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Notes from BMRC meeting

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Putting up a placeholder post for logs from the BMRC meeting today. 8 of us were present, so we should expect at least that many notes here.

I will log my notes a bit later, but in short, it was a great meeting. If you weren't there, you just missed it. Mr Sivasailam seems like a no non-sense go-getter type guy, and has a solid team with him. We got answers to all we asked, and equally frank rebuttals for some we probably shouldn't have :) All in all, this was a nice and open meeting that gave us a feel for their passion and commitment, something which we tend to take for granted these days.

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psaram42's picture

Mr. N. Sivasailam, MD BMRCL 31-10-2008 Meeting-Minutes

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The meeting started around 5:15PM.

Mr. Sivasalam started the meeting with mutual self introductions by Praja members followed by those of his team.

Mr. Naveen started the dialog to be taken up later by Pranav and Suhas point by point.
1. Full details of all phases. Not available except the current phase
     a. Approval for survey work for ii phase obatained
     b. Property Value speculation un avoidable 
2. First Phase. 
     a. Completion of 2011
     b. Working Model 
          i. Market Survey 
          ii. Contracting Model
          iii. Experts pool 
          iv. IPR Drawings are protected with copy rights. Hence not shared till copy rights issued
          v. Litigations are major hindrance
          vi. No plan B in case of road blocks. 
          vii. Tunnel boring to start by Dec 2009 
          viii. 6400 Crores 35 KM stretch
 3. Communications Transparency through Web Site
      a. The MD ascertained that Praja members were keeping track of the official BMRCL site on the web
      b. He made it clear that any decisions as and when taken will be immediately posted on the site.
      c. The objective being to help reducing misrepresenting of facts by media. 
      d. Nothing is secret
      e. All Secrets are well guarded. 
      f. New standards are set up in public relationship 
         i. Information Open to public
         ii. Suggestions Welcome
         iii. Mr. Sivasailam was critical about PR aspects of some of our IT BT Companies
4. Integration aspects
     a. Provision for Bus stops
     b. Feeder areas calculation by Clover leaf, Trumpet methods of catchments area
     c. Metro does not work in isolation
     d. Weekly interactions
     e. No proactive integration
5. Design Aspects
    a. Latest Design methodology as on to day
    b. Station Loading 
         i. Disending 
         ii. Embarking 
         iii. Surge factor 
         iv. Passenger per minute 
    c. Parking Only at terminals
         i. Bus 
         ii. Car 
         iii. Auto
    d. Power Supply
          i. BESCOM input from two places 
          ii. Simulation studies
          iii. Battery Back up for under ground AC 
          iv. 50 Mega Watts Power load
    e. Standard Gauge
         i. All Designs are locked in 
         ii. No Vendor Lock
     f. Station Architecture
        i. Competition world wide 
        ii. Consortium has done it 
        iii. Station designs were iterated.
6. Looking Forward will be beneficial
     a. Mysore
     b. Mangalore
Naveen's picture

Minutes of Meeting with BMRC Officials

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Normal 0

Hi All,

The meeting commenced at about 1715 hrs & went on till about 1845 hrs. Mr.N Sivasailam (MD), Mr.Sudhir Chandra (Dir-Planning) & a few other BMRCL staff attended the meeting on behalf of BMRC.

Praja members who attended were: Pranav (Silkboard), Naveen, Murali,  Suhas (srkulhalli), Srinidhi sampath (Blrsri), Ritesh, Usha (kiran8) & Aswin.

Below is a summary of the discussions between Praja members & BMRC, with comments :

1.      Alignments for future phases of the Metro & why they were not being finalized in an effort to speed up the process.

Mr.Sivasailam explained that the DPR approved by the central & state governments, including financial arrangements was only for the 1st phase, & for the next phase, the process would have to be recommenced again. Alignments for two routes (EC to Yelahanka; & Kathriguppe to Whitefield) & extension of the 1st phase N-S route (Puttenahalli to NICE road, etc.) had been sent to DMRC for preparation of DPR/s. He also explained that the various processes for the 2nd phase would run parallel & overlap with the construction of the 1st phase to minimize delays.

 

When queried, BMRC officials clarified that construction of future underground lines (during Phase-2) that will likely have interchanges with Phase-1 underground lines (possibly at City market) would be possible & will be undertaken without disruption of services to the Metro Phase-1 underground lines that will already be in use by then.

2.      Planning of multi–modal interchanges at key Metro stations.

BMRC was liaising with BMTC, BMLTA & other relevant bodies for effecting multi-modal exchanges. However, Mr. Sivasailam also emphasized that BMRCL’s jurisdiction did not extend beyond construction & delivery of the Metro railway.

3.      Provisions for bus-bays, IPTs & parking facilities at Metro stations.

At least two bus bays would be provided at each station & areas earmarked for IPTs (autos, etc.).  Parking would be made available at some key stations in the periphery, but not at stations within CBDs, as is the norm with most Metros worldwide.

 

Comment :  This is perhaps the largest intra-city transport infrastructure project being executed & it is obvious that each stake holder needs to be fully aware of what plans are afoot by other bodies, particularly transport bodies about the steps being taken by each entity to address the various issues that will crop up, both during the construction phase, & more importantly, upon commencement of operations. Without working on various aspects together well in time, problem areas are bound to surface & it might well be too late & expensive to correct them, if at all possible, besides causing inconveniences to the general public.

 

This is especially troublesome since BMRC is of the opinion that it is too early now to work on feeder routes & that it might be more appropriate to do this about a year later. We are not aware if BMTC is working on this, & if so, what the status is.

 

An example of an issue that might pose problems is the access for entry & exit to /from stations for feeder buses – if proper plans are not chalked out in the design plans for stations that include overhead bus ramps that might be needed across roads, bus entry & exit arrangements from each direction might turn out to be poor, & buses may conflict with other traffic.

 

Another area that may pose obstacles is making arrangements for convenient pedestrian access between Metro stations & Commuter rail stations (at Yeswantapur, Malleswaram & Deepanjalinagar). This also needs to be planned upfront, else it might result in uncorrectable defect/s.

4.      Public Inconveniences during tunneling for underground sections.

We were pleased to hear that only the stations would be built by cut & cover method, & the underground sections would all be executed with tunnel boring machines (TBMs), without any disruption on the surface.

5.      Sharing of BMRC activities with the public.

Mr.Sivasailam explained that he believed in sharing information with the public about all BMRC’s activities & in the case of trees that had been cut along KR road, the locals had been briefed well before it had been done. Unfortunately, many English newspapers had reported this after the trees were cut, stoking some public sentiments unnecessarily.

6.      Station designs that were changed recently.

Owing to difficulties & further disruptions for building the complicated designs as also due to high costs, the designs had to be changed.

7.      Security arrangements.

BMRC advised that large packages & suitcases, etc. would be permitted on the Metro, unlike Delhi, where such is not permitted. Whilst this may be risky, it also has advantages & is convenient to some sections of the public, whilst it may sometimes cause inconveniences for daily commuters.

 

The move to permit luggage also makes it possible for BMRC to plan a metro line up to the new airport if & when a decision is taken, though the ride would take long with many stops in between, making it somewhat inconvenient for air travelers.

8.      Other matters.

Mr.Sivasailam reiterated that BMRC’s web page was being maintained up-to-date, as also confirmed by some praja members. In this context, Praja members greatly appreciated their efforts in trying to keep the general public aware about all decisions, developments & the transparent tendering process that was being followed by them.

 

BMRC is not involved with the high-speed airport rail link, yet. However, if & when the state government takes a decision in this regard, they may be the body or a new entity might be set up for executing the project. Also, BMRC is not involved with the Monorail project.

 

Bombardier had opened up a Metro coach factory at Vadodara (Baroda), eyeing the Indian market with upcoming Metros in many cities. It has also bagged a contract from Delhi metro for coaches. See this link: (http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2007/08/09/stories/2007080952561000.htm).

 

 

The meeting was very cordial & BMRC officials were quite transparent & open to discussion. BMRC’s commitment was very evident & well appreciated. It was clear that they were well up to the task, though certain areas, such as better liaison between other bodies through the construction phase itself was desirable.

