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BMTC bus, road kerb and stands

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Traffic

It helps no one except the driver of the bus when he decides not to cut left and go closer to the kerb at bus stands. Folks have to walk up, or wait on the roads, and not at the shelter (if one exists in the first place). And the bus blocks traffic on the road.

Reasons are plenty, BMTC says the bus stands are always occopied by either the autos or cabs, and what if a bus is already waiting at the stand, where does the other bus park? Okay, some reasons may be valid. But I just snapped a bus from inside as it went from Marathahalli to Domlur. 4 out of 8 stops were made far away from the kerb, and in only one case was the stand not empty (an auto was blocking). In this case at least, the driver of 411a was simply lazy to cut left and back right again, thats all. Captured some pictures for proof.

 

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narayan82's picture

Safety Hazard

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SB, more over this encorachment by passengers onto the road is a BIG safety hazard that is often over looked. Even a bus bay, seems to provide more place to stand than for the bus to actually park in! I hear Mumbai has a very effective Queing system for local busses. I wish this could be implemented here as well. Right now when the bus arrives its survivial of the fittest who makes it through first! Sometimes, I have seen Sub-Inspectors moving people back into the shelter/pavement, but thats like pushing a pack of attacking soldiers back, the minute u turn around they are back where they started! Its hard to even come up with a solution other than Awareness Campaigns and Stricter enforcement. But you can't always expect a soldier to enforce law, somehow we have to find self disciplinary approach methods that drive it into people's heads!
Narayan Gopalan
User Interaction Designer
Bangalore
blrsri's picture

Enforcement shd work

ಮೇಲೆ
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Bus Bays are pre-requsite for this and as can be seen from the above picture, hard markings will easily direct the busses to the lane, closer to the passengers and also not cause unwanted trouble to other road users.. Btw where are the promised bus bays??
nijavaada's picture

getting fine-detailed?

ಮೇಲೆ
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Why is Praja bent upon listing issues at this level? I mean do we want to go ahead tackling each of these issues, or issue kinds, by hand? Does Praja now want to get into that model where in we stop looking at the city's (and the land's) problems holistically? For instance aren't we going to look at buses stopping farther away from the pavements with the perspective of enabling better driver education at BMTC? at RTO? Better license authorising methodologies at the RTO? Better road design practices by the BBMP? Are mere bus-bays going to hammer this problem down? Will drivers magically start driving their buses down these bus-bays soon as they see one? Will pedestrians magically stick to a queue in front of that bus-stop, soon as one such lane is painted on the road? BTW, will that paint stand the friction of the 6 tyres that will rub over it more than a 1000 times in a day? I think we can go into whatever depth into understanding all the problems there are beneath this issue. But which ones does Praja want to handle here? The effect kinds? or the cause kinds? I dont know how and where those snaps have been coming from (like the neat road above!), but I am very sure that place had a rather messy junction too sometime ago. That aside, I am also sure that we understand painting bays, making hard markings on roads is not the *solution* we need.. we need civic awareness and education - among people on and off the road. How do we achieve this - I guess that must be our homework.. (narayan82 had a point to this effect too) -Nijavaada
-Nijavaada
tsubba's picture

nijavaada

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i am intersted and read through your write up twice. i dodnot understand. maybe because i am one of those who believes that engineering(or lack of it) has a lot to do with problems(including behavioural ones).

 

blrsri's picture

city in a hurry

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following rules..education sounds very nice..also you are trying enforcement from the RTO end etc..very well btw do you know the going price for a bus driver license renewal? BMTC drivers are the immuned lot when it comes to ticketing by cops just cos they are from 'department' On a 2 wheeler I would luv to be right behind a volvo cos he makes his way faster than a 2 wheeler even in heavy traffic! and the list of gaps continue in order to rein them with process.. Instead if we introduce a hard turn out or a layby at important stops if not all.. The drivers will get used to bringing busses closer to the kerb The passengers will avoid spilling onto the roads to catch the bus Bus drivers will learn to move in a FIFO order from bus stops etc,. There are a couple layby's in blr which are very successful..check the one in front of Gopalan Mall..we can also have it clean and spanking like the one in my post pic at 6 AM
nijavaada's picture

let me clarify...

