BUS RAPID TRANSIT

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)/ High Capacity Bus System (HCBS) is a high quality, ultra modern, customer oriented transit option that could deliver fast, comfortable and cost-effective urban mobility, quite similar to Metro rail. BRT incorporates most of the high-quality aspects of metro systems without high investments. BRT was developed as a viable transit option in Latin America, where urban planners were seeking cost effective solution for the urban transport dilemma. This highly effective and economical mass transit option is now a way of life in many developing as well as developed countries such as : China, Taiwan, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, Japan, United States of America, Australia, New Zealand, England, France, etc.
BRT is an integrated system of facilities, equipment, services, and amenities that improves the speed, reliability, and identity of bus transit. BRTS is globally recognized as one of the most cost effective solutions for providing high quality public transport service in urban areas. The BRTS is operational in the world’s major cities like Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Bogotá, Santiago and also Beijing, Taipei and Hanoi, where it has proved a hit with the masses.

Why BRT?
•    Urgent need for efficient mass transport system.
•    Scope for both low density and high density passenger movement.
•    Low cost transit solution.
•    Less time for planning & construction, more flexibility.
•    Higher speed with little delay for buses.
•    Vital component of overall transport plan for the city.
•    Wider reach.
•    Can be operated according to the city ethos .
•    Scope for public private synergy.
•    Environment friendly.
MAIN FEATURES OF BRTS:
•    Dedicated (bus-only) running ways (preferably, physically separated from other traffic)
•    Accessible, safe, secure, and attractive stations
•    Easy-to-board, attractive, and environmentally friendly vehicles
•    Efficient (preferably off-board) fare collection
•    Its applications to provide real-time passenger information, signal priority, and service command/control
•    Frequent, all-day service
•    At-grade bus lanes preferred for increasing commuter access, operational flexibility and reducing costs
•    Priority for buses at intersections
•    Urban / low floor buses
•    Properly designed bus shelters for efficient & safe boarding / alighting
•    Pedestrian facilities for ‘along’ & ‘across’ movements
•    Inter-modal integration through the single ticketing for seamless travel.
ADVANTAGES OF INTRODUCING BRTS :
•    Most flexible rapid transit mode for cost-effectively serving the broad variety of urban and suburban environments and markets.
•    It suits to all section of the society by its classy service.
•    Reduction in road accidents as Latin American experience suggest that 50 to 80 %  accidents came down.
•    Can operate on arterial streets, in freeway medians, on freeway shoulders and alongside freeways
•    Can accommodate express and local services on a single facility
•    Can be less costly to implement than a rail transit line while providing similar benefits
•    Has little additional implementation costs over local bus service where it runs on streets and highways
•    Can be effectively integrated into surrounding environment and can generate significant urban development benefits
•    It is energy efficient (20 to 30 % fuel saving)    and environment friendly as it reduces congestions in the area.
•    Even it has got self financing abilities because of good revenue model.
•    It can speed up the city traffic as dedicated lane operations double up the speed.
BRT can handle passenger flows in the range of about 8,000 to 20,000 passengers per hour per direction – depending upon the lanes (number, type) dedicated to bus system. In Bogota (Columbia) – with provision of 2 bus lanes throughout for each direction, exclusive ROW, restriction on crossing traffic, state of art station design with automated gates and extensive usage of IT systems in passenger information, ticketing and operation of buses – upto 42,000 phpdt capacity has been reported.
The segregation of non-motorised modes will reduce the friction between slow and fast moving vehicles and improve the efficiency as well as safety of all road users. Separate pedestrian paths duly segregated with the help of guard rails and disabled friendly ramps will encourage pedestrians to walk on footpath.
The overall objective of the planning of BRT System is to ensure that commuters are discouraged to use personalized modes and shift to public transport with a better bus transport system being made available along the Corridor.
DIS ADVANTAGES OF INTRODUCING BRTS:
•    Impacts due to project location, construction works & project operation.
•    Loss of Trees.
DESIGN OF A BRT STATION:
Integration of a BRT system in an urban setting presents within itself a challenge and an opportunity to improve and enrich the existing streetscapes. Design such as a shelter is to support an appealing, cohesive visual identity for a quality and safe transit service. Some of the important design features are
•    Modularity for easy expansion and relocation
•    Passenger holding area based on Boarding-Alighting demand
•    Electronic Passenger Information System
•    Safety
•    Accessible to disabled
•    Sufficient Advertising space- for additional revenue generation
•    Climate responsive
If BRT station is at the junction then many buses cannot utilize green signal since earlier bus blocks the bus bay because it is waiting at the red signal. Results in long queues and bunching of buses and slows down the BRT system may result in unwanted pedestrian behavior wishing to reach bus stop.
FAILIURE OF DELHI, PUNE- BRTS :
•    One of the main reasons for the failure of the Delhi BRT was that it did not take the people along with it.
•    A very limited route of  BRT or we can say sample size is too small.
•    Other buses also ply on the BRT stretch, creating confusion for passengers regarding bus routes and resulting in chaos at the stations.
BRT SYSTEM – AHMEDABAD
With the launch of BRTS at Ahmadabad, the city now gets around 25 BRTS buses plying on a 12.5 km stretch from RTO to Chandra Nagar of the total 55 km of phase one. This is the first such full fledged BRTS project in the country because similar projects in Delhi and Pune do not carry systems like control room, IT infrastructure, dedicated buses, etc. The Delhi BRT, rather, is primarily a road infrastructure project or high-capacity bus service in which all types of buses  run in a lane designed for the BRTS.

BRT SYSTEM ON ORR- BANGALORE – FROM HEBBAL TO SILK BOARD JUNCTION.
The  Comprehensive Transport and Traffic Plan for Bangalore suggests that BRT can be done for  291.5 km at a cost of 3498 Crores in two phases in 14 Corridors.
The proposal is to develop BRT System on the ORR as a Pilot Project. The bus system would have a dedicated corridor and operate new technology buses designed for urban environment. .  Some of the salient features of proposed BRT include
•    Open BRT system with central / median bus lanes
•    Bus routes to have flexibility to join/leave the BRT corridor at any intersection
•    Bus stops at approach arms of intersections for improved commuter access (reduced walking distances) and, utilising ‘red time’ at intersections. Some bust stops also proposed at midblock locations with high bus passenger catchment
•    All public transport buses to use BRT corridor
•    Redesign of road cross-section by utilizing additional median width and undeveloped shoulders
•    Increased overall road width and capacity, 3 MV lanes retained with additional proposed 1 bus lane + 1 NMV lane for either direction.
•    Additional 1 MV and 1 bus lane at most intersections
•    Cross pedestrian facilities through at-grade signaled crossings for user-friendliness
•    Physical segregation of bus, NMV and MV lanes.
•    Existing central median to be largely kept undisturbed in order to save on utility shifting, tree cutting and ease of construction
•    Existing service roads retained
•    Integration with existing infrastructure projects viz. flyovers, underpasses etc.
•    Flexible pavement for complete cross section
•    On street parking not desirable on any part of RoW.
Bangalore needs such system to reduce the congestion and speed up the traffic as BRT with use of ITS give a leading edge as transporter is always in control and passenger will be in focus in real time.

Traffic control ,Traffic information and Fleet management can be very easy for the benefit of transport company and as well as public. It is a win win situation for the Public as well Authorities.

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