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Abide Transportation Plans - Letter from RK Mishra

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Public Transport

Posting on behalf of R K Mishra

Dear Friends,

As you are aware, ABIDe (Agenda for Bengaluru Infrastructure & Development) Task Force, with the Chief Minister as Chairman, Mr. Ananth Kumar (MP-Bangalore South) as Vice Chairman and Mr. Rajeev Chandrashekar (MP - Rajya Sabha) as Convener, has been constituted to revive and rebuild Bengaluru through a combination of Comprehensive planning, improved municipal services and new investments into infrastructure. ABIDe also owns the task of providing a blue-print for sustainable and orderly development of Bangalore under Bengaluru Vision 2020.

I and Ashwin Mahesh (IIM-B), are entrusted with the task of suggesting solutions to the Traffic and Transport issues of Bangalore - A tough job indeed :).

The Transportation team at ABIDe has identified public transport as the most important tool in reducing traffic congestion and chaos on Bangalore roads. Given that metro rail network is still some years away, Bus based public transport system is being promoted with a corridor approach.

To promote public transport and make travel hassle free, 10 major arterial roads (Big-10) have been identified as high density traffic corridors which will be made junction/signal free with dedicated point-to-point Bus Services, both A/C and non-A/C buses, named as Big-10 service.

Priority Bus Lanes, Bus Bays, Paved Footpaths, Safe Pedestrian Crossings, Cycle Lanes (proposed) will also be introduced on these Big-10 routes. We have 3, 6, 12, 18 and 24 month deadlines to accomplish all these Road Infrastructure Improvement objectives on all Big-10 Corridors. Please visit ABIDe website for corridor and other details. - http://www.abidebengaluru.in

However, deployment of Big-10 and Hop-on Hop-Off (HoHo) Bus Services has already begun. Out of 10 Corridors Big-10 Bus Service is already in operation on
Hosur Road (Vellara Jn - Electronic City) and
HAL Airport Road (Trinity Jn - Whitefield-Hope Farm jn).
This is proving to be extremely popular.

Next week Bannerghatta Road Big-10 Service will start. In next 2 months all 10 Corridors will have Big-10 Bus Service with a frequency of 5-10 minutes, both A/C and Non-A/C Service.

This service CONVENIENTLY connects with Central Business District (CBD) HoHo Service (Kendra Sarige) at Vellara Jn on Hosur Rd and Trinity Jn on HAL Airport rd respectively. This makes it extremely convenient for anyone living and commuting on these routes to use this Big-10 Service in conjunction with CBD HoHo service to reach any point in the city including all shopping malls and offices,without the need to take their private vehicles to work or shop.

I have myself used these services and they are extremely convenient and efficient.

Please encourage all your friends and colleagues to use these BUS services. Traffic congestion will reduce only if we stop/reduce taking our cars to work and shop. No amount of cribbing or road widening is going to help if we keep adding private cars to our roads. Now we have the comfortable and convenient public transport in close proximity to our homes and work places, lets use it and help our city and the environment.

RK

Comments

javajee's picture

How late are these buses

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How late are these buses available? There are few issues that come in the way for taking the buses:
    Is it safe to walk home/office once you get off from the bus when it is late evening?
      Are there decent enough walk ways from the bus stand to home/office. There is always an option of Auto for the last mile connectivity.

      Additionally, I am not sure how the response is for these services. BMTC should do some promotion similar to the one they did a while back. Say Rs 1. or something. If the buses are running full then this is not a question.

      There was a SMS service "yellidira" to locate the volvo buses. This can be useful addition.

      -javajee

kbsyed61's picture

Helping ABIDe !

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 RKM, ABIDe,

 Here are my suggestions on making KS & BIG-10 a grand success.

  1. Spruce up the whole HoHO * BIG-10 stretch/routes - Get the roads, footpath, bus stops cleaned up and keep it stench free.
  2. Increase police presence on this route.
  3. Allow transfer ticket facility - i.e. Promotional Free transfer from BIG-10 and other regular service to HoHO.
  4. Promotional Fare for a week as an advertisement.
  5. Re-look at all the current bus stops for HoHo & BIG-10 service - its location, its surroundings. I am very certain that you may need to add more bus stops (not necessarily shelters). Studies suggest bus stop at every 500 meters, at least in CBD area.
  6. Introduce priority for HoHo service on these CBD routes - Ban all private vehicles with single person occupancy.
  7. Tweaking the signals on HoHo & BIG-10 routes to create the necessary buffer time for smooth ride.
  8. Re-look at the current Ped-Xings on both HoHo & BIG-10 routes. Very positive that we may need more Ped-Xings.
  9. Short term dedicated Customer Service for HoHo & BIG-10, until the service becomes popular and choice for daily commute.
  10. Add another important circular service route - City Railway Station - KSRTC Bus Stand, KG Road, Corporation, K R Circle, Maharani's College, Anand Rao Circle and back to City Railway station.