ಮೇಲೆ
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BLRSRI, let me clarify that I am not against clean roads, clean (& wide) pavements, and of course those bus-bays.. who would be against it, and also want to be in Praja, eh?! So I dont want any doubt to linger in your mind to the effect that I am against making of those bays, but I dont see that as the effective way of dealing with the problem at the bottom of all this. Instances where things have been going sweet because of those kinds of bays, is not reason to say they'd be scalable. Some drivers are more aged into the driving job, and they stick to *some* rules because they're pissed by their daily driving job, and want to play cool. This is the case with some auto drivers too.. they are way way decent to their customers, and have a cool head too. But hold on, we're not talking about having exceptions all the way, we want consistency in on-road behaviour. We want to be blind-foldedly sure that an oncoming bus will turn into this bay, or an oncoming auto will pause before a zebra, and follow watch-and-go.. without this predictability on roads, all those bays, and all those infra., will surely go down the drain. There'll be another batch of new and young drivers and a crowd on the road again, waiting to attack an open doored bus!!! TS, It would do a great favour to me, if you said what you didnt understand in my last comment, which I felt was fairly strt fwd.. -Nijavaada
-Nijavaada
ssheragu's picture

bus bays absoulte necessity

ಮೇಲೆ
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ssheragu what BLRSRI, is correct; that bus bays are very much required what Nijavaada has said is also correct; that we need civic awareness and education - among people on and off the road what is absolutely correct & required is simultaneous implementation of both; one problem is that the BTS bus drivers are too lazy to go into the bus bays and the public are equally in a urgent mode to get into the bus (but end up waiting at the immedediate & next traffic junction); one classic example is the bus bay in front of GTRE in CV Raman Nagar; this can be solved if it is made sure that BTS drivers drive into the bus bay at every stop; one method of achieveing this would be to implant or fix a proximity sensor on the left hand corner of the bus, in the front; this will generate a signal when the bus gets into the bus bay and comes in proximity / close to the railing in the bus stop; this signal can be recorded, so that the required number of signals in a single trip can be checked by an Inspector or Examiner at the bus depot and the BTS bus drivers can be fined or rewarded accordingly. anothetr method as Nijavaada said is to educate the public about the problems that are created by public getting into the bus ahead of the bus bay, before the bus stops. thanks Srinath Heragu
silkboard's picture

nijavaada, was just an observation

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No solutions are suggested here, and I do see the point you are making - can't target just one set of road users in isolation. If I got your gist right (holistic - whether planning or enforcement), I do agree.

A traffic rules enforcement drive that just targets BMTC drivers would be an unfair effort, because they are not the only unruly creatures on the road. The argument you can't beat though is that their behavior has greater impact on the traffic because of two reasons 1) they handle larger vehicles 2) there are a lot of BMTC buses doing the rounds.

An enforcement drive that makes everyone respect to parking zones and lines may work. That would involve drawing visible lines and markings all along the major roads with clear indications of who can stop or park where. Little more investment and will can provide a 'harder' solution that will certainly impact driver behavior - bus bays with dedicated stop lane. But there may not be place for bus bays on many roads on our city.

Anyway. the solutions are obvious. I just posted pics to show how far from the kerb the buses stop, and that there was nothing stopping the driver from going closer to the kerb.

psaram42's picture

A case for BTS Bus Driver, conductor and Commuter Training.

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The Mumbai City Bus Service better known as BEST is an example for good training imparted to drivers and conductors. They were known for their professionalism. A BEST driver will be fined by the department for such mistakes which Silk Board is referring, I am sure!

A real life story comes to my mind. Long back in Bangalore there used to be a bell in the busses, which the conductor used for giving "Right". This was known as double right as the signal for go was double bell. To stop was a loud single stroke Bell. Sometimes the bells were operated by commuters’ themselves, wanting to get down etc. You could imagine a Bangalore Person trying to stop the bus in the same way in Mumbai. For that matter in Washington DC! In DC the driver stops in the middle of the road with a smile if you approach the exit in a hurry! That will be a training to the commuters, not to repeat the mistake!

s_yajaman's picture

BEST is truly best

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You rarely see BEST buses overtaking each other the way our friends at BMTC do.  They stick to the left lane as far as possible.  Also they approach bus stops one behind the other and not cut in front of each other or stop wherever they want.

The other smart thing is that all persons enter the bus at the rear and exit at the front.  Throughput is higher and people keep moving towards the front rather than standing at the back door.

The next time I am in Bombay, I will take a few pictures at Chakala (Andheri E) bus stop. 

Srivathsa

 

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

s_yajaman's picture

BEST is truly best

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You rarely see BEST buses overtaking each other the way our friends at BMTC do.  They stick to the left lane as far as possible.  Also they approach bus stops one behind the other and not cut in front of each other or stop wherever they want.

The other smart thing is that all persons enter the bus at the rear and exit at the front.  Throughput is higher and people keep moving towards the front rather than standing at the back door.

The next time I am in Bombay, I will take a few pictures at Chakala (Andheri E) bus stop. 

