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LRT for CBD?

242 users have liked.
Public Transport

BMTC plays a major role in providing the only PT option for Bangalore. However even with busses there is a section of the society which swears by the direction based routing as a solution for better and faster PT within the city, instead of the destination based one which is what we have predominantly now.

Destination based routing, though being simple to implement and run has many drawbacks. It tends to introduce lot of redundancy and is only suitable for cities with smaller fleet of busses and population. In Bangalore now, it has contributed negatively in overall slowing down of travel time too!

What did the planners do for it? Yes, they built satellite bus stations and TTMC's to ease the traffic in the CBD area and bring in some support for direction based routing..but it has not helped much as the effort has been mostly half hearted..

However this situation is not unique to Blr only..cities around the world have gone through and are going through this and are devicing different ways to address the issue of having too many busses in the CBD area. SOme cities experimented with BRT and some leapfrogged into LRT. Sydney has gone to the extent to bring down its monorail section too. Ottawa is replacing its BRT system with LRT. Toronto also is going ahead with its LRT plans and so are many other cities in the USA and other parts of the world.

With initial costs LRT (at grade) could be more expensive than a BRT system, but there have been specific studies which indicate that with annual runnig cost considered, it compares very well with BRT costs and also provides  a lot more advantages!

So was thinking that instead of trying to implement direction based routing everywhere we can restrict it to TTMC's amd satellite bus stations, where ppl from suburbs get to these terminals by busses and from there to get people into the CBD, there can either be structured transport options like LRT or metro.

For example, to get to Majestic from Madivala by road, one can get to Shantinagar ttmc and hop onto a LRT link btw there and Majestic. Similarly a person wanting to get to majestic from Mathikere can get to Yeshwantpur TTMC and catch an LRT to majestic via Malleshwaram.

Such plans can put breaks on some unwanted road projects like the signal free corridors etc..and really help the city coomute more efficiently


srinidhi's picture

monorail fancy is back..

152 users have liked.

The state home minister is now swearing by the monorail as the one solution for getting people off their private vehicles..once again its fancy names and big bucks which has caught the attention..

Its coming out clear, sydney is dismanteling their monorail and so is is actually going in for at grade modern LRT for their CBD connectivity and so are many other cities in the Americas..

Its high time our folks start investing in less intrusive at-grade solutions like BPS first and then LRT..instead of trying to 'fly-over' all troubles!

Sanjeev's picture

Let them Implement Street Paid parking

138 users have liked.

Why is that all MLA's of Bangalore from BJP, Congress and JDS  and Ministers including CM are not keen to  bring back the street paid parking ???

Why  they r jum[ping to other projects which need funds.  These paid parking will bring revenue much needed for the City and discoruage to certain extent the Pvt Vechile movement.

I do''t know what CM will bring back anyn new facny thing  from his China Trip

Naveen's picture

LRT is impractical

134 users have liked.

BRT on ORR is an idea provided ridership levels are not expected to increase beyond what is required for the future (only a study can confirm this). I'm not sure BRT is possible anywhere else, after allowing at least 2+2 lanes for general traffic. BRT on IRR will not be of much use unless it runs from OMR upto Hosur rd & connects with metro at both ends. BRT will need physically separated lanes at the very least - even with physically separated lanes, there are violations in Ahmadabad.

Monorails were first developed for tourists & theme parks rather than urban transport. Sydney & Seattle monorails belong to that era. Sydney monorail covers Darling harbor with the shopping districts - distance is barely 3.5km & operates in only one direction. Hence, it is now being dismantled.

Seattle monorail is just 1.6km & operates only in the city center. It has completed 50 years & is not being dismantled. The plan to expand the monorail required the 50-year old system to be dismantled & rebuilt, but since this was voted out, the monorail continues to operate.

Monorails have evolved since then & there are tested systems for urban transport in many Japanese cities & also China. Mumbai has just completed building one & it is to be seen if the technology is financially feasible & provides solutions for Indian cities.

Presume you have seen Light rail in US (San Jose, Newark?). Generally, light rail /trams have exclusive infrastructure & have priority wherever they cross roads or share road space with road traffic. In USA & also European cities that I have seen (Antwerp, Vienna, Berlin etc), roads are very wide allowing trams & road traffic to operate easily where tracks are on roads. Very disciplined traffic & conscious pedestrians /bicycists & absense of cattle, push carts & very small number of two-wheelers etc makes this possible.