 

narayan82's picture

Timeline:

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Were BMRCL confident about sticking to the 2011 timeline - even after the 6 -7 months delay on MG road area itself. Also, were they able to give an idea as to when station construction and other consrtruction is going to be started? Maybe, if we had this information, Praja (I am willing to lead this) can create Maps for citizens showcasing "alternative" routes to avoid congestion. And maybe liase with the Traffic Police on this. We could also design the signage/routing for vehicles. With the amount of discussion and knowledge on board this could be a boon to the city through congested times.
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
srkulhalli's picture

Good feel after meeting, we need to do our homework better

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As usual, psraman sir first to post ! Thanks for detailed listing Agree with SB, overall got a feel management calibre is pretty high. Good clarity with maturity on what he should be doing and more importantly what he should not be doing. Could have been technically a little bit more savy, in my opinion. I think we(as praja) need to do better. None of our points, myself included, could stand first order scrutiny. Our research needs more depth. At the very least we should have a prior meeting and bounce of our comments of each other and refine our points accordingly. If we want 1 hr from the complete top brass of BMTC, we should be willing to commit 4 hrs of our time upahead. Quick take on various points Schedule : As far as I recollect it was 2011 for 1st phase and 2015/16 for second phase That he can put up his project milestones on his website was probably the only accepted suggestion. Mode Integration: Stations : 2 to 6/8 bus bays at each station + auto and cab pick up/drop. No facility for private car/ two wheeler parking (not given for Metro anywhere) Feeder services : In discussion with BMTC - too early to worry as routing can be decided at a later stage (I agree, station design most important at this stage) Route alignment : Already provisioned in PRR for surface based METRO. In general METRO is either elevated or underground. Methinks having it on surface with 10m underpasses every 500m is still far cheaper and viable. But needs more data and better understanding of Metro vs suburbans. Was not too convinced by his answer since he said it is done in PRR but then said it is not a viable idea. Having it along ORR as well - probably mono can do the job if it is cheaper, need to follow up with BMLTA Generally they cannot publish alignments which are underdiscussion as it results in unneccessary confusion, are subject to legal issues etc. High speed rail link : Does not fall under his department. Can question DPR Communiction, PR & transparency : As soon as a decision is taken, it is avaialble on their website Were there 4 days before the tree cutting and met the MLA Our meeting itself. in general doing their job ... but they have to be carefull what is official as that can cause trouble. Costing: Mentioned chennai metro claims Rs 80cr/km for elevated METRO. Was again not too convinced on his answer. How much it costs (rough breakup - civil, electrical, rolling stock ...) should have been on the tip of his fingers.

Suhas

Suhas

idontspam's picture

Metro at grade

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One of the reasons metro cannot be feasible at grade in existing phases, is probably because of the foot print on the roads it goes thru. I hope it was not a blanket statement and they are open to bringing the metro to at grade also wherever possible as smoothly as they are able to take it between overhead and underground. But, I am not surprised they wouldnt have much clue on what BMTC plans to do. Hope BMLTA is not in a similar situation. Their website is full of broken links, hope it is not an indicator of their inter departmental links.
Ravi_D's picture

Bangalore - Need to beef up BMLTA

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Arrived back in Bangalore last night, too late for this important meeting. Looks like I relly missed a good one.

We have talked about here it a few times already.... it is really obvious that BMLTA needs to be strengthened quite a bit. Multiple independant project managers may successfully execute their part of the story, but who will make sure it fits the city in the end?  

Thanks,

Ravi

srkulhalli's picture

Follow up on BMRC meeting

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SB, Before the meeting some of us had a brief chat and thought that we should follow up with our comments/suggestions in a more solid form (like document, or gyan link). However, at this stage, I think the only thing that was a concrete suggestion was to put up their tracking chart on the website. ie would have major milestones, planned date and current estimated date of the Phase 1 till completion. The chairman did state that he is OK to do it if he is not doing so already. It is not being done right now, so we could just email this much as a followup.

Suhas

Suhas

kiran8's picture

well written informative article

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http://kiran8-various.blo... Naveen has given all the details of the meeting .The article was exhaustive and covered all the details .I was surprised by the very positive attitude of all the officials present for the meeting ,and the manner in which they dealt with the queries. There is a lot of commitment from their side, but finally it comes down to team work.Hope all the concerned departments pool in , instead of squabbling over some issue or the other , as is always seen and deliver the much awaited metro on time. As things stand now, Bangalore city is one big mess, having been dug up(necessary for the metro work), no alternative routes provided in many cases(could have been planned and provided by the authorities).Lets wait and watch the progress.
blrsri's picture

they have it all figured out

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One thing that was evident from the BMRC meeting, as they put it.,.they are a very capable bunch having everything figured out!! But I still keep wondering ..why on an average one guy is tinkering on-site ..and the drill machines are silent most times ..and the blame is on the casting yard? come on..ask L&T how its done faster unfortunately the list is too big.. Traffic Suggestion: Please avoid OMR NGEF to Indranagar BDA cplx..you will surely be stuck there for min 1 hour any evening! Btw can BMRC give traffic advisories?? No No..why do we have the traffic police..BMRC just runs trains!
ssheragu's picture

metro

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ssheragu glad to know that our Praja brothers had a nice meeting with MD, BMRC but from the minutes two issues are worrying me and probably everyone. 1. parking at metros; it appears that no parking space would be provided, as it is not done world wide but India being India and Bangalore being Bangalore, we definitely and positively require parking space at each metro as without parking space for my car or scooter and many many more like me the use of metro will not be convenient and smooth and useful; a nice metro will end up like the shopping mall (Central Place) at Mayo Hall where the mall is exquisite but with a limited parking space for its customers, it is causing congestion on the roads, inconvenience to prospective customers (many do not visit the mall as they do not know where to park their cars) and loss of revenue for the metro itself in fact, it should be mandatory and compulsory for each metro should have a large parking space or parking lot; this itself should be a big project as the parking lot will be 2 or 3 football fields large; I agree the space requirement is quite big; but just as land is being acquired for metros, the space for the parking lot also will have to be acquired; further horizontal escalators will have to be provided at many parking bays inside each parking lot for commuting of passeengers from the extreme end of the parking lot to the metro station for buying ticket and boarding the metro. 2. it has been quoted that the station designs were changed because of disruptions (I do not know what it is) and cost; here I would like to reitertae that Bangaloreans require the best metro (not like BIAL which is not frastically better than HAL Airport), as we have the advantage of learning, emulating and surpassing from the aesthetics and utility of metros world wide for implementation. I would like to append (my dialogue with earlier from MD, BMRC) below. A) To Mr. Sivasailam MD, BMRC Dear Sir, Many thanks for your reply. My idea of a useful, aesthetic & fruitful metro is one that satisfies the people of Bangalore in terms of usefulness, cleanliness, high tech ambience, tourist appeal, enviroment compatibility etc. in all its aspects. Actually, each of the Praja Members have their own suggestions, views, ideas and concerns to express. This can happen only if we are given an opportunity to have a meeting with you. So I am requesting you to intimate us of your time, so that we can meet at a mutually convenient date. As suggested by you, I will get in touch with your PS Mr. Reddy Thanks once again. Srinath Heragu B) From: sivasailam@bmrc.co.in To: heragusrinath@hotmail.com CC: chavan@bmrc.co.in; reddy@bmrc.co.in Subject: RE: High Tech Aesthetic masterpeices in the form of Metro Stations Date: Wed, 1 Oct 2008 13:25:35 +0530 Dear Srinath, I would be grateful if you could pen down and detail your suggestions for a ‘useful, aesthetic and fruitful’ METRO. We could then consider the same in our organization. We could then meet subsequently to exchange ideas. You may meet Mr Chavan our CPRO to understand the role and limitations of BMRCL in the implementation of the project. Of course, I am available and you could secure your appointment with my PS Mr Reddy at mutually convenient time. N Sivasailam MD BMRCL C) From: srinath heragu [mailto:heragusrinath@hotmail.com] Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2008 12:18 PM To: MDBMRC Subject: RE: High Tech Aesthetic masterpeices in the form of Metro Stations To Mr. Sivasailam MD, BMRC Dear Sir, I am geeting in touch with you onnce again. We, Praja members, would like to meet you for a discussion on ensuring a useful, aesthetic, fruitful metro for Banaglore Can you kindly provide us a suitable time for the meeting. Thans in adavnce Srinath Heragu D) From: sivasailam@bmrc.co.in To: heragusrinath@hotmail.com CC: chavan@bmrc.co.in; mgrprotocol@bmrc.co.in; pro@bmrc.co.in Subject: RE: High Tech Aesthetic masterpeices in the form of Metro Stations Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2008 17:32:15 +0530 Dear Srinath, Kindly have a look at the final designs of the MG Road and Trinity circle stations on our website www.bmrc.co.in. You appear to be mis-informed or alarmed by a newsreport. The cost of the proposed MG Road station and Trinity Circle station is not Rs 1cr or Rs 12 cr structure but a whopping Rs 45cr and Rs 35 cr structure respectively!! It is a huge investment by any standards and we are conscious of it. It will be state of the art with passenger facilities and amenities. Professionals from RITES who are designing the station and its facilities have strived hard to provide a design that is pleasing to the eye as a landmark in MG Road and Trinity circle. Be informed, that the station will have state of the art facilities including escalators for the general public with special facilities for persons with disabilities such as lifts from the road level to the station platform. These features are there in all the stations of Namma METRO. Be assured that we are striving to give our best and we have the dedication, capacity and capability to deliver. We value your comments and we wish to allay your apprehensions. N Sivasailam MD BMRCL E) From: srinath heragu [mailto:heragusrinath@hotmail.com] Sent: Saturday, September 27, 2008 12:07 PM To: sivasailam@bmrc.co.in Subject: High Tech Aesthetic masterpeices in the form of Metro Stations To Mr. Sivasailam MD BMRC Dear Sir, I am a Praja member. We are given to understand that instead of spending Rs 12 crores on each Metro station and making them high tech, useful, posh, plush, aestehtically exquisite and each being a masterpiece and also as a tourist spot / attraction, you are planning to spend just Rs 1 crore on each station (to cut down costs) and are building dingy, dull, stations. These stations when built wil end up as nothing but as third clas waiting rooms, within a short time of their opening. You can very well understand that we, Bangaloreans and you too, deserve good & posh stations. Further you are not going to save much as it is going to be only 1% or 2% of the total cost. Finally, a high tech sttaion as a luxurious masterpiece will earn revenue more than its investment cost in a very short time and it will keep on generating wealth for Metro. So we, at Praja, on behalf of all of Bangalore, request you to stick to the original plan of spending Rs 12 crores or more for each station and build exquisite stations for the utility of the public and for the benfit of the tourism department and never construct Rs 1 crore stations, which will soon become antiquated. We trust you will genuinely consider the views & aspirations of the Bangalore citizens and provide us quality, exquisite & useful metro stations. Thanking you in anticipation Srinath Heragu So I hope that based on my earlier correspondence, we at Praja should ensure that the best metro designs are thee for Bangalore thanks Srinath Heragu
murali772's picture