Srivathsa

 

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

asj's picture

Second the view

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114 users have liked.
BEST is the BEST. I used the service from age of 5 and continued to do so for 25 years. My father got fed up of Mumbai traffic congestion and in 1992 sold his car and started using the bus. My mother used it for her entire tenure of 35 years at KEM Hospital. I keep saying to Punekars - for every person who criticises Pune Bus Transport, you will get 10 Mumbaikars who are proud of being part of BEST experience. A bus operator from anywhere in India should first second half a dozen from their team to work with BEST for 3 months (rather than sending them to study Bogota). ASJ
do-it-yourself's picture

A fail-proof solution

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I would like to share a solution I feel will work. The complete article is on my blog http://onlywaytoimprovein... Technical details can be discussed at http://diyclub.ning.com "A more specific example. Notice how buses park randomly, blocking traffic. Wrongly assuming this to be a social problem, several attempts have been made to 'educate' the commuter to stand on the footpath, auto drivers to not park at bus stops and the bus driver to park next to the kerb and only at designated stops or painting lanes, creating bus lanes etc. But to no avail. An associated problem of random boarding / alighting at signal lights & unscheduled stops as also dangerous foot board travelling was solved with expensive automatic doors. But the ability to control these doors was again vested with the same callous, couldn't-care-less driver. And he ended up subverting a good system by either not closing the doors or opening them at signal lights. And how did we 'Indians' react? Stop fixing buses with these doors thinking they did not serve the intended purpose. Whose fault was it? The door or the human behind it? The solution to any social problem is a balance between usage of machines and humans. And it is also true that lesser the human interference, the better the efficiency of machines. This is the way the developed countries developed. If our approach had been technological, what would the solution have been? Factor out the rarely ‘responsible, conscientious, Human’. Devise a simple system whereby these doors can be opened only at the bus stops. A very simple lever mechanism which is tripped to open the doors only if the bus is parked within a certain distance from the kerb and only at the designated bus stop. When the bus moves away, the doors automatically close. Like with trains & trams, you have created an exclusive corridor, sans the track. Human psychology does the rest. When people realize that there is no ’adjust-maadi’ human in charge, other vehicles and people automatically keep off this area. The bus drivers have no option. Civic authorities will ensure proper tarmac. Its either that or ‘inoperable doors & no bus service’ . And the same commuters who stood on the roads will ensure adherence b'coz the machine can't be manipulated. Simple, ingenious, cost-effective, long-term? But why hasn’t it been done yet? That’s because the people ‘capable’ of suggesting such change are busy assembling billion dollar imported toys to send to the moon, debating e=mc2 & The Big Bang Theory or building useless, outdated planes, tanks, guns & ships which even our own armed forces shun. The rest of us are busy financing this addiction for all things hi-tech and phoren." ........ contd/
shas3n's picture

Techno-commercial feasibility

ಮೇಲೆ
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DIY,

this is indeed an interesting idea. You (like many others here, including me) seem to have a technological answer to all the problems :) Welcome to the club.

OK, lets say, we want to implement a 'proximity based' door opening mechanism. I am not too much of an electronics guy but hope you and others here would have enough experience to comment on the feasibility of this in terms of technology and costs involved.

My system specs would be as below:

  • A passive (no power) RFID kind of unit to be mounted at the bus stop. Probably these can be mounted underground/beneath the road surface to prevent vandalising.
  • A powered detection circuit that detects the proximity of these RFID devices. This unit can be mounted on the bus.
  • Door open/close mechanism operated by this circuit. For most new buses that already have hydraulic doors, this should be fairly easy to integrate.
  • Emergency button to open the door in case of emergencies away from the stop.

Now based on these specs,

Technically: Is it possible to devices a accurate systeme with no false positives/negatives across all weather and road conditions?

commercially: is it possible to produce the whole system within a reasonable cost of say about 1000 Rs per bus?

If answers to both are yes, then probably we have a case for approaching the traffic/BMTC for a pilot on this.

-Shastri

-Shastri

Naveen's picture

Buses Parked in the Middle of Roads

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Hi All,

Good to read this script.

I feel solutions to this problem can be approached better if we could focus on the following measures :

1) Try & reduce the no. of vehicles on our roads - reduce dependence on private modes of commuting.

2) Educate all - Commuters, Bus /Auto /Truck /Car drivers.

3) Segregate road space for the different types of users - such as pedestrians, bicyclists, buses, etc.

4) Much more committed & strict enforcement of No-Parking in /around bus stops as also stopping of buses closer to kerbs.

5) Equip all buses with mechanical doors & educate drivers to open doors only at bus stops.

