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Mini BRTS and Elevated BRTS

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Delhi is Planning for Elevated BRTS.

Here is the link  for more details.

For smaller cities (Tier II cities), CEPT is planning for 'Mini' BRTS using Mini buses since normal buses need more width. 

Here is the link on Mini BRTS also called as S BRTS. I was thinking about Bendy Mini Buses, to decrease the width and increase the length.

Wondering why our BMTC and Bengaluru Planners are not thinking anything related to BRTS.



silkboard's picture

links not opening Vasanth

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Will read up on the concept.

Bangalore planners (as in BDA, BBMP, BMTC) don't understand things like BRTS and Bus Priority. Some guys who do, need case studies etc (Janmarg is not enough) to be convinced about.

Instead of elevated etc, magic box underpass based bus rapid/priority system (pick you name for this, but this was something Naveen floated too BBMP few years ago) itself can do the job.

One needs to spend one full week as a bus commuter to understand that nothing fancy is required. Just some easily doable and practical tweaks to make buses move a bit faster, and getting in and out of buses a bit more convenient, ashtay.

srinidhi's picture

No BRT..go LRT

237 users have liked.

If the plan is for BRT..its better to go with at grade LRT(TRAM) the Luas in Dublin..

Check video here

  • rails are cheaper than asphalt
  • Cleaner as it runs on electricity
  • Tires wearing is a major issue with pollution and costs
  • Buses last about half as long as a tram does, on average, and they need more maintenance.
  • A BRT "guideway" needs the same kind of maintenance as a normal roadway. LRT needs far less maintenance
  • Space on road is about 7.5 mts (Luas)


Hence LRT is the way to go...or else Praja proposed BPS is the best way of doing it for cities like Blr!

ashwin's picture

If the major selling point of

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If the major selling point of a BRTS is being a low cost rapid transit system, I don't see how building underpass/overpass/elevated comes into the picture. The way I think of BRTS is that it is at-grade (road level), in the median (center of the road), with Signal priority.

I must admit that I have only ridden in one system so far, in Bangkok, which, for the stretch I experienced was completely at-grade and in the median, but without signal priority. It worked pretty well nevertheless. Hoping to experience the one in Ahmedabad in December.

I also worry about this push for Bus Priority Lanes that some folks in this forum are engaged in. It could result in a half baked solution which doesn't deliver all the benefits of a BRTs  while imposing the same cost in terms of lost traffic lanes. Most people will not differentiate between that and a BRTS and may be totally turned off the concept, similar to what happened in Delhi. 


Vasanth's picture

Here is the copy paste of Mini or S BRT

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Having learnt lessons from the failed Bus Rapid Transit Systems (BRTS), particularly in Delhi, the Union Urban Development Ministry is mulling over introducing a ‘mini’ version of the public transport mode for congested cities with narrow lanes.

Unlike the existing BRTS, which need a minimum of 8.5-metre road space for the plying of big buses on both sides, the ‘mini’ ones can even respond to a 6-6.5-m road space, enough for small-sized buses (2.2 m wide) having 20-30 seats to ply.

It will be a one-way mixed lane with two-way mini buses, said Prof HM Shivanand Swamy, Executive Director of the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) University, which has been asked by the Ministry to look into the feasibility of the smaller version of the BRT. It might be called as S-BRTS.

“We have scaled down the original BRTS. Mini BRTS will have narrow lanes and smaller buses for which passenger carrying capacity can be between 1,000 to 5,000 persons per hour per direction,” said Swamy, who has designed the Ahmedabad and Surat BRTS projects.

The expert said that currently the mini BRTS has been planned in the old cities of Surat, Baroda and Rajkot in Gujarat and Hubli Dharwad in Karnataka where population density is quite high but the road lanes are narrow. As per proposal, the smaller BRTS will be integrated with the normal BRTS in the cities wherever possible to provide better connectivity to the passengers.

“The BRTS have been successful in the developed countries as their concern has been with big cities having wide roads. But in India we have to keep in mind the need of the smaller cities where population density is quite high and will further increase in future and roads are going to become narrow. Hence, the concept needs to be modified as per requirement,” Swamy pointed out.

S-BRTS are being seen as commuting solution for Tier-II cities having population of 50,000 to 99,999 as per census 2001.

The need for the modified version of the BRTS is being increasingly felt as of the four BRTS projects in operation presently only one in Ahmedabad can claim to be successful. Others in Delhi, Pune and Jaipur are still struggling with the issue of traffic jams, signal light problems and opposition from private vehicle users.