quite some way to go

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Yes, there was a bit of cockiness on the part of the MD when he kept insisting that enough thinking was going into the various aspects by the concerned people in the government agencies involved. Now, if that was quite the case, we wouldn't have all the mess we see all around us, would we? And, while there's an air of professionalism about the way the BMRCL is going about things today, this kind of cockiness can be its undoing eventually, landing it up as another BMTC down the years.

At a presentation made recently at the IIMB by Delhi Metro authorities, they had specifically talked about how they had taken over traffic management in the project sites, and managed it well enough to the extent of avoiding having to put up notices stating 'inconvenience regretted'. BMRCL's approach on the contrary appears to be '"that's the traffic police's job; we just execute the project", quite as blsri has stated.

Even on the matter of changing of the station architecture, one would have expected them to provide a lot more information suo moto than the sketchy responses to our specific queries.

Perhaps, since we have, over the years, come to expect very little from government organisations, we see them as being pro-active. But, in my opinion, there's quite some way to go.

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
srkulhalli's picture

Metro parking

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I kind of was thinking a little more on the parking aspect and tend to agree with Srinath. The blanket statement to the suggestion was nowhere in the world is parking provided at Metro. We need to understand why, and if that context is applicable to us The big cities and their Metro's, like Paris, London, New York have a very dense grid of Metro/suburban railways. Pretty much there is a station within a km or so, and with great footpaths etc, it is reachable by walk. In this context, doesnt make sense to have METRO parking. In wide spread out suburbia, as I have seen in Dallas, the catchline was park and ride for their LRT system. They had great parking (they have a lot of area too). Generally, in suburbs, parking is provided wherever there is a spread of population. Cut to Bangalore. What is the a good use case for a car holder. I could catch a feeder bus, but then I need to walk to the nearest bus stand, say 1/2 to 1 km away, wait for a feeder bus, go the METRO station, get in and wait for the METRO. If the bus service is a little poor, it is a big disincentive. My ideally scenario would be I drive to the METRO station, go through the METRO to the nearest stop near my office complex and their is an office complex (like Electronic City or ITPL or IBC etc) bus which picks me up from there to the office. Conviniece assured. Regular travellers (office and education) constitute a big chunk (will check up >60%) and it would really help to make it convinient for these. Bangalore METRO is never going to get as dense as in the big cities across the world - it is going to remain sparse and for these reasons its primary appeal would be for longer distance and regular travel. In addition we have a terrible parking as is. Since we need parking complexes anyway across the city, why not integrate with METRO. The 2 to 3 football fields that Srinath is mentioning is unrealistic and a waste of good money. A multistoreyed parking of 100 cars and 200 two wheelers and some bicycles should be sufficient for each METRO. Charge what it costs. I think it would pay for itself. Lets get a little pragmatic here and not look at ideal scenarios - we should push for parking at each station I would say.

Suhas

Suhas

idontspam's picture

Parking in metro

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Metros are built to carry people from residential areas on the outskirts to their workplace downtown and help them not bring their cars. So while from your place you can bring your car you are expected to drive to the nearest metro station and park there. Now by building parking lots only at the terminals the idea is to have only people farther away than the last stop to use their cars till they reach the terminal point. The assumption here is that the rest of the people lying within the catchment are are covered by public transport. One of the drawbacks of providing parking lot in Downtown stations is that it WILL become a parking lot only. ie the shoppers who arrive in cars will park in metro stations and do their shopping and pick up the car while not using the metro.
narayan82's picture

Parking...

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If you look at the map on thier website some key stations have parking facility. This includes 2 and 4 wheeler parking around 500 of 2 wheeler and 200 4 wheeler, is what I remember announced. The key stations include the last stops, Vijaynagar, Majestic, M G Road, CMH Road and similar stops on the other line. I dont see so much parking required in every station, the ket stations would suffice.
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
Naveen's picture

Metro - Various Issues

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IDS, Narayan - I agree with what you say. Feeder buses will be provided from all stations & should be used for access to Metro stations. The stations at end points & those that are far away from central areas along the Metro routes are the ones that need some parking spaces for those that prefer to park & ride, certainly not 2-3 football stadium sized ones with moving walkways /walkalators !

Providing parking at stations in CBDs & midpoints is not required, & in fact, defeats the very purpose of building the Metro, which is to reduce the no. of vehicles plying on the roads.

Suhas - Buidling Metro at grade is much less expensive when compared to having it elevated or underground, no doubt, but still much more expensive than running buses or BRT. As I had mentioned, building a Metro where development is sparse is neither necessary nor is it financially viable as costs would be too high. Metro, by design is to carry tens of thousands of commuters, typically servicing dense CBD areas. Most of the Metros in the world have been built after the normal buses & trams were found inadequate, & I dont think there is a single example of a Metro being built first & development occurring later. This being the case, most of the Metros are either elevated or underground, barring a few outlying areas as space constraints do not permit Metro at grade when the city's CBDs are already dense.

Metro at grade on ORR is not necessary as CTTP survey has shown that phpdt levels at 2025 are lower than 15,000, & BRT or Monorail would suffice, & is being planned accordingly.

The authorities have decided to keep a very wide median on PRR to allow for trains (not necessarily Metro) to be run in the future, if ever it becomes necessary, whilst also making provisions for BRT.

Blrsri, Murali - DMRC managing traffic & also running feeder buses - this is good reference information, & is not a prescription for all cities. BMRC does not necessarily have to follow this example. One can understand their reluctance to get involved with operating feeder services or manage traffic. The situation here is pathetic as regards co-ordination between various agencies is concerned, again because things have gotten very bad with the enormous traffic & other infrastructural problems. Thus, urgent steps have to be taken first to improve this.