 

do-it-yourself's picture

Machines or Humans

ಮೇಲೆ
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Naveen, We again come back to the same question. Do you assume that we are the only people who know the importance of your 5 points? Ask anybody on the street, right from the veggie vendor to a CEO and their aunts. You will get the same reply and a lot more points. Then why is it not being done? BECAUSE IT IS IMPOSSIBLE !!!!! It has all been tried and wasted. Lets not go there again. I sometimes wonder if we Indians are 'good people'? Are we not a very selfish lot? The need of the hour is self realisation. "We are like this only" So what we need are not passive soft solutions, but a "KHEDDA" kind of operation. Don't let people (Indians) think. Bcoz every one of us has a personal agenda, deadline, emergency, excuse to break and subvert a rule and all the time in the world to argue, debate and NOT ACT.
do-it-yourself's picture

Let us try it out

ಮೇಲೆ
130 users have liked.
Shastri, My point is, We will not know what works till it is tried out. So when will this happen? Would a prototype cost 10,000 bucks? Can't this be funded by us and tried and demonstrated? We should really be having these discussions with a spanner in hand. Ready to fall, get up again and go. Not stop till a solution is arrived at. Else we are no better or different than those now. Ideas are a dime a dozen. Actions are not. And as for the technology involved, yours or a purely mechanical device (I have built a simple working model) or a hybrid can be TRIED out. Cost, ease of modifications, infrastructure, funding etc are, in today's world, easily solved. If we cannot do this, then it is back to sermonising for most of us and a fresh US visa application for the others.
Naveen's picture

The Hard Truth

ಮೇಲೆ
130 users have liked.

DIY - no doubt you are right.

If we probe into this further, we will find that cities in our country are so overcrowded, all trying somehow to make ends meet, that life itself seems a big pain for most. The country, in sixty years has come some way, but there are several goal posts ahead yet. The first problem is to eliminate or substantially reduce the nos. of those below poverty, but this will take several decades. Newcomers that arrive in cities, typically from rural areas are indiciplined, & most drivers hail from such backgrounds. Add to this, the increasing no. of vehicles & you sure have a recipe for utter chaos that is all too prevalent on our streets.

No matter how much you educate people, there will be millions more that keep arriving in cities in search of employment & still left to be educated - the immediate solution therefore is only to reduce the no. of vehicles by forcing priority measures for all public means of transport, & strictly enforcing discipline, as best possible. When dependence on public transport grows, with a concurrent reduction in private vehicle use, the situation wud become somewhat better to manage, at least on the streets, but it is obvious that some chaos will still remain for a long, long time to come.

 

do-it-yourself's picture

The power of 'I'

ಮೇಲೆ
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Naveen, You hit the nail on the head. There is always 10 fresh offenders for every one that you correct. The volumes are overwhelming. That is exactly why we need a different approach, a fresh outlook. Of all the solutions for all the problems, life teaches us that the one possible is the one 'I' can do. This was the basis of my suggestion. Self Help. When we realise the enormity of any problem and also that there is no big bucks or bigger workforce waiting to implement the solution, we automatically tend to find the simplest, but yet most effective solution which will serve the maximum. That is the power of 'I'. And I was suggesting a solution which we, a few 'I's', with our own limitations, can implement as a pilot. Hope I am making sense :-)
Vinay's picture

You NEED to get 'fine-detailed'

ಮೇಲೆ
111 users have liked.
Nijavaada: 'Educating', 'Creating awareness' and all similar sounding terms sound good, but you do realize it is rather impossible, isn't it? 'Awareness'?? This 'bus stop issue' is just one thing - people do not have the sense to use the low beam, do not have the sense to stay on their side of the road at a signal or a railway crossing, do not have the sense to stick to their lane.. well, you get the drift.. People are already AWARE of these things. People KNOW very well that they risk causing severe inconvenience to others by driving on the wrong side of the road when there's a traffic jam. They KNOW that they are doing something WRONG when they break a signal. Almost everyone is well AWARE of these simple things. Many might not be very well versed with the lane concept and some other fine details, but in general, people are aware enough. We NEED to get fine detailed because things like this (bus bays) are 'low hanging fruit'. BMTC drivers will CERTAINLY drive into these bus bays if they are built. Pedestrians might not stick to a queue even if the bus bays are introduced, but at least they will not block traffic on the road! Bus bays like the beautiful one in the picture above might not be easy to make at every single bus stop in Bangalore, what with land acquisition issues and all that. But there are several places where this can actually be done. Just drive down the ORR from Hebbal to KR Puram one day and you'll see what I mean. Small enhancements like this, even in parts of the city, will make a big difference.

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