Sunday, November 26, 2006

Grid Bus Rapid Transport planned

Grid Bus Rapid Transport planned

The Hindu

It will be between Silk Board Junction and Hebbal Flyover

BANGALORE: If a person claims that he can drive through the Outer Ring Road (ORR) and take you to Hebbal Flyover from Central Silk Board Junction on Hosur Road within 30 minutes, you might think it must be during the non-peak hours by car.

It is not so. The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses will achieve this feat in the next few months, according to a new action plan to reduce journey time. At present, it takes around one hour to travel this stretch by any means.

The action plan envisages construction of dedicated bus lanes called Grid Bus Rapid Transport (BRT).

Aimed for completion by December 2007 at a cost of Rs. 435 crore, the dedicated bus lanes would be demarcated alongside the median. While one lane on both directions of the ORR would be reserved and separated by kerbstones for the rapid transport, two lanes would be kept open for private vehicles.

The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) would execute the project.

Presently planned for the 37 km stretch between Silk Board and Hebbal, BRT is likely to be extended on the entire stretch of the ORR once BDA completes the realignment of ORR between Kottigepalya on Magadi Road and Nayandahalli on Mysore Road.

BRT is also feasible on any road, which has a three-lane carriageway on either direction, according to BDA officials. Similar models are being tested in Ahmedabad and Delhi.

Private vehicles

Drivers of private vehicles would have a question — how to take a right turn at intersections.

The kerbstones would be absent at intersections to allow private vehicles to take a right turn.

However, priority would be given to high-speed buses at intersections by synchronising the traffic signals, according to the traffic police. The idea behind the plan is to accord top priority to public transport and if successful, would be extended to other arterial roads.

Various promoters — the Centre, the State, BDA and BMTC — would pool in funds for the project.

The Central assistance comes from the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

BMTC officials say the corporation plans to run 48 high-speed and high-capacity Volvo buses on the route only if it gets funds from JNNURM. Otherwise, commuters would have to be content with the ordinary BMTC buses.


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