The Pune Metropolitan Region, comprising of the twin cities of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, is facing the daunting challenge of establishing sustainable and equitable mobility. Citizens travel frequently between the two cities for varied functions. Lack of high quality public transport systems within and between the cities has led to a steep rise in private vehicle ownership. With the objective of improving access to sustainable transport, the two cities are implementing various projects including bus rapid transit (BRT) and improved non-motorized transport infrastructure.
Bus Rapid Transit
In August 2015, the first corridor of Rainbow BRT opened in Pune. The launch was the culmination of years of work to plan, design, and implement a comprehensive, integrated high quality BRT network. Rainbow follows best practices in BRT design, including dedicated BRT lanes, efficient operations, strong brand image and excellent service quality.
ITDP provided in-depth technical assistance to the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) to ensure that the new BRT network incorporates all components of a complete BRT system, including median stations, level boarding and alighting, electronic pre-board ticketing, and passenger information. BRT service will result in a reduction in average waiting time by bus passengers of 50 per cent. ITDP is also supporting the corporations in efforts to improve pedestrian access to BRT stations.
It has not always been a smooth ride for BRT in the region. In early 2007, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) conceptualized comprehensive bus rapid transit (BRT) systems in their respective jurisdictions. The original BRT systems in PMC and PCMC were planned as exclusive bus lanes for existing city bus operations and a short pilot corridor was implemented in PMC to test the success of the system. While a marginal service quality improvement was achieved, the PMC pilot project resulted in poor public perception and negative media coverage as the project was found lacking in terms of design as well as implementation.
In response, ITDP was invited and appointed by Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) – the single public transport service provider in the region, to support the successful implementation of full featured, high quality BRT in the metropolitan region. ITDP was instrumental in ensuring that both cities procured a uniform bus fleet with right-side doors, enabling level boarding from median stations. Rainbow is an ambitious vision for a network of 160 km, connecting the two municipalities and reaching nearly a million residents. The system consists of trunk routes, feeders, and direct services that include extensions outside the network of exclusive bus lanes.
Along with the BRT project, Pune has initiated the preparation of Urban Street Design Guidelines for the city. The guidelines aim to increase access for pedestrians and cyclists within the city, improving safety and comfort for street users and reducing environmental impacts of the city’s transport system. ITDP is assisting PMC by reviewing proposed guidelines and ensuring adherence with best practices. The city has also empanelled four urban designers for designing streets in Pune. ITDP played a key role in generating awareness about the need for the formal procurement of architectural services in the design of urban streets and provided technical support in the process of empanelment of these consultants.
In Pimpri Chinchwad, ITDP worked with the Corporation to initiate the process of creating a non-motorized transport policy. Aimed to empower pedestrians and cyclists within the city, the policy will be tested on a pilot zone before its formal adoption.
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