

Berlin PT - The Best

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I have seen & used quite a lot of public transport systems across the world, including London, Paris, NewYork, Berlin, Tokyo, Singapore, etc. I have only read about Bogota, Curitiba, Pereira, Sao Paulo, etc., but have'nt had an opportunity to see or use one of them.

I feel the best system is in Berlin. PT in Berlin is pricey, but cleanliness & conveniences are a class apart. Berlin's population is smaller, but the Metro is almost as extensive as any larger metropolis, with buses supporting the PT network efficiently. London, Paris & Newyork's subway networks are also very extensive & connect all parts extremely well, though cleanliness is not in the same league as Berlin. comment guidelines

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