Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Buses add to growth of public transport

Buses add to growth of public transport
Bangalore, Dec 29, DHNS:

The public transport sector led by the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) too contributed to the growth of the Transport sector, by adding more buses to their fleet and announcing massive bus station/terminal infrastructure plans.

While, the KSRTC introduced new models such as the Mercedes Benz in the premium segment and the Ambaari in the sleeper segment, the BMTC augmented its strength by utilising funds drawn from the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) and introduced more Volvo buses in the City.

Another service that caught the fancy of commuters was the introduction of the eye-catching green colour ‘Big-10’ buses by BMTC to connect various parts of the City, to the Central Business District (CBD). However, another service, also introduced simultaniously in early 2009, ‘Kendra Sarige’ Volvo buses turned out to be cropper, failing to attract the upwardly mobile of the City and was merged with the Vajra Volvo fleet . BMTC also introduced the ‘Atal Sarige’ brand of buses to cater to economically backward sections of society. Named after the former prime minister, this was labelled as a populist measure of the ruling BJP government.

Infrastructure at bus stations also received a boost, with the inauguration of the BMTC Traffic and Transit Management Centre (TTMC) at Jayanagar 4th Block, in September. This is part of an ambitious plan under the JNNURM to upgrade and rebrand existing bus stations and make travel by public transport more feasible.

An unique feature of TTMC’s is a ‘Park and Ride’ facility for commuters and commercial space, that is expected to generate commercial revenue for BMTC.

Work on construction of nine more TTMC’s viz - Banashankari, Vijayanagara, Koramangala, Shanthinagar, ITPL (Whitefield), Bannerghatta, Kengeri, Yeshwantpur and Domlur are underway and would be completed by late 2010. The total cost of construction of these TTMCs is Rs 333 crore while Rs 166 crore has been released under the JNNURM scheme for the project. BMTC also proposes to construct 35 more TTMC’s under a public-private-partnership (PPP) model in phase-2 of its infrastructure improvement initiative.

Not to be left behind, the KSRTC too has embarked on a slew of projects in 2009. Among these, is the construction of an Inter Modal Transit Centre (IMTC) at Majestic, that aims to link bus connectivity to the Bangalore Metro project. Development of this project is expected to begin in early 2010.

Other projects that will see development next year are Satellite Bus Terminals at NGEF, Peenya and Hosur Road. These are envisaged to ease congestion at the Kempegowda Bus Station in Majestic.

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