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CTTP review comments

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Public Transport
Comments on RITES proposal, Suhas Kulhalli.

General background

Structuring of report is good. Conceptually clear flow of thinking. Starts with a good background of Bangalore. Then gives a background of the study itself. What is the data collected and how it is collected is dealt in Chapter 3. Using this data to create a model for travel and transport is discussed in Chapter 4. The next chapter gives a general background on the guiding principles for transport planning. Then (in Ch 6) is discussed on how to extrapolate the data to do an analysis of future demand. Based on the strategy and the future demand developed with the help of the modeling, a travel and transportation plan is proposed, which involves, Metro rail, LRT, BRT among others is presented in Ch 7. The next chapter(8) discussed the importance of seamless integration of the various modes. Then the cost estimates, how to generate the money, and how to phase the transport network is discussed in CH 9. The last chapter talks about institutional development that is required to run the city effectively.

Two biggest lacunae, no serious analysis of different MRTS options, their workability vis-à-vis Bangalore city. The second is the report is not complete. That is, the suggestions are open-ended. The loop should have been closed, by estimating the impact on the traffic and transportation statistics of implementing the proposals. More in the detailed comments below.

Data Collection (Ch 3)

In general, data collection has been good. Can be used for other studies as well

In chp 4 it is mentioned that there is not much information of trip attraction points, such as work places, colleges etc. This could be a very important exercise and data collected on this basis, especially since most of the trips are for work or education basis. At least to find the major hotspots in Bangalore and identify the daily trips to/from that conglomerate. For eg: Electronic city, ITPL, Airport, Majestic, Peenya Industrial area are obvious high I/O points. This data should be relatively easier to collect and use in their modeling.

Modelling(Ch 4)

Model should have been validated on previous data. Ie, if similar analysis was carried in 2001 or the RITES in 1994 and similar modeling was done, how accurate has it been in estimating the traffic today. Based on that the accuracy of the forecast could have been estimated.

Strategy for transport development (Ch 5)

Talks about street design but needs to be more comprehensive. Aspects mentioned includes space for bus lanes, bicycle and pedestrians, para transit passengers to mass transport facility. I believe street design should also incorporate space for hawkers, which would make the city more economically inclusive. Bus-stops, street lights, parking, forestation (tree-lining), turning lanes are some of the other things that should be added.

Future demand extrapolation (Ch 6)

The desire line diagrams as well the peak hour diagrams are not readable. It comes across as blotch of colour. Some suggestions for improving them would be - Spread the diagrams across multiple sheets. They could be segregated by point of origin or by quantum of traffic.

Transport mode alternatives (Separate chapter required)

Not much info from an engineering perspective on the various MRT options, their cost, their speeds, quality of service etc. A thorough study of the mass transport alternatives, their relative advantages and disadvantages is not part of the study. Suburban rail, or rail at grade is not mentioned at all, and no reason why this has been dropped has been given.

This is very critical and obvious to an extent. How could one give proposals without understanding the pros and cons of each in depth ?

My pet peeve – Does not talk sufficiently on cost effectiveness other than mention BRT. Laying surface lines, avoiding commute through central areas by laying rail tracks in the periphery is not mentioned. BRT is the lowest cost, however the next best thing would be a suburban or metro system at grade but with ROW (right of way). Talks about diverting through traffic on PRR. But in the same light, if we could divert people traffic through circular rail routes and not have them commute through the centre would help, both reduce commute time as well reduce the load on the centre.

Traffic and transportation plan (Ch 7)

The suggestions are open-ended, ie the report doesn’t talk about what to expect once the proposal has been implemented. Such as, what would be the percentage of ridership on the Metro at completion of each phase ? What would be the ridership along each route ? How much would use Public Transport , (updation of table 3.7/ Fig 3.8)? How would the density of road traffic compare (update Table 3.1, 3.2 etc)? What would be the average speed (speed and delay study - Table 3.16)comparison between now and once these suggestions are implemented. Average commute time if the transport network is utilized. None of these are addressed, as the study missed this crucial point altogether.

Regarding the plan itself - West Bangalore seems to have a lot of monorail and east has none, but seems to have a lot of BRT. This could result in imbalance, specially if BRT does not work as well.

