Friday, August 8, 2008

We don’t want mistakes: MMRDA studies Delhi bus transit system model

While the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is planning to implement the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) on various routes soon, it is closely studying the BRTS implemented in New Delhi which initially had various shortcomings.

To prevent the occurrence of mistakes made by its counterparts in New Delhi, the MMRDA has appointed Consulting Engineering Services (CES) as consultants who will study the Delhi BRTS in detail before submitting its report in a couple of months. CES will work out solutions for various problems that the BRTS may face.

The BRTS was implemented in New Delhi in 2003. However, officials at the Delhi Development Authority initially had to deal with issues such as drivers speeding, wrong junction designs, faulty traffic control methods like extended signal time, passengers who wouldn’t follow rules, wrongly planned routes etc. Officials managed to bring things around only after February this year.

“In the BRTS, the normal speed of the bus is about 35 km per hour. However, bus drivers in the capital would merrily accelerate seeing empty roads. As a result, there were numerous accidents,” said an MMRDA official.

Apart from the problems faced by Delhi, CES will also identify the routes and conduct a study to find the scope for development for BRTS across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

MMRDA officials said that the main thrust of the study is a detailed design for priority corridors such as the Eastern Express Highway, Western Express Highway, LBS Marg etc.

The study of the consultants will only work on the modalities of the bus routes and will not include the cost of the buses. A draft would be submitted and thereafter the recommendations would be submitted to the state government for clearance. Officials said that BRTS would be implemented in Mumbai sometime in January 2009.

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