Pimpri-Chinchwad, the robust industrial city in central Maharashtra state, is making exciting progress on its BRT network, with construction on the first station near completion and work on corridors one and two forging ahead. The BRT in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad is an ambitious vision for a network of 40 kilometers and 90 stations connecting two municipalities and reaching nearly a million residents. Now the pace of progress is picking up, and both cities are refocusing energy on turning the plans for a strong transit network into reality.
Dapodi Station, in Pimpri-Chinchwad, is the first station in the network to be completed, and workers have made strong progress on the dedicated lanes, with approximately 60% of the corridor complete. In addition, in Pune, the regional BRT operator Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) recently put out a tender to develop business and operational plans for their BRT system. As plans are fine-tuned and finalized, ITDP has worked to support the process and to improve pedestrian access and non-motorized transit around stations. Most recently, a workshop examined the Govind Garden intersection and as a result, the city implemented stronger crosswalks, sidewalks, and clearer lane divisions (See images below). These important steps demonstrate both cities’ commitment to running a strong, high-quality BRT system.
The Pune-Pimpri-Chinchwad BRT is an extensive network that will offer new transit options within both Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, as well as connections between the two cities. Though the infrastructure is being implemented by each municipality separately, strong coordination will allow the two systems to be fully integrated. ITDP has worked closely on the project, and with the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) at each stage of the process.
Learning lessons from previous pilots with BRT in the region, the Pune-Pimpri-Chinchwad BRT has been designed to meet international high-quality BRT standards as well as the area’s unique needs. The operational plan, developed in partnership with ITDP, calls for a hybrid BRT system, where buses run inside dedicated lane for the majority of the route, with some buses traveling beyond the corridor to serve as a traditional bus service and extend the system’s reach. As a result, buses will have doors on both sides: at-level BRT doors on the right, and traditional bus steps down on the left. The corridor will incorporate segregated bus lanes, level-boarding within the corridor, and GPS vehicle tracking for station display and fleet coordination.
When complete, the BRT network will deliver significant benefits to bus riders and city residents alike. The Pune Metropolitan Area, which encompasses both Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, already has over 5 million residents and is growing rapidly. For commuters, the result will be a reduction in average overall waiting time by 50%. More than 85% of passengers will wait less than 10 minutes for a bus- a monumental improvement on the current system, where 50% of riders wait longer than 10 minutes, and many much longer.
The new system will provide more coverage with fewer, less convoluted routes than those currently running. Efficient fleet use and reduced vehicle miles will save the city money, and reduce costs for riders. By making room for smarter transport and reducing the focus on personal vehicles Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad together are making a strong statement that BRT is the right choice for their citizens, and will keep the cities moving.