Bus Priority Concept paper from Praja - draft ready

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BusPublic Transport

We got delayed due to unavoidable reasons, but the concept paper on Bus Priority System (BPS) for Bengaluru is now nearing completion. Find attached a draft version, look forward to comments from those familiar with BRT and related concepts. Our goal is to prepare a crisp document that would provide a picture of what BPS is and how it can be applied to our arterial routes. As always, there are hundreds of ideas/concepts to pick from. Which 5-10 of these are quick-win, low cost, and still effective is the question to answer based on observations in the field (as in, on the roads).

16 field trips (long, medium and short runs) were done on G1/333E (both are regular Buses, not Vajra) to record Bus times to prepare input data for listing BPS concepts. We were not able to get GPS data from actual Buses (G1 or 333E). Such data would have been perfect input for compiling and validating the BPS concepts.

Transmogrifier, j_venu and couple others are already in the process of reviewing and becoming co-authors of this document which was seeded by Naveen.

We all hope that via this concept paper, BPS (or any similar half-measure but quickstart version of the popular BRT) will spark interest in local government agencies to accelerate their plans for improving Bus transit system in Bengaluru.

Constructive criticism is welcome, we would love it if you provide the alternative text and illustrations as well along with your critique so that those can be easily incorporated in the concept paper.

BPS Concept Paper March2011 Draft


SB aka Pranav, for the BPS project team.

BPS Concept Paper March2011 draft v9.pdf1.43 MB


Will be up on scribd soon

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Will upload on scribd later in the evening so that its easier to read it without downloading.

Also, the plan is to print and mail physical copies of the final document to local government agencies.

And I will be re-attaching the updated version of the draft here as it develops with everyone's input.

problem with mid point stops

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Generally people who change buses in junctions would like to get down as close to a junction. For example recently discussed Jayadeva flyover where to change a bus you have to walk almost half a kilometer, which is a common problem in double flyovers.

Document already looks in good shape, congrats. I think bus exclusive queue jump lane alone should improve things a lot, special traffic signals may not be required initially.

updated - v9 attached, thanks TM, j_venu

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v9 attached and up on scribd. Thanks Transmog and venu for deep review and contributions.

VBL at Marathahalli market area is a problem on the east bound road there. Adjoining the HAL land (on north side of road), this part of east bound road doesn't have space for a third lane for doing VBL. Will confirm today during my commute.

Another Variant of Virtual Bus Lane

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below is another variant of "Virtual Bus Lane" where the Lane width is only 2 and there is NO scope of  expansion any further .As the Bus approches the Priority Zone , the controller would transmit signal to Flash on the Yeild Lights . Other Vehicles currently on the Curb Lane would make way for the bus .  The Yield Lights goes OFF once the bus passes by and No immediate Next-bus is detected. Vehicles moving on the other lane can come back to the curb lane once the Yield Lights are OFF.


One question though

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 Is BPS considering only public transport BMTC in long run, though now just for G-1? I wish for final proposal, due mention should be done for any authorized city carriers as well. For example, rural connecting private buses, feeder service buses(like major tour operators), private company tranport vehicles(like major company buses), ITPL service buses etc. In other words , the term "Bus" has to be clearly defined for scope , by first principles. For example : The government operated public transport vehcile with at least xxx seats which connects major station namely xxxxx  . Isn't it? 

" My mantra to public bodies=> Enable->Educate->Enforce. Where does  DDC  fit?"

review of BPS concept paper V7

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I did a review of BPS concept paper version V7 and following are my observations.