As regards station architecture, BMRC is providing some stations within CBDs with futursitic designs whilst at the same time ensuring that inconvenience to general public during construction is minimal, as stated by Mr.Sivasailam.

asj's picture

3 letters that can solve a lot of problems

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Just 3 letters can take care of lot of problems around parking - NMT (Non Motorised Transport). Its very common in places like Cambridge, Oxford and now London where cycling is increasing year after year. What more, Bangalore and Pune like cities were cycling cities. In London the fastest sub 5km journey on a cycle. The observations made above are logical and accurate. I live in Zone 4 London, stations have parking lots (most very small and costly - its £3 per day in Hounslow), but as you move toward central London, parking facilities dwindle away and where available will cost a fortune (£10-12 per day). One fantastic buisness opportunity is for someone to become a retail distributer (or even a local manufacturer of Brompton or similar cycles). These are amazingly strudy cycles which fold away in a backpack. The weight ranges from 5-12kg (lighter ones being more expensive). Here is a demo - Our fore fathers did use it, what is stopping us (and its considered posh too)? This will be the best way to and from stations. In UK, its not getting commoner to provide shower rooms / changing rooms at work as well. Here is a image comparing Cambridge and Pune stations - Pune and Cambridge cycling And the other super buisiness chance is to start a Velib cycles like facility (Paris has it - people have smart docking cycles leased out to them) 492 488489 ASJ
Naveen's picture

Great Doc !

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"And the end of all our exploring, will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time" - T S Eliot, Poet

ASJ - This is exactly my language !  I have seen the disappearance of the bicyle in Bangalore over the decades. And this has been a tragedy, to me.

When we were at school & in college, we pedalled 3-4 miles without any problem. Now, one cant even pedal a few hundred meters as the cars & motorbikes have taken over the streets with impunity & chase away the bicycles.

We have these groups, seeking multi-level garages, demanding flyovers, urban expressways.

When cars begin driving to shopping malls, instead of bicycles riding to parks, it certainly is a symptom that the city is ill, needing a cure !

Could you do me a favor ? Could you find out if they market these bicycles in India, particularly Bangalore ? I know that ITDP has developed a bicycle & rickshaw in Delhi, but I have been unable to locate a retail outlet that sells this. I now opt for the one that is pictured on the video, & would love to buy one, if available here.

srkulhalli's picture

Metro on PRR

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Naveen, BRT on the PRR is probably the right way to start. All I am saying, is at some stage, one would want to upgrade to a suburban and or METRO, and that provision needs to be in place. Even with BRT you would want to have right of way. WHich means that all crossings should be either underpasses or overpasses. Right now, if this much is done, I would be happy. However, if what extra needs to be to upgrade is in place today, that would be good enough. We dont have to spend the money today. When the PRR was initally announced, the provision for trains was not there. Recently, I am seeing announcements that there would be provision to run rail tracks as well. My job regarding the PRR is done ! Though I would like to see the details. One of my problems is I am still not clear how much laying tracks for metro is from laying tracks for a suburban train (bombay local variety). Hence I keep repeating METRO, but otherwise I am OK with what is being done.

Suhas

Suhas

srkulhalli's picture

Whats wrong with parking lots

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The primary concern raised is that it will become a parking lot. On other threads we have seen that we need parking lots across the city and especially in CBD as it is unneccessarily eating into valuable road space. Whats wrong in having a parking lot next to a METRO station. THe primary objection is ideology based. We are talking about integration and comprehensive planning, why not reduce the parkign problem while we are at it. Having parking at METRO stations will INCREASE usage of METRO, not reduce it. So how does that defeat the purpose of METRO ? What you are saying is you want to force the person using the METRO on the bus, I would say look at it the other way. Make it as easy as possible for a person to use the METRO.

Suhas

Suhas

narayan82's picture

Parking...

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Suhas, I am sure the Stations will have some Parking space. Else there will be parking around the station (which will hopefully be less occupied with the Metro.) But we dont need to have 500 2 wheeler parks in every station. Parking lots are space, and space is land, and land is expensive - especialy in CBD and other central stations. A good chunk of the Metro budget is Land Costs/Compensation so for the sake of parking, it might not be viable option to get more land. Also most of the stations are elevated, so the question of going underground for multi level parkings doesnt make sense. And multi level parking above the station too is a bit far fetched (costs and feasibility.) I think hopefully, decreasing the amount of vehicles coming into the city, will make the existing parking spots around Metro Sations more accessible.
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
idontspam's picture

More parking

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ALL shops, malls and business in downtown has to be built with adequate parking space. Now the request for more parking is to adjust to the "enhanced" demand due to improper/inadequate public transport and subsequent growth of vehicles due to this. This "enhanced" demand will go away once the metro is completed and congestion charging is introduced in the downtown area. 36 streets including most of the downtown area is going to get timed metered parking on the streets. This coupled with some vacant sites parking lots should be sufficient till the metro system is built. After that every activity needs to be tuned to leverage the metro/shuttle infrastructure. The malls can provide free shuttle service from metro to attract customers to their malls. The places which dont have parking need to retrofit their surroundings with parking facilities to take care of cars which might reach them. They may want to wait for their traffic projections after the metro is effective. The metro need not take care of cars for the businesses in downtown and congested areas.
silkboard's picture

My notes from the meeting

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Sorry for the delay, but here are my notes.

First of all, agree with Suhas only in part. We could have been better prepared, but we were anyway not trying to claim expertise in technical areas like route alignments, specifications of digging work and more.

Mr Sivasailam is smart and PR savvy though. Our point, which Suhas and I made separately was around having adequate planning specifications for new city areas that would come on outskirts to include provisions for Metro tracks. For example, North of K R Pura area will see development sooner or later as City stretches towards new BIA. When planning roads or layouts there, keep land for Metro - this was the basic thought.

But the way we presented this, it came across to Mr Sivasailam as

  • Me saying that don't do Metro unless customers are guaranteed
  • Suhas saying that do Metro in outskirts now

I think us carrying a presentation will help. Mr Sivasailam clubbed two of our points together and said that we are not clear as a group as to what our suggestion is. Fair enough if he saw it that way.

Anyway. Mr Sivasailam, Mr Sudhir Chandra (Director, Projects - possibly the man behind a lot of planning work, he has been there for long), Mr Jayaram (Envirnomental Officer) and one more gentleman (don't recall name now, as he didn't speak much) - all four of them seemed very knowledgeable and were very kind to give us so much time.

We asked about Metro phase 1 extensions. Personally, my confusion around phase 1 extension resulted from some English newspaper reports that talked of extensions to all four reaches (N, S, E W). But there are no phase 1 extensions planned on East and West reaches, there never was a plan. Byappanahalli to Beniganahalli and beyond is all phase II. As per Mr Sivasailam, all that is planned is on the website. Anything beyond that would be our or newspaper's imagination.

At this point, we double stressed to BMRC folks that we think they have set new benchmarks in handing out regularly updated information to public via their website. An argument we made was for draft or in-progress items to be made public as well, to which we got a reply that things that are not final need not be made public as it would be needless and speculative, but once work items are final (we were talking about phase II, phase III route alignments), it would be on the website immediately. Fair enough.

All the answers and discussions gave us a good feel about BMRC upper management, except one. To me, this was the question I went to this meeting for:

  • What specific steps is BMRC taking to ensure good Bus-Metro integration so that they get riders from all around and not just 800m - 1 km radius (catchment area) of the stations. Any thoughts about feeder bus service like Delhi Metro is doing?

Answer was good but not good enough.

  • No feeder services. They don't wish to compete with BMTC.
  • They have planned for upto six bus bays under each station. The bays are to pick up, not park the buses
  • Provision for autos as well
  • But parking is planned only at terminal stations (Byappanahalli types). This is a good step. There must not be any serious parking space at all stations. If at all there are spots, those should be expensive enough to discourage people from driving up to a station. Clues should be in place to to force people to either walk up, or take a bus to the stations.
  • The key point though is about solid and reliable bus services that serve the stations. You probably need local shuttles to dig people out from deep residential areas (thats why Delhi Metro feeders are mini-buses, not full size buses). You would also need to work on single ticketing or some similar system so that I don't spend time buying ticket on the bus and then on Metro again. They'd probably do it via two monthly pass like things (thats my guess), one for the bus, one for Metro.
  • then, some calculations are needed for peak times to deduce the number of buses that are needed to emtpy-out peak time crowds out of stations. That should tell you the frequency of buses at stations during peak hours.