Vasanth's picture

Silkboard - Hebbal BRT Taking Momentum?

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Today read an article in DNA about the BRT between Silkboard and Hebbal.

Here is the link

Wish they had taken up this before the planning stages of Flyovers and Underpasses, not late though..


murali772's picture

unsatisfactory substitutes

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Ahmedabad's Janmarg (check this) has all along been projected as the ultimate model for urban public transport. But, look at the road widths in the above pictures, or for that matter in any of the pictures on BRT. Do we in Bangalore (or, most other cities too) have those kinds of road widths, except perhaps in the outer ring roads (but, again, not along all stretches)? Apparently, there has been an overall realisation of that, and that's perhaps how the talk of the mini-BRTS has come up now. But, I am not sure even the minimum 6.5 M required for the mini-BRT is readily available in most cities.

Well, as far as Bangalore is concerned, I would still pitch for METRO, particularly along high traffic volume corridors. As for cost comparisons, if you consider the value of the urban land taken up by the BRT, it would perhaps work out costlier than the METRO.

But, all these are essentially far costlier and unsatisfactory substitutes for what could easily be achieved through properly licensed, regulated and policed bus services, not confined just to government operators. With a bit of tweaking of what you have in Mangalore already, along-with better policing, we could come up with the right model for the non-metro's, as also for the feeder and supplementary services for cities like Bangalore (and, that's what this petition is all about). And, if Bangalore Traffic police have fairly effectively curbed drunken driving, where is the problem in disciplining bus drivers, like-wise? So, it's not because of that that it has not happened yet; it's plainly because of the hold of the vested interest mafioso.

Muralidhar Rao
Naveen's picture

BRT Hubli-Dharwar

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BRTS for Hubli-Dharwar is underway, see link below.

murali772's picture


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I had always questioned the BRT, for reasons detailed by me on the 15th (above), as well as here. And, this preposterous 44M wide Hubli-Dharwar scheme should put paid to all the debates, once and for all, one would like to think.

And, all of this has been put through by the govt-RTC mafia, essentially to ease out the "Bendre Nagara Saarige" from the picture, and bring back its monopoly regime. Even from the toned down figures presented, the financial viability appears questionable - meaning, the burden of another white elephant will now have to be shouldered by the tax paying public of the state. This is apart from the loss to the local population of the cheap and efficient services provided by the Bendre Saarige all these years.

In addition is the destruction of 2000 odd trees (check this petition), and dislocation of many homes and businesses. Looks like there is no stopping this marauder mafia.

Muralidhar Rao
silkboard's picture

@ashwin, regarding priority, its not "lanes"

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Dear ashwin, regarding this:

I also worry about this push for Bus Priority Lanes that some folks in this forum are engaged in. It could result in a half baked solution which doesn't deliver all the benefits of a BRTs  while imposing the same cost in terms of lost traffic lanes.

Some clarifications

  • what is being advocated is Bus Priority System, not "Lanes". Gunning just for the lanes would give just what you have mentioned, half baked solution with low ROI (on money spent in acquiring lane width).
  • "all the benefits of BRTS" - this is not a crips phase. We have to target the benefits that will make the most difference. And our analysis and commuter interviews show that what people want is "relative priority", not "rapid" where rapid could mean either of these - "as fast as you can", or "faster than today", or "as fast as money can buy".

Some folks picked on the BPS concept and turned into the half baked thing that you and may of us fear. That is why we had to halt our advocacy work for BPS.

Naveen's picture

Mysore also

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Mysore also joins BRTS bandwagon!


Vasanth's picture

ORR a good candidate..

227 users have liked.

Silkboard - Hebbal stretch is a good candidate for BRT with sufficient road width.Either the bus is by Private Firm or by Government, buses are still going to get struck in the traffic. Hence BRT and privataization are two different topics which should not be mixed up.

Basically Bengaluru people need the taste of a quality BRT. Once done, future BRT will start progressing well in Bengaluru and all over Karnataka .EMBARQ who is implementing this  is an excellent organization with world wide expertise who involved in Ahmedabad BRT. 

Naveen's picture

BRT & long-term provisions

264 users have liked.