Page Number
Original text
Provide Numbers for all Figures.
Provide references to the same in the corresponding text.
Buses by arterial corridors of Bengaluru .
Extra space before “.” Ie. Bengaluru.
The Bus Priority System (BPS)concepts described in this paper provide a compromise between dedicated bus lanes and buses operating in mixed traffic conditions.
 -- reword compromise as it does not sound positive.
The Bus Priority System (BPS) concepts described in this paper suggests alternate methods to reduce congestion for buses operating in mixed traffic conditions without Dedicated Bus Lanes.
Bus Priority System (BPS) is not an alternative to the popular Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) solutions
-- reword compromise as it does not sound positive.
Bus Priority System (BPS) is not an alternative to the Popular Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) typically consists of seven major components. (Refer Fig number ..) All of these implemented as per reference system from Curitiba would lead to what are referred to as “full-BRT” solution. BPS is to be seen as a partial BRT (Subset ) which is cheaper and quick-to-implement that does not focus on all the components and can greatly reduce travel time , increase reliability and quality of Bus Services 
In the Table Components of BRT -  row for Intelligent Systems
include – Bus Arrival/ Location Information Systems
In the Table Components of BRT  
Highlight what all components can be covered in BPS through a common color /shade.
BPS case studies :
Though “full BRT” is a more popular subject
This statement is not required.
Reword : Though “full BRT” is a more popular subject, priority measures for Bus are in operation at several metropolitan cities around in Western Europe, Canada, United States and Japan.
Bus priority measures are  already in operation at several metropolitan cities around in Western Europe, Canada, United States and Japan. Below are some the Papers on the Studies conducted Bus Priority Systems.
BPS measures could lead to increased adoption of Buses on the chosen routes
BPS measures could lead to increased adoption of Buses on the chosen routes and also reduce Private Vehicle usage.
These would have negative effect on journey time improvements effected by BPS.
Also Add - This Negative effect could be mitigated by intelligent allocation of additional buses where this effect is seen.
There could be concern that BPS might cause overcrowding of the already crowded buses during Peak Hours. Mostly over crowding happens when there are long waits for Buses. As an offshoot of reduced congestion buses now being more frequent and punctual  resulting in lesser crowding inside the bus.
QJL might block compulsory left lanes.
bus-lengths after the signalso that
Spacing issue
activated greensare not
Spacing issue
This section can come immediately after the QJL. I have also provided some more suggestions for Virtual Bus Lane with Yields.  Yield Based Virtual Bus Lanes can be applied both near Signals and slow moving traffic paths.
intersections with Significant volume
Traffic Signal Prioritycould
Should be Marathahalli – find /replace . couple more places.
333P/335EBuses (Volvo
replica mountsto
Spacing – mounts to
The message boards would have approach sensors that can communicate only with the approaching BPS Buses.
Also include the Yield boards.
The message/Yield boards would have approach sensors that can communicate only with the approaching BPS Buses.
In table summary of design elements
Wider low floor doors High #
Is # intentional ?
make G1 competitiveenough to
For Inner CBD, top 4 listed are
1. Richmond Road/Hosur Road
2. Lifestyle signal
3. Lower Agram Road/Victoria Road
4. Trinity Church Road/Old Airport Road
In the summary of Hot Spots Inner CBD has Museum Road / FM Cariappa Road
I believe both Agram & Victoria are hot spots. Need to probably make it a top 5 hot spots.
it is possible to creat a “virtual bus lane”
To maintain proper order , Suranjan Das Signal should be followed by Wind Tunnel.
You may also include reference to queue jump lanes at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queue_jump


BPS Concept paper: Stop press?

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Just a thought I had today... the Domlur TTMC (red marker) is less than a stone's throw away from the proposed BPS route. Could we add in a note suggesting incorporating access to it (using a under-flyover bus bay (yellow marker) and a pedestrian bridge access to the TTMC (blue line).

Javascript is required to view this map.

(PS: please zoom in to see points)



thanks venu, help with more illustrations

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Venu, thanks for the detailed proof read. Will put in corrections to the doc.

Anyone wants to help with better or more illustrations (pictures with overlaid lane markings) - we will really appreciate that. Anyone wants more pictures of locations, just ping me, that's all I do in the Bus these days, note timings, and take pictures if I manage to get a window seat :)

I was also thinking of adding a "Cost Estimate" section in the appendix. Have found some references, reading through them. Nothing like putting out a number - X cores to get BPS on G1/333E, and it will speed it up the route by 20%, and thus estimated to get 25% or more customers for Bus (due to increased throughput - this can be calculated, plus more due to enhanced image of Bus - this would have to be an estimated, can take Bus Day driven revenue growth of Vajra as reference data).

Why not on E-city Road

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Sir, if you look at the road width of the Ecity from Madivala to the E-city Toll atleast. The road is of good width 3 lane main road in one direction and 2 lane service road. 

Defintly the speed of the buses can increase if applied on this road. 

shashi - keep to focus route please

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Shashi - right now, the goal is to take one corridor (we have taken G1/333E) and detail it enough to make it compelling for city to look at it. Once city agencies show interest, we will detail every route they may request us to.