Specific Suggestions:

1. Convert the Hebbal to J.P. Nagar (Bannerghatta Road) along the eastern portion of outer ring road also to Monorail/LRT. This way the LRT corridor would be a complete circle along outer ring road.

Currently, proposal is to have Mono/LRT along eastern section and BRT along western section.

Efficacy of BRT in Indian context is a serious question. How would the buses on the BRT corridor be free flowing. Would they be signal free ? How would that be achieved without grade separation ?

Compared with Monorail/LRT which has grade separation and would thus be extremely predictable and quick, BRT would be mixed with the heavy regular traffic with all the turns, signals and highly heterogeneous and non-compliant traffic which is characteristic of Bangalore. As I mentioned, this has to be proven in the Indian context.

Usage of a Mass transport depends heavily on convenience and even perceived convenience. Having to change modes, and especially to Bus would be a serious hindrance to increasing usage. Even for the agency laying the Monorail/LRT, having access to the high density tech corridor along the outer ring road would greatly improve their financial viability.

Given the above, strongly advised to have a circular monorail/LRT corridor along the entire outer ring road.

2. Convert the BRT corridor along the PRR (peripheral ring road) to a ‘at grade’ suburban rail system.

As mentioned, any at grade rail system would be very cheap and has potential of much higher passenger throughput than a BRT. A BRT would saturate at 15,000 to 20,000 phpdt whereas a heavy suburban system can go far beyond. The convienience of a rail, is perceived much better. Also, suburban rail systems have been hugely successful in India. The key is to incorporate the suburban system in the planning stage, before significant densification has happened and this would make it extremely cost effective. Actually, the 1977 document also proposes a ring railway.

This circular suburban rail would be hitting significant trip attraction points of Bangalore, such as Electronic City, ITPL, the Bangalore International Airport , Peenya Industrial area, and Kengeri satellite town. Even the desire line diagram (Fig 3.5), shows considerable traffic between these points. It would reduce the traffic congestion inside Bangalore city. Also, this would thus help alleviate the current hot problem of Airport connectivityJ. It has been observed that people are willing to switch personal transport for rail, but very rarely for Bus. This was borne out even in the recent Times of India survey. Converting to a high quality at grade Metro or suburban rail is thus imperitave.

This should also be taken with immediate effect, as at a lower cost, its potential benefits are significant. Also there is a huge opportunity cost, if this is delayed.

3. Cancel the Metro corridor from Yelahanka via Nagvara

Metro is extremely expensive. None of the data justify two Metro corridors so close to each other. (Devanhalli Airport to MG road and Yelahanka to MG Road). The Airport to MG Road corridor can also take the traffic of Yelahanka/ Nagvara.

In this context, the high speed Airport rail link is really a no-no. While being extremely expensive, the amount of Airport traffic does not justify it. Assuming 12 million passengers annually, that would be 1400 phpdt. A number of passengers, especially international travelers, prefer taking a taxi. In addition, this high speed link only drops them to MG Road and not to the final destination. How much would it help the IT folks working in ITPL or Electronic City for eg:? Would this be an alternative to a cab along the PRR or ORR ?

Instead, one could run special airport trains on a regular METRO corridor

Note : This suggestion is to consolidate the two METROS in the NORTH (Bangalore Airport and Yelanhanka till MG Road). The M.G. Road to Electronic city is useful and needs to continue to exist.

4. Push out the Kanakapura Rd extension of the METRO

The desire line Fig 3.5, as well as Table 3.3 do not show very heavy traffic movement through Kanakapura road. Traffic is much higher on the Hosur Road, Tumkur road and Bellary Road sections. From these charts, as well as our experience in Bangalore, we know the congestion of Hosur Road through to Electronic city. Thus the Electronic City MG Road should be taken up as a priority or the JP Nagar should be extended to Electronic City.

The Kanakapura rd extension could be converted to Monorail.

5. Completing the interconnects, creating a grid to have good coverage across the city.

If the above are carried out, and some of the corridors may need to be extended to hit the suburban ring railway, we will have a grid of Mass Transit which ensures a good coverage across the city. The usage of Mass Transit increases exponentially with coverage.

