Tuesday, July 26, 2005

‘Bus terminal at outskirts’ plan draws flak-BMRTL’

‘Bus terminal at outskirts’ plan draws flak-BMRTL’

Vijay Times

Bangalore: The Bangalore Mass Rapid Transit Limited's (BMRTL) proposal to terminate intercity buses at city outskirts to aim at higher ridership for its proposed Metro rail has come under fire from long haul bus operators, including KSRTC, which has questioned the logic behind it.

BMRTL made the proposal in its replies to the Public Investment Board (PIB) which, in its June 15 meeting in New Delhi, sought clarifications on how the former planned to increase ridership on metro rail which is pending approval before the Board.

Sources said moving intercity buses terminals to City outskirts was the first methodology mentioned in a list of eight to increase ridership, which has been reportedly projected on the higher side at 8.2 lakh trips per day in the first year of its operations. The PIB had questioned how BMRTL would achieve this ridership estimate and had sought a supplementary note.

Transport experts wonder why bus stations should be moved to the outskirts when the project plans included having an underground station at Majestic in the vicinity of the existing intercity terminus. Bus stations on the outskirts would be inconvenient for departing/arriving travellers to commute all the way, changing modes of transport with luggage in tow, they felt.

They said moving terminals to the outskirts would only add to the already heavy expenditure the mega metro rail project threatens to incur, besides the complexities of the exercise. A senior KSRTC official said: "Restrictions on one mode of public transport for the gain of the other is a bad idea. Obviously they have not conducted extensive studies on how precisely and effecively to increase ridership of metro rail. If ridership in the Delhi metro is not upto expected levels, then BMRTL will have to think of other alternatives to achieve ridership. Each mode of public transport should complement the other, not compete or impose restrictions," he added.


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