Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Airport trip to be made painless

Airport trip to be made painless
By: Chetan R Date: 2009-07-20 Place:Bangalore

New BMTC project proposes non-stop ride from city to airport

IF the BMTC has its way, Bangalore will soon have signal-free travel to the airport.

The idea of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) to the airport came from Upendra Tripathi, former commissioner of Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation.

Smooth takeoff: The proposed Bus Rapid Transit system will have dedicated lanes that will bypass traffic signals and accompanying snarls file pic

The system proposes an exclusive corridor for Volvo buses in the existing six-lane road from Mekhri Circle to BIA, offering a non-stop ride to Bangalore International Airport (BIA).

Signal-free ride

Aiming at a seamless drive, service roads on either side of the Bangalore-BIA stretch will be converted to dedicated lanes and underpasses will be constructed. Once in place, the system will offer a signal-free drive for BMTC's Volvo buses, including the existing 58, plying to the airport.

"We have also asked for a dedicated lane in major arterial roads across the city," said Sampangiramgowda, DTO (divisional traffic officer), BMTC. "The dedicated lane work will be taken up under the Jawaharlal Nehru New Urban Renewal Mission. We have also paid BDA Rs 50 lakh for a dedicated lane on the Outer Ring Road. We are expecting the state government's decision on similar lanes on other major roads too," he added.

Feasibility study

Out with the old: The BRT system will also feature a brand new set of Volvos

With over 11 million people visiting BIA every year, the number of people commuting on the stretch everyday is estimated to be 30,000. And it's 1,500 every hour.

Experts also carried out a feasibility study after Tripathi proposed the plan last year. The study found that a Volvo service every two minutes in the dedicated lane would bring down the number of cars by 25 in an hour.

"The system will drastically reduce traffic on the stretch. BMTC's revenue will also increase if people prefer this service," said Professor M N Shrihari, member of the technical committee which carried out the study.

Awaiting nod

However, transport officials are awaiting the state government's nod.

Transport minister R Ashok confirmed that the project was on the cards but said. "As of now, no decision has been taken in this regard."


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