Mass Transport Grid

The Magadi Road Monorail/LRT can be converted to Metro, so that the 4 intersections are more evenly placed.

This is the basic structure. Over this, other lines would be present (not shown) such as the Phase I of the network between Peenya and RV Terminal which would be intersecting the Monorail/LRT corridor. In this way, any new line should intersect one of these corridors, and that would automatically give access for that line to the whole city.

[Did some minor formatting change, did hide the email address to prevent spam and promoted to front page - {blr_editor}]


silkboard's picture

cool, wonderful and detailed notes

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Will read in detail and get back. I am sure some more folks will also scrutinize your notes here. Nice job!

tsubba's picture

CTTP Review

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suhas, awesome analysis. and a very timely and important post. you have consolidated many of the issues we have been discussing here. Eventually i would like to compile references to all those discussions around your post. That would put them all in one place. need to see how to do that. currently in lurk mode. About lack of "analysis of different MRTS options, their workability vis-à-vis Bangalore city": According to a book (Don’t Make Me Think) I was recently reading, this comes from the nature of problem solving. Decision-making does not flow linearly in an Analysis - Solution - Implementation - Test pattern. Apparently, when time for execution and the urgency to execute is pressing, people run through a list of available alternatives and pick the first solution that falls in the agreeable solution space. Such a solution is very likely not optimal. But it works. Do what works now. One example is fire fighters, who have to make instantaneous decisions. They don’t analyse pros and cons of all possible solutions, but do the least harmful. They don’t find an optimal solution but an approximation to it. And that works most of the time. Now politicians are not firefighters, but they operate in similar conditions. At some level they need to be seen as having done something in their limited tenure. They wont get any credit for analysis time. For example, everybody complains about encroachment. HDK constituted AT Ramaswamy Committee. That was analysis. Tenure ended before anything could be done. No credit. Even otherwise, you are likely to get stuck with a suboptimal solution despite detailed analysis since there is no known objective framework for decision-making based on detailed analysis. Even if we tabulate all pros and cons for all modes, making a decision based on that is still subjective. For example we don’t know how to truly penalize capital expenditure relative to impact. For example when NYC metro was built about 100 years ago, it was very expensive for the times. Yet today no one can imagine NYC without the metro. Bogota saved money in the short term, but did it also sacrifice its potential? We don’t know. Cant know. Yet potential is an important variable in this. Is there anything inherently different between Bogota and Seoul? And it is unlikely that Bogota will ever be a city of as much impact as NYC in terms of local economy and livability. At the same time, in the short to mid term that expenditure will have financial impact for the city. So despite all objective data collection, decision-making is still a game of pagaDe. (I know sri will jump on me for saying this.) CTTP it appears is a document that came out of fixing a time horizon and a price point and that mix of solutions that fall within that area. You cant go terrible wrong saying you need to go multimodal. Bit of this bit of that. Within this plan look at densities and city pattern and connect metros and BRT and mono. Not optimal. Still a plan. I have made my peace with the general plan. Important now is to ensure that it gets implemented. But within the plan there are some intermediate decisions like BARL that I don’t agree with exactly for the reasons cited by you.
Vasanth's picture

Ringroad second half continuation of Monorail

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For your comment:

Convert the BRT corridor along the PRR (peripheral ring road) to a ‘at grade’ suburban rail system.

I would suggest the continuation of the Monorail along the Western Portion of the ringroad from Silkboard to Hebbal like a circle. Otherwise, people have to change the mode of transport at Silkboard Junction or Hebbal Junction which causes the delay as well as make it unattractive to people, especially the elderly citizens and the ladies.

This would also save 2 lanes on the ring road, which can be used for more conventional buses, or we can have BRT along with mono. What Curitiba does is, they have express services with limited bus stops and shuttle services with stops in all the bus stand. People take the nearest shuttle bus, go to the next express bus stop, take express bus stop to the nearest express bus stop of the destination and again take a shuttle bus service to the final destination and sometimes the feeder routes after the shuttle. Similar to Curitiba, we can have monorail as the express service and BRT as the shuttle service in this portion.

