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Light Rail Transit (LRT)

305 users have liked.
Metro Rail

We have seen ...

  1. Roads being discussed on praja and one thing that has come up is that the traffic manages to congest any space available, wide or not..
  2. BRTS..the current implementations are having teething issues than real problems. But there is still lot to be desired. To google BRT issues will provide many pointers to what ails BRT.
  3. Monorail as feeders to the the discussions have hinted its a very costly solution for a not so costly problem. The implementaitons of monorail the world over have been few and more so the successfully running ones.

What we have missed is the light rail transit option..its found that many cities accross europe and the americas use the light rail feature to decongest the roads. This provides a clean and a fast way to commute..
[Pic: a Houston LRT]

Imagine..MG road area and the light rail moves into brigade road and stops for a while to unload passengers and then moves over to Garuda mall and then back to MG road and then onto commercial street..then gets to the newly constructed multi level parking lot where foks can cahnge to their cars or wait on the LRT for the next stop to get dropped onto the metro station to get to Jayanagar..

This will need a ban on cars entering this region and even if they have to enter then they have to pay a high cogestion toll!

As for the expense, this is inbetween BRT and the mono-rail and offers facilities which are best of both!

There is also a suggestion that the BRT can be started on particular routes and as it gets popular we can introduce LRT. LRT is kind of inflexible as there are fixed lines, hence deciding which route to introdude LRT becomes critical.

Do you think LRT is an option for Blr?


tsubba's picture

light rails

178 users have liked.
sri, if you have banned private vehicles, then dont you think at grade light rails(redressing the good old tram) is an over kill? if you have not banned cars/bikes then what purpose do these serve other than having the ability to stop at designated stops, which the buses seem to be having a tough time doing. grade separated light rails are nothing other than metro. should mg road area be pedestrianized?
blrsri's picture

Dublin LRT

152 users have liked.

Vehicles use road along with the trains..but again this needs lot of dicipline and thats what we lack most..

MG road is full of commercial establishments and we do not have a louvre or a palace there to stop vehicle dont think its a good candidate for pedestrianization!


blrsri's picture

BRT works in Delhi

166 users have liked.

After the initail hitches, BRT is picking times reduced by 1/3rd!

This is a fast turn around for a project getting accepted..its now to change the mentality of the car users and introduction of A/C low floor busses to increase bus usage..also facility like park and ride need to be introduced..

Coming to the compatibility of BRT for bangalore , this is still a question to be answered..BRT needs a fully exclusive path and this is shared from the one of the lanes in the we know Delhi has wide roads but Bangalore does not..

LRT could be an option..this is because:

1. LRT does not need exclusive routes like BRT

2. LRT has more capacity and is not polluting as busses (3-4 busses together)

3. LRT is more affordable than monorail

4. LRT is at grade..which makes it more approachable..this is one of the reasons for the low ridership of monorail projects

silkboard's picture

Calgary moving from BRT to LRT?

156 users have liked.

Noticed this in the wikipedia note on BRTS at Calgary:

"Calgary Transit has operated one BRT route since 2004 but ridership has exceeded expectations, and as of 2007 the city was considering converting the west leg of the route to LRT as soon as possible. Calgary Transit operates the most successful LRT system in North America at over 230,000 riders per day, and states "LRT is considerably cheaper to operate when there is high passenger demand." It has estimated its LRT operating costs at 25 cents per ride, versus 89 cents for BRT..."

Rest of the note mentions labour shortage as another reason against Buses (they were not able to get enough drivers - trust us that wouldn't be a problem here).

However, the Calgary Transit wiki page says this about BRT

"Calgary's BRT line incorporates only a few features that a true BRT has to offer. Limited stop service, direct routing and traffic signal priority systems are among these features. The BRT, also known as Route 301 runs in regular traffic, uses regular buses (sometimes articulated buses) and uses regular bus stops, with the exception of being painted red."

So, looks like BRT is a loose term, not really comparable to LRT (think LRT, you can picture tracks, slow trains, stations , think BRT, the picture is not as crisp). But still the 25 cents/ride vs 89 cents/ride is the stat to note here. That is a big difference, especially when you consider that these buses run in regular traffic (meaning - no dedicated lanes). So clearly, there are big costs elsewhere for Clagary's BRT. Where, I wonder.

blrsri's picture

LRT aint slow!

158 users have liked.

LRT != Calcutta Tram :)

The modern LRT does average speeds of 30 kmph which is very comparable to other transport modes..

There are low-floor vehicles, modular systems,  telematics for central control of vehicles, traffic lights actuated by LRT, dynamic information of passengers...etc

LRT comes at 1/10th the price of metro..

Penalise car drivers

159 users have liked.
BRTS in New Delhi will be successfull if and only if private car use is curbed. The Government in Delhi should restrict parking and impose a bad on movement of cars in the Central Business District of Delhi. Only then will people leave their cars.
Vasanth's picture

LRT vs BRT vs Mono vs Metro

174 users have liked.

Most of the technologies are good with its own good features. People debate between technologies and uphold the technologies which they like the most.

It is BRT and Metro fever now in India. For example, if congress introduced BRT, BJP says BRT is a bad technology, scrap it. Go for monorail. If monorail is implemented by Congress, BJP will say it is pure waste of money, Government could have simply used 2 lanes on either said and could have implemented BRT very quickly without much investment.

LRT can be a competitor to BRT since whereever BRT is present,  LRT is also possible.

Mono and Metros are a step ahead of LRT. It leaves a small foot print on the road as compared to LRT or BRT. There is no intervention of people or vehicular traffic coming in the way of Mono or Metro. LRT / BRT needs minimum of 4 lanes atleast 6 lanes for operation, but, not in the case of Mono / Metro.

