Sunday, February 28, 2010

Bus Rapid Transit needs infrastructure to work’

Bus Rapid Transit needs infrastructure to work’

Express News ServiceFirst Published : 27 Feb 2010 08:12:23 AM ISTLast Updated : 27 Feb 2010 08:59:22 AM IST
BANGALORE: Senior transport engineer for sustainable transport from the USA, Dario Hidalgo, on Friday pointed out that building roads, flyovers, underpasses and widening of roads is not enough to get rid of traffic congestion in urban areas.
“Besides BRT (Bus Rapid Transit), infrastructure and accessibility should be created for non-motorised transport for pedestrians and cyclists,” he said.
He said that the BRT system in Asia is not yet fully understood by stakeholders, at a day-long national workshop on BRT held by the Directorate of Urban Land Transport. He added that Delhi’s problems resulted in a negative impact on BRT all over India as the Delhi bus corridor had several problems in its first weeks.
Hidalgo said BRT is a high quality public transport system, oriented to users and offering fast, comfortable and low-cost urban mobility. He stressed the importance of BRT for Bangalore. “Following economic development, numbers of vehicles are increasing faster than population,” he said.
The Comprehensive Transport and Traffic Plan for Bangalore proposes that BRT can be done for 291.5 km at a cost of Rs 3,498 crore in two phases in 14 corridors. The proposal is to develop BRT on the Outer Ring Road as a pilot project from Hebbal to Central Silk Board junction.
The bus system would have a dedicated corridor and operate new technology buses designed for urban environment.
Hidalgo said that BRT does not need wide roads to be incorporated in urban areas. “BRT will be a success provided it has dedicated bus lanes and elevated tracks besides integrating the feeder services with the system,” he added.
Transport Secretary S Shankarlinge Gowda said that BRT can be incorporated in Bangalore if certain corridors are facilitated for it.
“Without the involvement of civic bodies, BRT cannot be implemented.
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) should be proactive and take up the project,” he added.
Gowda said that BRT should also be planned for developing cities like Mysore and Hubli-Dharwad. “BDA should take up developing of BRT for 30 km in the first phase,” he added.

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