A few of these questions were left by Mr Sivasailam as - "I am here to run the trains, BMTC will run the buses, we are coordinating with them (via BMLTA meetings), and we trust them to do the job" (not quoting him verbatim, but this was the essence).

Now this is an okay answer, but not good enough. Integration with BMTC (and other modes as and when they come - monorail) is what is going to make or break Metro ridership numbers, the integration is in Metro's interests more than BMTC.

There is time though, two more years, good enough time for BMRC and BMTC to work each small detail out. And looking at BMRC's management, I think they will do much more than what they have done on BMTC integration thus far. I am very hopeful.

So to sum it up - wonderful meeting, nice guys, good going, with Bus integration as the only possible glitch that we could see from their answers.

Naveen's picture

Parking Restrictions Necessary

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Suhas,

Experience overseas & also in this country has shown that when parking slots are made available easily, car usage goes up, whilst public transport gets ignored. This is beacuse public transport can never be as convenient for point to point access when compared with private transport. North America is a prime example, where public transport had largely been ignored in development of their cities, barring a few exceptions such as New York, whilst road construction, costing huge amounts went along. Today, they face a serious situation with calls from the whole world to reduce their emmissions. It would be better for this country to start curbing this sort of car-dependent mobility as there are many social implications, pollution & other costs of road space usage.

Cars occupying a disproportionately high percentage of road space which is also meant for buses, public transport & other essential emergency services, whilst carrying so few, is obviously undesirable. If we want our roads to be clutter free when we want to use the car for taking our old or injured to hospital in an emergency, or when we are time pressed for some reason & prefer to use the car & are prepared to meet the costs, we want roads that are clear for these quick trips.

Thus, costs for car usage & occupying road space which effects so many others must be made higher whilst supply of car facilities are simultaneously lowered. This is the reason why we have congestion /cordon pricing in the leading cities as the social costs of occupying street space (particularly during peak hours) that delays & inconveniences so many others using buses /public transport, emergency services, etc must be met by the user/s.

Even in the most developed countries, traffic restraints have been necessary to keep a check on private vehicle usage.

BBMP had foolishly stopped collecting parking fees all over the city, & parking of vehicles along the street kerbsides could not be kept in check due to poor public transport all these years. They are now working on a policy to charge for parking everywhere, based on a formula of differential pricing, once the Metro is operational. The CBD areas will attract much higher parking fees, similar to Manhattan in New York or in central London, whilst it will be lower in outlying areas. Also, supply of parking will be strictly controlled to keep a check on car usage.

Unless such controls are in place, car usage will not diminish beyond a small percentage, which will anyway get taken over by newer users who will try to fill in the voids left by Metro users if strict controls are not in place.

I hope it is clear now as to why supply of parking slots needs strict control, as also why there is a need for higher costs for car usage.

Undercharging for car use has led to this mess, & surely, we do not want it to continue !

Vasanth's picture

Do we want a mess around Metro Station?

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Well, lot heard about demands of Parking lot for Single occupancy Car. A single occupancy huge sedan / a Single occupancy of a huge SUV driving on our Bangalore roads is one of the root cause of today's problems. This will occupy so much space in the Metro station. Do we all remember old HAL airport and the mess around that? It was mainly because it was in the city and lot many people used to come to drop their friends and relatives. This disease is lot cured with BIAL since its distance is more and very few use their vehicles. Lot many people take the BMTC BIAS service / Zoom / Airlift / Taxi. The mess similar to around HAL will be seen all over Metro stations. Few stations only should have parking facilities and it should be expesnive like Malls @ 10 rupees for 3 hours for 2 wheelers and 25 for 3 hours for small cars and 35-40 for 3 hours for large cars and SUVs. BMTC buses should pass through these stations and make further trips to other areas where Metro does not connect.Cycle parkings at nominal costs would be great.
Vinay's picture

IMHO, we need excellent parking

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I beg to disagree with some of the members here. I say we should have proper parking facilities near all the metro stations. The more, the better. Please give a thought to the following: 1) The metro is intended to reduce car traffic on the roads. If one does not find parking space near a metro station, he would prefer driving all the way to his destination. As it is, we will find it tough to make car owners get into the metro. By not providing parking, we will make sure that the metro runs at half occupancy all the time. 2) Having only cycle parking is a good idea on paper, but please think of the issues faced while riding a cycle in Bangalore. In Europe I used to enjoy cycling, but it is a nightmare on Bangalore's roads. We need to provide cycle tracks, inculcate respect for cyclists on the road.. in all, it will be almost impossible to provide cyclists the requisite environment to be able to cycle to a metro station. 3) BMTC feeder service to metro stations cannot be touted as a probable substitute to private vehicles. The issues w.r.t. BMTC have been discussed time and again on Praja, and I will not go over them again here. Suffice it to say that expecting BMTC to take the place of private vehicles is asking for more than the moon! 4) Providing sufficient car parking at metro stations will reduce congestion by encouraging people to use the metro. Not doing so will discourage several people from using the metro, and the purpose of the metro will be defeated. People in Bangalore these days have money - no matter how much you try to tax car users, there will be people who will still use private vehicles. No point trying to fight with people's perceived 'status symbols'. I strongly feel that in order to ensure optimum use of the metro and divert a substantial number of car users to the metro, we need to court and coax car users to get into the metro with minimum hassle. I think that is the only way forward.

idontspam's picture

Agree to disagree

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Vinay, I would like to give that concept a shot and see if it really works. I think we can use one of the stations like Byappanahalli and test it out in Phase 1 but really after driving upto MG road in a car where do you want to take the metro to? If you can build a case around this with an example we can look at the percentages of occurance and analyze the usage patterns to validate the need, From my perspective though, it is an illusion that people will drive up to the metro in a car and use it effectively. The distances covered by the metro is not sufficient to provide any incentive for a person setting foot in his car to get off and get into a train definitely not in downtown areas. He has to choose public transport from his home all the way to the destination. Thats why I am paraniod about the last mile connectivity which may be inadequate if BMTC´s history is to be believed. Like you have said a person who wants to use the car will use it regardless and we should let them be. But the public transport option has to be appealing enough for a person to choose it as his primary mode of transport. BMRC+BMTC thru BMLTA has to really work on this as an opportunity with an entry barrier and various substitutes. The combination transport system needs to have a unique and valuble proposition to succeed in changing the preferential transport mode of the city. I dont see the transformation happening in phase 1. The strech is too small. I believe this phase can be used for finetuning strategies and using the catchment areas under this phase to drive the future strategies.
srkulhalli's picture

Dont subsidise parking, but choice is neccessary

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I hope you guys remember your objections to parking 4 yrs from now. I hope you are not on the other side citing lack of foresight for parking facilities. I give two use cases, where I show how parking helps - 1. As I mentioned the office goer. You are asking him to make 3 stop overs, wait 3 times before he gets to his/her destination - Home: walk to bus stand : Wait for feeder bus Hop on to feeder bus : Wait for Metro Get down from Metro : Wait for bus to take him to his destination. Lets get practical and see how you can reduce his/her burden. Heres my take, if the feeder bus stop is more than 0.7 km, has a frequency less than 1 in 7 to 8 mins, I wouldnt be taking the METRO to office and I am sure a lot of you will not, though you wouldnt admit it now. You are disincentivising a lot of people. I repeat again, in "abroad" the METRO density is very high, almost within walking distance at every point. You dont have to hop so many times, so needs are different - lets stick to Bangalore in our discussions 2. I want to go from HSR layout to Rajajinagar : I could drive down all the way, but knowing traffic conditions, I would want to minmise my driving. I would drive down to RV terminal, Jaynagar or maybe MG road and then hop on to the METRO. How the hell am I go to get there - if you dont have parking, I will end up driving all the way, though I dont like it. Again, please keep the Bangalore in mind. We will have 3 to 4 lines of METRO max, and at the very least, this should be used to remove the long distance oommute. Its not going to be touching a majority of areas in Bangalore. Naveen, I am with you in theory. I will be the last person to say subsidise parking. I would say Rs 70/80 a day, whatever it takes to recover the cost for that land + investment, should be charged. Add an envioremental tax if neccessary. But choice one must have - why dont you go to the other extreme and ban sales of cars altogether - that will solve the problem ? Would you advocate such a ban ? Narayan, I am not saying huge parking lots - whatever could be usefull 50 to 100 cars maybe, and it doesnt have to be on the METRO station, it could be 100m away. And charge at cost, dont subsidise. Vasanth, Is there somebody who is going to provide Zoom, Airlift solutions to the METRO station at reasonable rates ? Then I am OK with your plan. Reason people do not take their cars to BIAL is its tooo far, its a wrong example

