A Special Purpose Vehicle will be created soon by the government for implementing the Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS) on a pilot basis in Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam.
The decision to form the SPV was taken after a team of officials from departments of Municipal Administration and Urban Development, Finance returned last week after a visit to some Latin American countries to study the BRTS system. It will consist of stakeholders, including Police, APSRTC, Commissioners of Municipal Corporations while the special buses would be operated and maintained by the APSRTC. The BRTS was approved for one 15.5 km corridor in Vijayawada covering Police control room, Railway station, CK Reddy road, Satyanarayana Puram, Railway track road, Machavaram down-Ramavarappadu junction, NTR health University, Benz circle, IGMC stadium and state guest house at an estimated cost of Rs 152.64 crore.
In Visakhapatnam, the system would operate in two corridors from Pendurthi to Dwarkanagar via NAD junctionat a cost of Rs. 190.97 crore. The other will be from Vepagunta to Dwarkanagar via Simhachalam covering 20.5 km at an estimated cost of Rs. 261.96 crore. The Centre would bear 50 per cent of the cost under JNNURM.
Principal Secretary, MA &UD, C. V. S. K. Sarma, who studied the BRTS system in Mexico, Bogota , Sao Paulo and other cities said though BRTS was found to be working efficiently in Latin American countries, it would have to be adapted to the local requirements, Right of Way conditions as each city was unique. Another member of the team said the success of BRTS with dedicated bus lanes would depend on traffic management measures like traffic stabilising, streamlining and synchronisation of traffic signals. BRTS could be implemented at one-tenth of the cost of the Metro Rail Transit System, he added.