BRT will start progressing well in Bengaluru and all over Karnataka

Very true, BRT on IRR is also possible. I'm glad that tier-2 cities are going ahead, irrespective of whether Bangalore does it or not. Unless provisions are made for future fast transport corridors by reserving traffic lanes, there is likely to be severe congestion & I'm glad these cities are taking initiatives.

"relative priority", not "rapid" where rapid could mean either of these - "as fast as you can", or "faster than today", or "as fast as money can buy".

Good description - on most 4-lane roads, it is possible to design "relative priority" with bus-only over or under passes to speed up movement for buses. On new primary roads (PRR, STRR, etc), median lanes must be ear marked at the building stages for long-term rapid transport options.

Mini-BRTS is interesting, but the statement "S-BRTS are being seen as commuting solution for Tier-II cities having population of 50,000 to 99,999 as per census 2001" - is not really true. Even larger cities will have areas where this can prove very useful.

in Delhi, Pune and Jaipur are still struggling with the issue of traffic jams, signal light problems and opposition from private vehicle users.

This statement says it all - what we need is physical separation to bypass intersections.

murali772's picture

the big worry

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The plan mandates the optimum use and utilization of the road network. The multimodal public transport system : BRT is conceived of in such road segments where the total width of the road is 45 metres and above.

The above is an excerpt from Delhi High Court order dt Oct 18, '12 (full text accessible here), dismissing the petiton against BRT corridors in Delhi. So, where 45 M road-width is not available, like on the Hubli-Dharwar stretch, do you widen the road to that width and then bring in BRT? I am not convinced.

Another argument in favour of BRT is available from a reading of the following excerpts from the same report

The writ petition itself has highlighted that number of people using personal vehicles for transporting themselves has proportionately risen far more than those who use public transport i.e. buses. In fact, this data has been used by learned counsel for the writ petitioner to urge scraping of BRT on the ground that scares public space i.e. roads is being wasted by creating dedicated corridor for buses, which corridor remains empty most of the time, and against that cars and two wheelers jostled for space. The respondent would agree with the figures provided and do concede that if the current trend continues, by the year 2021 car ridership would increase by 106% and bus ridership would increased by only 28%, but would use this very data to urge that keeping in view the fact that road space cannot be augmented, there is no option other than to put into place a good public transport system, with BRT being an integral part thereof; for only then would the citizen of Delhi shift to public transport. In the area of road transport, if an existing system is sought to be replaced by a more organized system, capable of better regulations and discipline, then this is an urban transport philosophy, reflected in the decision of the Government. Such a philosophy may have its merits and de-merits.

My worry is over the matter of putting all our eggs in the one basket, namely the BMTC in Bangalore, and its government monopoly counterparts in other cities, all of whom have equally bad track records. Expecting them to operate a more organised system, capable of better regulations and discipline is going to be a big ask. Public bus transport services are a key infrastructure service for any city, and leaving it in the hands of these agencies is a sure fire recipe for deterioration of a city's liveability quotient.

Muralidhar Rao
sridharraman's picture

One simple question

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Why are we so fixated on the width of the road?  Why the implied thinking that roads with bus lanes HAVE to be of a certain width?

To me it feels like people pushing for buses are being very defensive as they don't want to upset the "privileged" aka car-users/car-promoters.  Hence there seems to be a cowering need to assure the "others" that their private vehicles will be given space before any space is dedicated to buses.

I see this no different from the diffident attitude among pedestrians today.  Due to the relentless intimidation by motorists, pedestrians are forced to be doubly (or more) wary before they step on the road to cross.  There is an urgency to run across the road so that they don't, god forbid, come in the way of the royal motorists.

The dynamics should be the other way round.  A road is a public good.  Take the space for a dedicated lane for buses.  Whatever is remaining, let the private vehicles fight over it.  I wonder when that will be the attitude.

srinidhi's picture

Copenhagen case

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@sridharraman about your question on when the attitude will change..

was seeing a video about the flourishing bicycle lanes in Copenhagen..the cars there stop and let cyclists pass simply because as a society they have embraced cycling as the primary mode of transport..

So, if our society here gets back to NMT and PT mode predominantly..tables will surely change...

murali772's picture

what about service vehicles?

205 users have liked.

@ SridharRaman  -  You want to wish away cars totally, though a preferable route would perhaps be to make its usage costlier.

Also, the roads are needed for the movement of utility, fire, goods delivery and such other service vehicles too. And, you can't have dedicated bus lanes (which can at best be put to 25% capacity usage) hindering the movement of these.

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