Vasanth's picture

Push out the Kanakapura Rd extension of the METRO - Exactly

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Suhas is exactly right here. Kanakapura road is not so crowded, even less than Bannerghatta Road. It is mostly truck traffic. Mono link from National College Circle via K.R. Road till the Mindtree office and then left, towards Kanakapura road, right onto Kanakapura Road probably till the NICE peripheral road would be ideal. Kanakapura Road is not as high density as the KR Road till the Mindtree office. KR Road is also wider enough to incorporate the median monorail.

People travelling to EC from the southern areas can travel till NICE on the mono and take an public transport if any started by NICE.

But, the conversion of Mono to Metro on Magadi road is not justifiable just to have the grid structure. I have travelled a lot on the Magadi road. The traffic that goes here is buses of Magadi (who ofcourse will not take the mono), some chaotic traffic and traffic towards Basaveshwarnagar main road. There is no traffic volume which justifies a Metro. 


srkulhalli's picture


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Tarlesubba and Silkboard,

Thanks for the encouragement. That keeps one motivated, otherwise we feel we are doing things in a black hole.


 You have an interesting perspective. I did not think of that. But I think the decision time should be a factor of the total time of project. The firefighters have 15 mins to get done with their "project" Obviously the decision time should be a minute or less. The cost of not taking a timely decision would  probably be much worse than taking a suboptimal decision.

City planning is the other end of the spectrum. The "project" lifetime is over 15 yrs, probably more. 1 year to get to do the right thing is quite alright. But even here the cost of doing nothing is still worse than a suboptimal decision, in that sense I am with you.

 I dont think it is a question of time actually. I think what I am suggesting is very basic. mc...(sorry I cant get that name) for eg: was suggesting that neural networks should be used for planning. That is a little out there. All I am saying is if you are suggestion monorail, what is the technology. Does it for eg: have a low radius of curvature to align with roads suggested. What height should it run, can we run it close to ground in certain streches to cut down on cost. These simple kind of things.

 The RITES report took 2 yrs to make. There has been enough time. Its just a question of, are there enough number of people of high quality who were motivated and clear about the goal. Just like in any other organisation.

 I think an objective framework is possible even for something as complex as urban transport planning. But it would take a lot of working on and like everything else, there is nothing like perfection, but one can get better all the time

 All said and done, RITES is a good start, as I have mentioned initially



srkulhalli's picture

More on mono

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 On converting the western portion of the ringroad from Silkboard to Hebbal like a circle, that was my suggestion. The western portion is already a monorail as per the RITES report, so my suggestion was to convert the eastern portion (pt no:1) to have a circular monorail for similar reasons as you and me have stated(pt no: 1)

 Regarding running BRT along the same track I am not so sure. There is already concern if there is enough capacity to enable a decent return on investment. If we have BRT along the same route that will eat into Monorail ridership. Probably for express trains, the better solution would be to have an extra track for stopping and the central track for trains not to stop. I dont know if this is possible in monorail

I dont think people mind a 20% extra time as long as it is dependable and there is no variance. I think a stop every 1.5 km should be fine.We need feeder bus services to feed into this to make it more convinient for people. But depending on usage, it can be even smaller than the regular 60 seater buses



srkulhalli's picture


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Your suggestions may be better here as I do not have much idea on the western part of the city. That said, the mass transport system is like the spinal column to which various systems can connect. To enable that, I feel it is neccssary that the mass transport should have good geographical coverage. Once you have that, you have to connect to it at any point and by its design you know that point is now connected to anywhere in the city. Hence the grid suggestion, so there a additional value to it than pure ridership numbers along a spline.

 But given we have limited resources, it proabably needs more carefull thinking. As such it can be deprioritised to ph 3 or later



Vasanth's picture

Hitachi Monorails

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I was going through Hitachi railway website and saw the monorails, they have the carrying capacity starting from 50 to 110 in each bogie depending upon the turning radius.4-5 compartments are common in monorails and hence a large bogie monorail should carry 550 passengers. Not a bad figure.

