May 15, 2008

BRT fiasco: ITDP workshop looks for solutions

With the Delhi government desperately seeking quick-fix measures to cover the glitches along the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor between Ambedkar Nagar and Moolchand, and the Urban Development Ministry labeling Delhi BRT as an “experience to learn from”, experts have a solution to offer: reduce the traffic phases at the junctions.

At a workshop organised by the Initiative for Transportation and Development Programmes (ITDP), an NGO that had provided technical assistance to the Transport Research and Injury Prevention Programme (TRIPP), IIT Delhi, for the Delhi BRT till 2005, transport expert and ITDP Director Dr Walter Hook agreed that the signal halts at the intersections were indeed “frustrating”.

While ITDP has been providing technical assistance for Ahmedabad BRT which is expected to take off after July, Hook said that the government should look at options for reducing waiting time at each intersection. “Banning right turns along the corridor in Delhi will reduce the number of signal phases and waiting time at the junctions,” he added.

With the Delhi government toying with the idea of a second pilot with buses on the left lane, Hook said that the authorities might as well scrap the idea as that would mean the buses will be in conflict with the slow-moving traffic.

Hook also said that the movement of other buses in the bus lane caused disruption in the movement of the BRT buses.

Problems have also occurred with the authorities issuing contracts for the difficult parts of the corridor to private sectors, as they are not associated with the project. With buses queuing up at the stands, the passengers are boarding the buses from the road. To tackle this, the experts have suggested redesigning the bus stops and building them at a distance of 70 metres from the intersections, on the lines of Ahmedabad.

The workshop was attended by experts from TERI, RITES, DIMTS and the Centre for Science and Environment.

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BRT fiasco: ITDP workshop looks for solutions

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