I dont think there is sufficient space for exclusive tram tracks nor can they operate efficiently & safely on Bangalore's roads if tracks are laid throughout on the roads (or in any indian city, for that matter).

Fyi Kolkata's trams have become highly inefficient & are dying - see news report below.

Trams in the city can run at a maximum speed of 90 km per hour, but have to ply at speeds of 8-15 kmph due to encroachment by other vehicles on tram tracks and traffic congestion.

Senior officials of Calcutta Tramways Corporation (CTC) have complained to state transport minister Madan Mitra in this regard, pointing out that the slow-moving trams are not attracting passengers, and the corporation’s revenue is being badly hit due to this.


srinidhi's picture

Agree LRT at grade is not for

143 users have liked.

Agree LRT at grade is not for everywhere in Bangalore. However as indicated in my post, LRT could be limited to CBD (Corporation/Residency/Richmond etc) connecting the TTMC's and satellite bus stands(Shantinagar/Shivajingr/Yeshvantpur/Mysore road etc).

These routes are already flodded by BMTC busses currently and most of them are fairely wide having LRT replacing them is mostly an effort to give the routes some structure aka BPS types.

Kolkata trams are old and so are the tracks..there are some visible design issues..though they are on concrete roads..but mostly they are ill maintained and the trams have to compete with un structured hand pulled carts and cycles..Bangalore traffic is different for instance we have far fewer jay walkers in the CBD for the sole fear of the busses knocking them down!

So instead of even rushing into laying LRT tracks, overhead or at grade or even UG, the BPS type of solution can be experimented first in the CBD between TTMC's and satellite bus stands to check viability. I am sure this will give vast relief to the exisiting bus travellers who are always stuck bad while entering and leaving CBD because of having way too many busses entering CBD.

Naveen's picture

Direction-based BMTC better

143 users have liked.

BMTC is already experimenting with direction-based routing on Hosur road & if it proves successful, it may be extended all over the city. This is a far cheaper & better experiment than experimenting with surface LRT which will almost certainly be a failure, even if it is allowed to be built by public.

It will cause huge disruptions with track laying on roads & cost hugely for expensive coaches & depots facilities in CBDs with land acquisition. Or do you think depots for LRT should also be far out from the CBDs?

Kolkata tram system may be very old just as Mumbai local train system is even older, but trams (& trains) are capable of 90km speeds even today as stated in the news item. Jay-walking pedestrians /traffic are there in all cities, not just Kolkata.

Even if BMTC changes over completely to direction based services all over the city & the number of buses reduce in CBDs, road space will be taken away by other traffic since road widths are narrow. So, there will still be need for faster people movers. The only way this can be done is to take them off the street & build exclusive infrastructure. Monorail may be an option for narrow roads with sharp turns, provided the Mumbai experiment is proven as successful.

abidpqa's picture

LRT at grade is not suitable

146 users have liked.

LRT at grade is not suitable inside CBD. Metro/Monorail is the best in highly devloped areas. LRT is most suitable outside CBD like the suburban routes proposed in CRS with option to replace with Metro if the areas devlop beyond a threshold.

srinidhi's picture

not suitable?

155 users have liked.

whats the reason for that blanket conclusion?

Let me list out the many advantages of LRT

  • Stops are easily accessible when on grade unlike monorail
  • Right of way(footprint) is much narrower than bus tracks
  • less noisy than busses, less polluting - no exhaust/smoke
  • Capacity can be increased or decreased by adding/taking off coaches
  • swift pickup and braking
  • multiple entrances making ingress/egress faster than bus
  • aesthetically far better than the overhead options with no pillars 
  • Less land acquistion than monorail

With Bangalore context and the issues about LRT presented earlier here on Praja itself

  • Modern LRT has lot of safety features built in, for example, its almost impossible to come under the wheels of the new age tram.
  • There are proximity sensors to prevent colissions
  • Trams have low flooring throughout, hence easy for all sections of the society (Senior citizens & children) to access..unlike the overhead travel options like the mono rail
  • Speeds may be lower than monorail, but still faster than bus

Here is a video of the LUAS in Dublin which passes thru lot of pedestrian traffic in CBD

Here is what Sydney is planning for their CBD comment guidelines

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