Suhas

Suhas

srinidhi's picture

bike (motor and motorless) need parking

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We heard a lot the other day from BMRC MD about parking options not to be provided in the CBD area..perfect..we do not need parking at the CBD.. But bangalore has been known for its maximum number of two wheelers.. flexible and maneuverable with good mileage.. So since we cannot rely on public tport to get to the metro stations..two wheeler parking should be provided where ever possible! The metro website can have a map like the one above indicating details on the stops..
Vinay's picture

In general phase 1 is not very useful

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Phase 1 of the metro is a beginning. We need to start someplace, fine - but I think the real use of the metro will come forth only when the subsequent phases are thrown open to the public. We need the metro to be extended till Whitefield, Electronics City, Kengeri, Peenya, Yelahanka/Devanahalli.. only then will we appreciate the real use of the metro. I agree that I will myself not drive till MG Road and take the metro till Byappanahalli, and then again a bus till Whitefield! It is not very useful. However, if the extensions are made, I will drive to Ganganagar station, park my car, take the metro till Whitefield. If I work in Peenya and stay in Banashankri 3rd stage, I will drive to a metro station on Mysore road and take the train to Peenya. If the metro does not offer parking, I would take the NICE road and zoom to Peenya. It will take me only 30 minutes, and the drive will be enjoyable. I can afford it. (This statement was not just about *ME*, it is a general example). That is the reason I feel parking would be a good thing.

Naveen's picture

Vinay - Parking Restrictions is a Must

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Vinay,

The validity of the points raised by you are not clear.

1) Whilst you mention that Metro is intended to reduce car traffic on the roads, you also imply that cars have to be facilitated with parking at the stations (the more, the better, is what you say). Will this not increase cars on the roads leading to the station/s & result in congestion around the stations ? Would it not be better to board a common feeder bus or use a bicycle to get to the station & reduce congestion on roads leading to station/s ?

2) Free bicycle parking at stations is a good idea & though, at present, it is a nightmare to ride bicycles on our roads, is it not better to take steps to make this possible for bicycle riders ? It has been done in many cities, & you have also experienced this in europe. Providing safe & secure bicycle infrastructure would of course be even harder if excessive car parking is allowed at stations as the cars would push off the bicycles on the roads, as is already happening now, is'nt it ?

3) Why do you feel that BMTC feeder services will not be good enough ? If we want our city to be congestion free, then we must insist & fight for better feeder services, covering all possible catchment areas. If we just write off BMTC as incapable, then we must also accept even more cluttered roads & not expect improvements, whilst the car population keeps increasing, is'nt it ?

4) So, will providing sufficient car parking at metro stations reduce congestion, or increase it ?

Some parking slots at stations is obviously required to cater to old people or the physically impaired, as also for some odd /urgent users, who are prepared to meet higher parking costs, but certainly not for regular /daily commuters, such as office goers, beacuse, again they will clutter the roads & inconvenience the bicyle users, pedestrians & everybody else, is'nt it ? If people want to use cars as status symbols, fine, but a system that charges heavily for car use by imposing high parking fees, higher car taxes, restricted parking spaces, etc is the only way to reduce car usage. Some will still prefer to use cars, okay fine, but our streets will be far less cluttered than if these higher costs & restricted parking were not imposed, is'nt it ?

narayan82's picture

Bus bays for school children

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It might make sense, to have parking specially for school children at stations. We know the mess one school can create - with the prime example being on residency road. If maybe we replaced those rattling/unsafe/broken down school vans with Metros. So parents drop thier kids at the nearest metro station, and they all get off at one station from where, they are taken to school directly in a mini van etc... For this they could have a dedicated parking space (during school drop off and pick up hourse) at the Metro Station. It will also get kids to use Metro from an early stage.
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
Vasanth's picture

Shared Autos would be good feeder

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Most people in the thread asking for parking cars. Basically, as per statistics 45% of Bangalore is moving on buses, 12% 2 wheelers and 4% cars. It is this 4% share who are bureaucrats and have big contacts and drive the Government to make the decisions. Not the majority. Shared autos as well as prepaid auto stands can also be very helpful. Metro should target those who cannot drive at all and cannot afford to have a car and driver. Again, Metro will not reduce the traffic. It will be a feedback loop. People will use the cars saying now Metro is there and traffic will be less which in turn will increase the traffic. It is a misnomer that if the car users do not use Metro, it will loose ridership. How many in Bangalore do have the access to the cars? Say 10-15%, but, almost everyone has access to 2 wheelers, say 80-90%. Cycle could be afforded by almost everyone say 90+%. 1 small car space is equivalent to almost 4-6 2 wheelers and literally 10 bicycles. A big sedan or SUV equivalent to 8 2 wheelers and 12 odd bicycles. So much of parking Gain. I know its good on paper to say use bicycles, but, at least 2 wheeler or Electrical Scooters usage to park will definitely give parking space to lot many people. Car owners will always speak as if 2 wheeler usage is a crime and cite 'n' number of reasons which is the only mode of private transport for many even now and was once upon a time for these car owners too when they could not afford one. As many of you could have seen in your offices that so many 2 wheelers, but, arranging space for them is not a problem for the office security, but,50-100 car parkings are the major headache for the securities. Also, BMTC is not worst as it has been posted here. Feeder service can be well run by BMTC. Say for example, from my home in BSK 3rd Stage to National College where proposed stations going to come, the existing buses take 20 minutes which plies towards Majestic, Car commute is 15 minutes and 2 wheeler is 10 minutes. Every 2-3 minute there is a bus going in this direction. Since the bus stop is 5 minute walk from Home, I don't mind taking the bus. This will offset the parking time taken in the station (those irritating car reverse parking tone and the security guy blowing the whistle). 'Car fobia' should get vanished and people should think out of it and to come out of it.
Vinay's picture

All I can say for sure is..

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If I, personally, have to go to Peenya from BSK 3rd Stage, I will most certainly drive my car all the way through the NICE road, if I cannot park at Mysore road station. If I have to go from Sanjaynagar to Whitefield, I will drive via the signal-less ORR (we are talking about 4 years down the line) if I cannot find parking in Ganganagar station. If I have to go from Sanjaynagar to Electronics City, I will again take the signal-less ORR and then the elevated expressway if I cannot park my car at the station. I am not speaking for myself alone. There are lakhs of people who think like me in this city. There are people who can afford cars and fuel, and will certainly not give up their cars if a simple thing like car parking is not provided. Talk of making the roads cyclist friendly is simply idealistic. First, let us see if we can get good footpaths to *WALK* on the streets in peace, without fearing for our life. Even before that, let us see if the existing footpaths can be made ready for pedestrian use (encroachments, hawkers...). And, how will our drivers, who do not even know about lane discipline, be taught to respect cyclists on the road? How long will all this take? I have full faith that we will not be able to make our streets and drivers cyclist friendly even in 10 years. Regarding congestion increasing due to people driving to metro stations, here's a simple use case: assume again, the journey from Sanjaynagar to Whitefield. I will clog the Sanjaynagar main road with my car, but I will spare Bellary road, ORR, KR Puram and Whitefield main road. In general, only the 'feeder routes' will see high traffic. There is still a huge huge gain. In summary, no one is going to sacrifice things for the public good. No one will struggle to use the metro just because it serves the greater good. Let me be honest, even I will not put myself to undue inconvenience just so that I can use the metro. We need to provide incentives to wean people away from cars, and into the metro. Make the option seem attractive, make it easy.