 Syed

nijavaada's picture

solution, in isolation?

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I feel the Big10 and the rest of the new buses are good idea improvements indeed.. but there are more serious roles for the transportation management vertical to play, while teaming along with the other 3 verticals.. and I think that is more important for us to discuss here, on this forum. Big10 buses will certainly get used by the public if it really appeals to their needs. But there are subtle items in this vertical's charter that are going to implicitly affect the public..

I know that there have been some conscious efforts to establish links among the four verticals of ABIDe functioning. Can we talk about this interlinking here please? We may want to churn out meaningful ideas of relating, say, secure-bengaluru to the transport management solution? What kind of changes will the transport system need to undergo for it to ensure secure-bengaluru by design?

-Nijavaada

-Nijavaada
Ravi_D's picture

progress for the better

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...there seems to be some progress for the better. Going by recent discussions, praja members are interested to make this initiative work. Seems like Prof. Ashwin Mahesh is all ears to constructive feedback. Can we give it a fair chance? Since our news media seems not all that interested (what's new?) we should rather help spread the word around. Can we take it as a simple request to "pitch it to yourself and your friends"?

Ravi

rakeshkroy's picture

Frequency and timings key to increased rider levels

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Hi, I would strongly recommend that Big10 service should have good frequency. Atleast one bus every 15-20 minutes during peak hours and atleast one bus every 30-45 minutes during off peak hours. Also, the drivers should have something like a punching system at various points to ensure that they stick to the designated routes and also keep up the timings. In Bangalore, they either leave too early or too late. They are not punctual and rarely follow the designated routes at all times. I have experienced situations when i was awaiting for a bus in a particular direction from e-city, but the bus took a different route and left e city. These initiatives will bore fruits only if they are executed flawlessly and there is enforcement to avoid incovenience to public.

Best Regards,
Rakesh Roy

nijavaada's picture

okay then..

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Mr. RK Mishra is a great and honourable person living in Bengaluru for the sake of improving lives of all the poor souls that have made this city their home. Let us all please bow to this samaritan in town, and accept the terms and conditions that he lays, and of course consider as holy epics all the letters he sends to the public, directly, or indirectly.

Let us not forget that it is because of this samaritan that Bengaluru has been improving, and of late has found newer and newer buses on the road which ferry us all to where we want to go. It is because of him and his acquaintances that we're reaching where we want to..

Sometimes, stating facts, or even lending to discussions about one's opinions about facts & myths sound like "hate mongering" and "personal attacks" - this has become commonplace nowadays on Praja - will you refrain from doing so at least now? Instead think of a possibility of how these opinions could also be used in the direction of a useful debate on the topic.

Sincerely, of what avail is a letter by RK Mishra here with a tone of self-proclamation, talking about the Big10 buses that *he* envisioned for Bengaluru? Talk about the bus.. dont get into political tones.. which can actually be deviating away from the topic of the thread.

-Nijavaada

-Nijavaada
admin's picture

What to say?

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Not everyone got to read the comments that came and went away yesterday, but we assume swamy would have self moderated his/her own comment chain after realizing that it was violating guidelines (off-topic, personal, etc). You have the full freedom to create separate threads to attack RK Misra or anyone else as long as it fits the guidelines. You have the freedom to write new posts to attack Abide (in fact, there have been posts like that, calling it undemocratic etc, didn't see you put any comments there) in reasonable, constructive or fact based ways.


Please refer to the updated comment moderation guidelines below, we try our best to follow them. Sometimes, moderators may err and swing a bit left or right, but everyone has got to be supportive of time, effort and self restraint needed to make this an intellectual hangout like no other place on Internet at least in India.

As on RK Misra and this letter - people can read this letter and form their opinions. Some will see this as a credit taking self proclamation exercise, some will see this as an appeal. Unless you think the readers here are all kindergarten toddlers, let us leave it as it is, praje is smart enough to read through these letters, and pick out the the points from or between the lines.

There is no pressure from any person or anybody to edit or moderate anything. We don't promote or demote anything, never.

Now for the closing note. In true constructive tone - Njvda, or anyone, please post or email your suggestions on how to moderate this website better. As we at Praja always propagate, criticizing is easy, but the fun is in providing constructuve suggestion each time you criticize.

Njvda - you know a set of folks are moonlighting to run this site. We had asked you for help with moderation, you didn't reply. Have never seen you in a Praja meeting so far. We requested on several threads for your help to organize Praja meetings on some topics and with some people of interest, you neither said yes, nor no.

