Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dedicated lanes, but will buses stick to them?

Dedicated lanes, but will buses stick to them?

August 20th, 2009
By Our Correspondent

Bengaluru, Aug. 19: The city may have found a way to put BMTC buses on track. Following complaints of congested roads and the slow movement of buses, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has decided to create lanes exclusively for buses to ensure the maximum combination of speed and safety. Several prominent roads have already been identified to accommodate the dedicated bus lanes.
BMTC traffic consultant Prof. M.N. Shrihari told Deccan
Chronicle: “The corporation has identified stretches spread over nearly 300 km on Sheshadri Road, Nrupatunga Road, West of Chord Road, Palace Road, Sankey Road, New Airport Road, Old Airport Road and Ring Road for the dedicated bus lanes that will come up under the Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS). The Corporation is awaiting the transport department’s approval for the project.”
According to the proposal, roads which have three lanes will be considered for the special bus lanes. “The lanes will be set up by elevating the existing roads by one foot to ensure the smooth flow of traffic. The BMTC will follow the Bagita (Colombia) and Cutituba (Parana) transport models in implementing the dedicated bus lanes. None of the other cities have achieved any degree of success in the project,” Prof. Shrihari added.
The roads in the city have been short-listed based on the volume of the bus traffic flow. “If the frequency is below 50-60 buses per hour, then such an exercise will not succeed as other vehicles may trespass on to the elevated line,” Prof. Shrihai observed.
“Providing speed and safety service are the major objectives of this project. Dedicated lanes will decongest the roads and leave no scope for zigzag driving, thus reducing the risks of traffic jams and accidents,” said Prof. Shrihari.
The BMTC employees’ union has lauded the new project. President of the KSRTC and BMTC United Employees’ Union K.R. Vijay Kumar said, “Due to congestion and traffic jams, presently buses ply at an average speed of 17 km per hour. But once the dedicated lanes are developed, buses can run beyond 30 km per hour”.
“The union held a seminar on the issue recently. Now, we are trying to meet the senior officials to convince them to launch the project immediately,” Mr Kumar added.

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