Vasanth's picture

You will be searching for parking and reached destination!!

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Vinay, You must have seen Jayanagar, Malleshwaram, Gandhibazaar areas. There is so much of car parking slots and still you cannot find parking. Even if you build multi tier car parking also, same will be the case (as seen in KG Road). If you want to find parking, by the time you search the parking, you would get fed up and ultimately you will reach the destination searching for space. Again, question arises what will you do once you get off the Metro station where you don't have your car. Thinking in car terms will just complicate. Coming to your last point, I would like to put a slogan below Metro - 'I am available for you as a solution to bypass the traffic headahce, otherwise be sitting in your car's airconditioned environment forever. Even if you don't ride, I don't bother since I have many. Don't blame there is no solution for the traffic,since I am alive here to take you faster,safer and quicker to your destination'.
murali772's picture

oh! for good last mile connectivity

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The moral of the story is that unless the last mile connectivity is good enough to get even the likes of Vinay (and not just Vasanth) to avail them, METRO ridership will not be good enough to either sustain the operations or reduce congestion on the city roads. That's where TVS/ Kingfisher could come in, so that while Vasanth mingles with the Janata in a BMTC bus, Vinay relaxes in style in the TVS bus (and, perhaps sipping beer on the evening run if in a Kingfisher service), paying may be double the fare.

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
idontspam's picture

Wrong frame of reference

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The current assumption behind driving to the metro is that it is cumbersome to use BMTC to get to metro. I agree if your frame of reference is that connectivity remains the same as it is RIGHT NOW. I also agree with Suhas that we may repent for not providing transport because if the BMTC cannot provider proper coverage it will become a major hassle to reach the metro using the bus. In this case we would not have solved anything building the metro. It will be our next bal bhavan toy train and tourist attraction BUT, the metro will not be a standalone entity with all other services as you today visualize. The bus system and feeder service will provide you very quick change overs. Here is where we need to clearly understand how it is done abroad and how it can be replicated here. RIGHT NOW connectivity is not like abroad. When metro rolls on and feeder services get built it will NOT be the same frame of reference. I will take this example of Suhas, Home: walk to bus stand : Wait for feeder bus Hop on to feeder bus : Wait for Metro Get down from Metro : Wait for bus to take him to his destination. Lets get practical and see how you can reduce his/her burden The assumption is this is a burden. Let me tell you practically how much time this will take Home: walk to bus stand : Wait for feeder bus 5 mins BMTC has promised you will have a bus stand within 500 mtrs. There should be atleast one route at that stand that will take you to the nearest metro. If you walk slow you will reach in 10 mins :) Hop on to feeder bus : Wait for Metro 5 mins there will be a train every 5 mins peak hour and 10 mins every off peak hour. Weekends will be every 15 mins. This is general practice in metro systems worldwide with large populations. Get down from Metro : Wait for bus to take him to his destination. 5 mins. You will get either your company shuttle or a BMTC feeder service We will repent a lot of things if our agencies work like they do today... In fact the success of BMRC is in BMTC hands.
Naveen's picture

Use Car if you can Afford

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Vinay,

When you so emphatically state that you wud prefer to drive from BSK 3rd Stage to Peenya, etc. if there are no parking options, you speak for yourself & there may be others like you, no doubt, but do not assume all car owners think alike. I am a car owner too, as are most others here. There will be some parking options made available at stations in the periphery, but not excessive nos. as real estate cost is exorbitant. Reflecting this, the cost for parking at stations will also be kept high, as already stated by BMRC during our meeting.

If you prefer to use the car, you will have to pay heavily by the hour for parking at Metro stations & end up spending a lot, or drive all the way. Dont be too sure your employer will provide you parking at the other end, though once the Metro is operational. He may prefer to provide a bus for pickups & dropoffs from metro stations, & not provide parking at his premises, except for a few top officials who can afford it as his real estate is equally expensive, & he may choose to utilise it otherwise.

Street side parking will also become scarce & expensive, depending on where your destination is. So, the choice would be yours - if you are ready to shell out, sure, use the car. Most others will not think the same, & there will be some control on the no. of road vehicles - the choice is yours & for all others too ! But, dont expect the city to provide subsidised & abundant parking for you - they will not due to very high costs, & not after they have already spent heavily & provided alternate transport facilities.

Praja's aim includes trying to help out with the effort to decongest our streets. If we give up & not try to make our streets bicycle & pedestrian friendly, it will never happen - it will take time, but it has to be done as in most other countries, for that is the future, not encourage excessive use of space consuming, polluting cars on the streets - this is quite obvious. You seem to have given up the fight even before it has begun ! If it is'nt done in 10 years, okay - at least, our next generation will be able to enjoy & that itself is a consolation, at least for some of us here.

You are right when you say that no one is going to sacrifice things for public good, & even you would not put yourself to undue inconvenience. Unfortunate as it is true, car users must be restricted severely if we have to bring about a turnaround. Else, we will continue with this mess forever, with no hope, creating more & more car parking zones with the city remaining grid-locked !

The countries that imagined that providing infrastructure for cars would be good investments are now backing out & restricting car usage. Surely, we do not want to fall in the same trap, do we ?

psaram42's picture

Obsessed for parking along the entire route of Bangalore Metro

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There are excellent references on the web about smart Growth” in urban planning
 

Smart growth is an urban Planning and transportation theory that concentrates growth in the center of a city to avoid urban sprawl; and advocates compact, transit-oriented, walkable, bicycle-friendly land use, including neighborhood schools, complete streets, mixed-use development with a range of housing choices.

Transit-oriented development



Transit-oriented development (TOD) is a residential or commercial area designed to maximize access to public transport, and mixed-use/compact neighborhoods tend to use transit at all times of the day. Many cities striving to implement better TOD strategies seek to secure funding to create new public transportation infrastructure and improve existing services. Other measures might include regional cooperation to increase efficiency and expand services, and moving buses and trains more frequently through high-use areas. Other topics fall under this concept:

Pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly design

Biking and walking instead of driving can reduce emissions, save money on fuel and maintenance, and foster a healthier population. Pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly improvements include bike lanes on main streets, an urban bike-trail system, bike parking, pedestrian crossings, and associated master plans. The most pedestrian- and bike-friendly variant of smart growth and New Urbanism is New Pedestrianism because motor vehicles are on a separate grid.



 
There are excellent references on the web about “smart Growth” in urban planning



asj's picture

Reasons justifying parking are the very things to fight for

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I am sad at some of the reasons for justifying parking. In Mumbai where all I ever used was buses and trains, walking was a part of daily routine. The nearest train station was 1.5 km away. In London, I use the train everyday, the station again is a mile away (1.6km). Have people in Bangalore forgotten how to walk, is walking going to become extinct? Huge number of tube and train users walk 10-15 minutes evefry day.

Buses - BEST is a model worth researching (I have said it so many times). They have 1500 less buses than Bangalore and yet manage to carry half a million more!!

But here we are at a time when climate change is the biggest of challenges wanting more investment in motorised transport?

WHY? Because, footpaths are not there. WHY can't we cycle? Because roads are unsafe, cycle tracks are not provided. WHY can't we use buses? Coz connectivity is poor......

All these things that are considered basic in developed world are missing and instead of fighting for them we are making lack of these facilities as an excuse for more motorisation.

Pune Corporation has now been pushed to developing a NMT cell. Is there one in Bangalore? If not, fight for it. We have spent many man hours discussing bus route and frequency rationalisation - take that agenda forward. If footpaths are missing, ask why IRC norms are not in place. Force the Corporation to accept on paper every road without footpath to be given a status of 'incomplete road works' (we have partly managed this in Puen).

Also look at the figures, rethink them, fast forward 20 years and then ask if more facilities for parking is the right way forward.

Mumbai's investment in 55 flyovers in 90s is described as the - 9% plan. This is because 82% use buses and trains, 9% use intermediate public transport (taxis and rickshaws) and 9% are in their cars. So for sake of 9% 1500 crores were spent when by now, the economic capital should have had 5000 Volvo like buses.