Qs for v10

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Question for team members... should we delve into NM integration with minor route modifications as ids suggested sometime back. Also we should endavour to make v10 more concise as requested.

@sb, if you have pics, I can come up with a quick render of a QJL for Residency Rd (potentially Ashirvadam circle unless you thought otherwise).


Review Comments on V9

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@Silkboard Great step towards getting the civil society and government to relook at the BRT Concept. My feedback is to the following sections on Ver. 9

1. Queue Jump Lane Section: I would include the following

  • QJL would be created on the left side of every road signal (length of 120-250 Feet & width as per the highest bus size)
  • Strict lane adherence by the buses themselves E.g Left side of the road so that movement into the QJL is efficient
  • Relevant Penalty / Traffic fine details for non BMTC vehicles getting into the QJL

2. Traffic Signal Priority: I would rewrite the section as the following

  • From  "TSP would introduce traffic rules that give buses priority when re-entering traffic, staggered stop lines and
    special bus lanes and traffic signals that give transit vehicles a head start in traffic queues at intersections, and
    technologies that allow buses to activate green lights on traffic signals."
  • To "TSP would introduce traffic rules for QJL that gives buses in this lane priority to move through traffic signals. The distribution of TSP under the multi QJL scenario (i.e. QJL North - South, QJL East - West) and regular traffic movement (All directions) would be carefully managed by creation of an indepth algorithm. The QJL related TSP signal management would be controlled by on-ground traffic officer and not in the hands of the bus operators to aviod accidents etc. "


Comment Included to feedback above

8 Apr 2011: I feel that a approach to handle Accident prevention & Unviable Signal Extension Time for regular traffic under the automated TSP, could be included in the next document version. I feel this will ensure that any concerns are addressed from governement or supporting agencies. Please refer to following link which provides just a basic high level detail on metrics under signal extension by auto TSP. Click Here


Reply to @Transmogrifier post on 7 Apr 2011

Sure, I feel a combined Manual + Auto TSP signalling system can be proposed in the intial test phase so that practical gaps and complexities can be analyzed. Request you to share any available references on automated TSP signaling system  which is implemented in other countries (a non full-BRT example which caters to the concept variation that is being discussed in this draft paper) so that we can understand & adopt salient points.

Reply to @Transmogrifier post on 8 Apr 2011

Thanks for posting the video link. The Opticom Infrared System displayed in the video is apparently being considered for an under construction BRT in DeKalb county,Georgia (USA) and it would be good to know more details as and when they release about this project. Additionally,I am trying to locate statistics with regards to TSP - QJL in a high density metro (Similar to India)



The QJL related TSP signal

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The QJL related TSP signal management would be controlled by on-ground traffic officer and not in the hands of the bus operators to aviod accidents etc.

Disagree. IMO, it would be retrogressive to suggest a completely manual QJL-TSP arrangement. With an appopriate level of planning an automated system using live traffic loads and inductive-loop triggered lights would work just as well. As the report points out, the preferred way to trigger the TSP would be a bus-mounted GPS; in the interest of speedy implementation though wireless communication between the bus and the signal is suggested (not sure if this necessarily has to be operator controlled).

As with any system, constant feedback would improve functioning and this is where the indepth algorithm (potentiialy, junction specific) you suggested comes in. Having said all this though, I think there is merit to having manual enforcement in addition to automatic operation of the system especially when BPS is introduced.



How TSP works...

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A quick search will reveal a ton of literature on TSP... but here's the best video I found of a TSP impementation for emergency vehicles (conceptually easily extended to BPS). An explanation of how the system functions starts at 2:36.



paging venu, transmog

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Guys, just got back from a busy month and half. Will work on the draft to prepare a first version. Checking who all are around to help. May need some diagrams, and proof reading help. And of course, more ideas if there are any.

Voulunteer to help

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Hi, I am a transportation planner based in Mumbai. Would be happy to help. Kindly let me know.



thanks Priyanka

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have sent you my email through a private message, let me know how you want to help. Also, someone mentioned a bus lane was done near Haji Ali in Mumbai. Any idea?

updated version uploaded

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Have uploaded the as of now latest, (July pre-final version 1) on scribd. Has all the spell checks and review comments incorporated, no significantly new content over March draft versions.