Thank you all for your support, and remember, we have only just begun.

s_yajaman's picture

Dr Vijay Kovvali's e-mail response to this plan

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Here is Dr.Vijay Kovvali's (a Traffic Engineering Consultant) response to the plan.  This is not with reference to any particular road or route.  I have posted this with his permission in its entirety. (emphasis below mine)

Mr. Misra, Ashwin,
I have a few comments based on my knowledge as a traffic engineer. In its current form, my fear is that the plan will not lead to the needed sustainable solutions for Bangalore. Please understand that road improvements for cars & two-wheelers CLASH with transit, pedestrian and cycle needs. It is near impossible to improve all modes at the same time on the same corridors as the plan suggests. Since the most concrete recommendation in the plan is making big ten arterials signal free, I am presuming that to be overriding priority of the plan.
  • Sixteen lane freeways haven't helped mitigate congestion in other countries, I can tell you that making access-based arterials (that have pedestrians, shops and driveways) signal free will NOT help Bangalore congestion. All it will achieve is create extremely unsafe arterials with heavy fatalities for pedestrians. Most probably, by building flyovers at junctions you will create heavy congestion during the construction, and by the time the construction is done, the city traffic would have increased to the extent that these roads will be again congested. Vehicle-centric planning hasn't helped any city in the world, there is no reason why we should make the same mistakes other cities have done. Even if you strongly feel the need for mobility corridors, create new ones, Don't change corridors with pedestrians and access (shops, driveways) to mobility corridors. My suggestion is to look at creating new underground freeways with limited access. The cost is worth the liveability it will create in the city. 
  • The speed bumps on Outer Ring Road are a great example of mobility gone bad. If you are going to make these 10 arterials signal free and then put speed bumps to slow down traffic, you are not really achieving the goal of mobility and congestion relief. 
  • If the plan's focus is public transportation, bus planning should be the priority. Making roads signal free is generally detrimental to passengers trying to access buses. Hence, please first focus on the bus service planning and then improve the roads accordingly. Please note that signal free roads adversely impact other road users (road neighbors, pedestrians, cyclists, passengers not yet on the bus). You might kill your "By Choice" transit ridership by making your first focus as signal free junctions. Also, Passenger Information Systems (PIS) are essential for making transit friendlier. 
  • In the plan, please provide inputs on metro development and expansion. As another public transport mode for the city, metro planning should also be used as a tool for congestion mitigation. If you have a metro corridor parallel to one of these 10 arterials, please do not improve mobility on this arterial. Cars, two-wheelers provide door-to-door service, hence for people to shift to public transport(PT), there should be delays for vehicles on these arterials.  
  • Please look at putting money into transportation research that is performance driven. As of now, there is no research for Indian conditions on what is the benefit-cost ratio of any said transportation improvement. Putting money into research will help us focus on the right solutions for the city. 
  • While the plan does discuss data driven approach, most of your recommendations (including Ho-Ho service) do not seem to be data driven, and there are no performance measures to check their effectiveness. I would like to know the load factors of the Ho-Ho buses throughout the day, the mode shift achieved by the new Ho-Ho bus services, and the profit/loss at which these buses are running. If we have these data, we can check in three months to see if the bus service is moving in the right direction.  
  • All signalized junctions in Bangalore are performing below capacity. Please look into running them at capacity before upgrading them to interchanges. Improvements like shorter cycle lengths, pedestrian signals, bus stop locations, enforcement will go a long way in enhancing the junction capacity. Again, these improvements should be data driven. Level of Service criteria should be used while upgrading signals. 
  • Strong lead organization with teeth, sensible transportation policies, research and data based guidance documents, driver awareness programs and appropriate enforcement will all lead to smoother traffic flows. These are the things that I request ABIDE to take up first, before actually suggesting infrastructure based transportation solutions. 
  • Please start out with a vision. A vision like "Creating a Safe, Efficient, and Sustainable Transportation for a Liveable Bangalore", will go a long way in refocusing on the priorities. Safety should always come first.

Thank you,

 

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

Vasanth's picture

How I would have like HOHO to be

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I would like to see a Grid System of buses running in CBD with 10 rupees flat fare in all major arterial roads. Entranace of CBD  from all major roads should have a  munich model type parking lot like we have in KG Road,JC Road and bus stops in parking lot.

Congestion charges should be levied on vehicles entering  CBD.  Goods vehicles, shop owners and residents should get some exemption in Congestion Charges.

nijavaada's picture

@ admin

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I would take a rain check on your recent comment posted.. for I'll surely look forward to finding RKM attending one of your meetings - for that seems to be the most agreeable way of participating in Praja undertakings.

Besides, I dont know when there were requests for any help on moderation - how would I even qualify for that!? And if I havent already mentioned it on any occasion, all my comments on this forum have always been with constructive intentions, be it short/immediate term, or on many occasions, keeping long term goals (that Praja should have) in mind. I am only waiting for those things to be looked at with that eye, thats all.

-Nijavaada

-Nijavaada

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