Now work out (for sake of ease use 10 instead of 9%) what 10% of 16 million is? It surpasses the number of vehicles in Pune today. Pune is 4 million, it will keep growing (as will Bangalore), to become another Mumbai. 80% of Pune uses personal vehicles. PMC wants to reverse the stats. They want to make 80% travel in PT (buses and trains) but are investing 10k crores on road expansion!! What they have not done is basic maths - by 2030, if Pune is 16 million, 20% of that still beats number of vehicles on Pune's roads today.

So work on projections. What will Bangalore's population be in 2030, 2040, 2050? Even 10% of that were to use vehicles, the roads will remain clogged.

I would ask BMRC MD another question (someone can if there is another meeting). Is the cost of ticket going to be cheaper than use of a scooter? If not what are they planning with the Corporation to change this equation.

Finally, yes, two wheelers are less space occupying, but they do pollute, they are dangerous and they contribute maximally to congestion by virtue of the ease with which they cause chaos on our roads - London got it right by calling it the Congestion charge (rather than a pollution charge lest people think overnight all vehicles will become electronic).

Start walking, start cycling, start using those 4000 buses and demand more of these 3 things.

ASJ

PS: Had to come back and edit my typo.

silkboard's picture

come on guys - no parking needed

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Just caught up with all the comments (and fixed typos in my morning notes :)). Come on guys, idontspam and others are right - the "setup" has to be to make people consider using public transport all the way from home to the destination. Creating subsidized parking space near the stations is not going to help the cause. It will only serve to create demands for more and more parking space.

If demands for parking space for cars at metro stations persist, I would see it in these two ways

  • BMTC has failed to do its job - all they have to do is provide quality connection from my home/office to the nearest Metro station.
  • Pay-per-use Parking would be a good business to get into near the Metro stations.

But please, no subsidized parking spaces at Metro stations.

One interesting question we asked BMRC was - "can we carry bicycles inside Metro trains? Any bike racks/stands etc in the coaches". Answer was no.

asj's picture

How many coaches?

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Mumbai locals are 9 to 12 coaches long. They are too crowded for cycles but, these trains have a small section for goods. Pune Metro will be standard gauge and 4 coaches only - leaves very little for anything but people. If there are more coaches a small section of one of the coaches can segregated for cycles. Other option is to make the folding cycle cheap by mass producing it (it goes in to a backpack). Naveen, I tried looking up, there is a company in India that produces these (but from my reading their current version is rather heavy). Brompton cycles also come with 3-6 speed gears!! The Chinese are catching up, they do manufacture these. A goo push for better cycling and we may see a change for better. ASJ PS: I am told, Pune Commissioner is fond of cycling. London Mayor cycles to work (as does the leader of opposition). It may be for political mileage, but the fact is that the guys at the top are attempting something different.
Naveen's picture

Foldable Bicycles - A Great Idea !

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ASJ,

Bangalore Metro will have 6 coaches - they start initially with 3 along the first reach (Byappanahalli to Minsk square), then increase to 6 later when other reaches are completed. They will have a capacity to carry over 2000 passengers (6 coaches). I think it will be possible later to retrofit the coaches for accommadating bicycles, if & when they become necessary - this is being done on UBahn in Berlin & many other Metros.

The idea of foldable bicycles is really revolutionary as it does away with the need for parking spaces & allows commuters to use it on both sides of the journey without the need for any special facilities. This is a major, major benefit.

I think it's only a matter of time before Indian makers appear on the scene with foldable bicycles - we can wait. The metro has to come up first !

As regards costs for travel, two-wheelers now cost less than Rs.1/- per km (fuel only, bikes below 150cc) & costs are likely to remain lower than Metro /feeder bus for short trips when convenience of point to point & time savings are added. However, for longer trips (over 10 or 12 km), the Metro /feeder bus option will be better as it becomes inconvenient by two wheeler.

Two-wheelers are also polluting & also, due their nimbleness, they obstruct & inconvenience other road users. The only solution to bring their nos. down is to tax them heavily, as they should for all road-based private vehicles, except buses, taxis & goods vehicles (public transport & commodity carriers).

Bangalore's NMT ? Well, this has become a car dependent city & is nowhere near having one, yet. But now, with some right decisions being taken by the authorities (at last !), there is hope. So, we should start with an effort to push for this, too.

You are very correct in your assessment about road development & traffic projections. Similar to Mumbai /Pune, the CTTP for Bangalore has projected an increase in traffic on the roads by 2025, even with all these mass transit additions, but does not attempt to suggest how this may be remedied. The only way is to make road travel by private vehicles much more expensive & inconvenient by stifling parking areas, increasing parking costs & bringing in heavy taxes at purchase & also stiff annual taxes. Fuel prices cannot be increased as it will effect commodity prices.

s_yajaman's picture

End to end public transport is the need

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Singapore MRT stations have no provisions for parking (except for cycles) paid or otherwise.   Many of them have bus interchanges next to them from where buses head out to the hinterland.  If there is no interchange, then there will be a bus stop right outside the exits.  All have taxi stands next to them for people that want to get home quicker. 

I am not happy with Mr.Sivasailam's answer that his job is to run trains.  His job is NOT to run trains.  His job is to move people as quickly as possible (trains can run empty) and therefore he needs to link up with BMTC and not assume that it will be managed by someone else.  Just shows how blinkered even the vision of top people can be!

There is plenty of time before NM will chug out.  The layout of the tracks is well known and the location of the stations.  BMTC has to provide feeder services.  Again, in Singapore buses reach out to every nook and corner in the hinterland.  Once buses reach a locality, they stop every 200 m.

I agree with Dr. ASJ (Doc - please break up your post into paragraphs to improve readability).  The whole emphasis is on enabling the car owner to reach his destination quickly (remove signals, widen roads, etc) and not on improving the quality of commute of the 90th percentile and below.

Srivathsa

 

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

psaram42's picture

It is not about need but it is how best to meet the need

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Our need is to have food to be alive. So we need to cook at home, let us say. We may or may not grow Rice, Pulses and Vegetable etc. It is a question of efficiency in organizing a task, in which we humans’ excel.

I think Mr. Sivasailam is right in concentrating on his primary mandate which is building a Metro. He is of course not working in isolation. He takes part in dialogs, with all concerned sister organizations. He is transparent enough through the web. There is BMLTA over and above who are in charge of inter department co-ordination.

“There are no secrets. All secrets are guarded well” - Sivasailam
Vinay's picture

In theory I am all for the ideas proposed

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I am all for having cyclist-friendly streets, and even more important, pedestrian-friendly streets. That would be simply great. The only thing I fear is that it might be impossible to implement in the near future. idontspam, you're right, I am looking at things as they are RIGHT NOW. If the situation w.r.t. last mile connectivity changes in the future then I would not argue so emphatically for parking in the stations. It is my feeling and experience however, that we will not get the last-mile connectivity we are looking for. I have nothing against travelling by BMTC buses per se. My problem is that in the current situation, BMTC does not provide the services I require. If the situation changes in future, if I get the 'last mile connectivity' I need, I will travel by BMTC till the station. The question is: WILL BMTC PROVIDE THE SERVICES WE NEED? If you trust BMTC to do so, it is a different matter. If, however, they cannot do so, we will need parking at the metro stations. That is my only point...

Vasanth's picture

California goes for high speed rail

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Owing to the ever increasing gas prices and increased airfares, California is going for high speed rail. Governor Schwarznegger has told to media that the american rail system is literally 100 years old. Here is the link: http://www.cahighspeedrai...
Naveen's picture

Thanks, Vinay

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Vinay,

Nice to hear you say "I am all for having cyclist-friendly streets, and even more important, pedestrian-friendly streets. That would be simply great".

You are correct - it is going to be an uphill task, but that's the only right path there is. All others lead nowhere & are much worse !

As for improvements - rest assured, if we fight & convince people, they will respond. As to when they will respond, it would depend on how strong our plea is & how much we push for it.

I am quite certain that our pleas are being heard - BBMP planning this parking policy is one example !

s_yajaman's picture

Maybe we have another meeting with Mr.Srisailam

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Murali-sir,

Your fears are vindicated.  It seems that a lot of thinking is happening, but execution is not.  It is all very well to be cocky and confident - but work normally speaks for itself.  We really don't want another Calcutta Metro story here (it took some 16 years to get done for the [fully underground] Dumdum - Tollygunge section).

Why don't we fix up another meeting with Srisailam, prepare a bit and then grill him? 

Srivathsa

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

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