Construction of Metro/Mono station is more expensive with elevators and escalators, whereas that of BRT/LRT doesn't need that much expense.

Construction of Elevated Metro and Mono needs the construction of piers and beds which is highly time consuming. Construction of underground Metro is even more time consuming. 

Metro has the advantage of high speed and highest carrying capacity PHPDT. 

Mono has the advantage of having smaller foot print , more energy effecient and less noisy since it runs on rubber tyres. Lot of debate was heard here in Bangalore about Metro and Mono. All the planners prefer Metro and whenever Metro is going to be implemented, it goes uninterrupted. Here in Bangalore, people who were about to loose land such as CMH Road shop keepers were asking to go for monorail to save their skin.

BRT is the easiest , quickest and cheapest means of implementation. Buses can also work on normal roads and can go into interiors of colonies as well as operate in BRT corridor. But needs very strict law enforcement and easily finds criticism from car users.

LRT is the second easiest. Tracks needs to be laid and electric traction needs to be done. Disadvantage of LRT is that it can go only where track is laid. If one of the train fails, downtime is more compared to BRT.

Advantage of LRT is that with more compartments, it can have better carrying capacity than Buses. But BRT promoters say we can operate 2/3 trailer buses which can carry same number of people and much faster.

There are lot  more debates between BRT and LRT.

For Bangalore, 3 lane roads are candidates for BRT/LRT. Main traffic corridors need to go for Metro followed by mono.



blrsri's picture

strong case..

178 users have liked.

Nice compilation of comparisons..however would like to point few things..

We need to leave metro/subway out of this comparison..just becos of carrying capacity and cost..its totally in a different league.

Monorail sounds promising but there are almost no real world examples where they are running good..except for the one in Tokyo and other Japanese installations they have been loss making..Seattle, KL, Vegas..

One thing with monorail is cost of installation and maintenance..the other thing is about mind set of commuters..maybe people are still not ready to travel on trains that runs just one guide rail!

BRT is good  and cheap but needs road space..which we lack and the other major drawback is it runs on diesel..we already have too much pollution on the roads and its not a great idea to add more smoke belchers..and oil needs to be imported..and we need to make uncomfortable ties with Ahmadinejad!

So arguably the best solution is LRT which is not seen by our politicians now! 

blrsri's picture


163 users have liked.

"You see, if one REALLY wants, one can justify construction of an elevated line virtually in any place.  And then one can say, hey, why don't we build a monorail? 

The point is that the task must be (and is) solved in a very different manner.  First you analyze different possible alignments (not modes yet!), and select the alignment that suits the particular situation the best.  And only THEN you select the mode that best fits to that alignment. 

If your alignment has grade crossings, you typically build light rail. 

If you alignment is completely grade separated but has elevated, underground and at-grade segments, you build the heavy rail (metro). 

And ONLY IF the entire chosen alignment (or 90% of it) is elevated, there is some justification to consider monorail.

Often, monorail fans reverse the logic and FIRST choose the monorail, before a thorough analysis of the alignments and their advantages and disadvantages. However, this is not how this task should generally be approached. The choice of the alignment is always a much more major factor than the choice of the particular technical realization of the train that runs on that alignment.  From the practical point of view, the only thing the user (the city) is concerned is the alignment and the level of its isolation and its impact.  If there is any predisposition to a particular mode from the beginning, than it is not technically and economically justified."

Again one basic need is to have the count of users who would eventually use the transport!

Gautamrao's picture

Good option

174 users have liked.
I learnt for the first time about LRT here. I think it is a very good option. Do you have more information about LRT?
sandeepmr's picture


165 users have liked.

I rode on the Seattle's street car few weeks back, its like LRT but for very short distances and connects commercial hubs located close by. It shares the road with other vehicles and dosent require a dedicted lane although it does run on rail track (embedded into the road, can drive over them).  Like blrsri  has said if implemented on commercial hubs like MG Rd, BrigadeRd and commercial street which are located within 1-2 mile radius and connecting any Park and ride locations closeby I dont see a reason why people (shoppers and visitors at least) would want to drive at all.

Videos -

blrsri's picture

more on light rail

186 users have liked.
light rail is the new avatar of the trams which have been on many streets in cities all over...a good start point to know them is
srinidhi's picture

Some light on Light Rail (pic too)

169 users have liked.


C Jayaram, Director (Projects) at the company told Deccan Herald that a draft of the report will be presented to BARL Managing Director Dr Rajkumar Khatri for review before the final version is sent to the government. “There are no major changes, and the route will essentially be the same as announced before,” Jayaram said.

According to the project report, the transit system covers a total distance of 41.3 km in two corridors — from JP Nagar to Hebbal (31.3 km), and from the Toll Gate on Magadi Road to the proposed Peripheral Ring Road (10 km) on Magadi rd

Above picture and report from DH today. 
Still posting this with a refrain because these are just documents being exchanged..the actual decissions on working on it will depend on the govt that comes to power..after the elections..after the govt falls - sigh -
amitc's picture


183 users have liked.

Sigh indeed..

lets hope they start towards something meaningful.

Interesing thing that they have done in some of the more crowded European cities: use LRT in the sub-urbs and outside the city center, where there is a little more space for a LRT. This acts as the feeder for the metro systems. Something that Paris is doing effectively - setting up 3 tram lines so far that run almost like a ORR around the city. And plans to add 5 more oover the next 5 years.

May be, this could be something we could look at for the south (EC etc) or North (around Hebbal, devanhalli) comment guidelines

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