Monorail technology except in Japan is not considered seriously by city planners. Hence people have reluctance to accept. But, the technology has developed a lot.

srkulhalli's picture

Airport expressway rethink

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I recently read a report where Shri Yeduriyappa commented about rethinking the Airport expressway and instead are looking at extending the alignment from the Byappanhali/Beninganhalli of the METRO.

Am not sure if it is because of the comments here, but neverthless a good thing.



murali772's picture

PRAJA - rajyam zindaabad

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Suhas - Awesome job, overall! I think we at PRAJA are more in a position to contribute to city planning than say 'City Connect' (don't hear of them, and they did not participate in the TransInnova seminar either), or Abide, or whatever.

This has to reach the notice of CM - wondering how!

Muralidhar Rao

Muralidhar Rao
blrsri's picture

should we have monorail at all !?

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  • vehicles are smaller than metro, thus higher cost per passenger mile.
  • Reliance on Hitachi and other such private players will be more(BEML cant collaborate)
  • mistakes in changing track can be fatal - "derailment" being the vehicle falling off the track
  • evacuation problems in emergencies as there are no emergency walkways.
  • On road pillar footprint is no smaller than that of metro, so build time is same
  • May not be a good option for high density unruly population
  • Metro everywhere can bring in standardization (use of standard guage) and also thus lower costs 
  • better turning radius? afterall we are not as cogested as japan is and not all roads are like the ones at chickpet!
I was a proponent for LRT, but I think the rules are different here..rather there are no rules..hence I now believe that LRT cannot be an option!


srkulhalli's picture

CTTP - follow up with BMLTA ?

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Should we follow up with BMLTA on the CTTP ? . I notice there were some good discussions on the current rail network and its usage for Bangalore, especially the airport connectivity. My comments do not cover that.

If we do want to follow up, somebody needs to consolidate and place all the points in a structured fashion. I am OK doing it but somebody else is more than welcome



blrsri - I am literally craving for the answers too - mono vs LRT vs METRO. I am going to start a seperate thread, it really deserves one.


Vasanth's picture

Back to Old Questions

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We are back to the old debate - Metro / Mono.  We should first concentrate with little alterations to the CTTP report and followup with quick implementation.

Blrsri, We need better turning radius, as well as small foot print. Tarlesubba has posted many images earlier related to Sydney monorail. Have you seen the Vidyapeetha circle? It is so narrow. How can we have a Metro / LRT over there? Monorail is ideal for this.

I have travelled in Boston in narrower metro trains such as Green Line and Orange Line. It is too slow because of the turnings and feels like our Cubbon Park toy train. On the other hand, a wider Metro like the Delhi one is used for Red Line which is fast.

Regarding evacuation of people from the track, there can be a median constructed in between the two tracks.

There are BRT fans who push BRT, LRT fans who push LRT (you can check and Mono fans who push monorail (  It is the planners who have to take the right decision without succumbing to pressure under politicians or VIPs views.

Let us first get started with the work whatever mentioned in the CTTP report. No work has been started so far on the BRT which can be finished quickly compared to other technologies.

blrsri's picture

std guage shd help

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About Boston, Green Line and Orange line are ancient (pre 1901) did they prefer metro are more latest

Blr had standard gauge for metro, it allows a low turning radius of 90 to 140 metres as against 175 metres for broad gauge(Delhi Metro)..mono needs 40+ 

The difference btw mono and std metro aint maybe we just stick to one std!

About Vidyapeetha..maybe we just move the tree into the vidhyapeeta campus!

Or we can re-route thru Hosakerehalli and bank colony..remember we have educational establishments that route!

silkboard's picture

adde this to book outline

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Tarle had clubbed similar series of posts (CTTP reviews and comments) from Naveen and himself here in this book, see it here: Have added this post there as well.
idontspam's picture

Indian cities fare poorly in

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Indian cities fare poorly in global liveability index

None of the six Indian cities that were included in the study to develop the “Global Liveable Cities Index” – Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Pune — finds mention among the top 20, either in the global or the Asian list

The report said that if civic infrastructure (in India) is not improved drastically, it would not only worsen urban decay resulting in declining quality of life but also drive away investments. comment guidelines

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