Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Chavan puts BRTS plans on the fast track

With chief minister Ashok Chavan now pushing for the Rs 1,313-crore Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS), the city seems to be one step closer towards implementing the ambitious plan. According to officials, Chavan wants the system, which has been successfully launched in several cities across the globe, set up in Mumbai as soon as possible.

“The plans, which were put on the back-burner, have been revived by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) whose officials are working hard to implement it swiftly in the city. They will get cracking by first creating special lanes on the Western and Eastern Express Highway as well as the Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road,’’ a source said.

MMRDA additional commissioner S Srinivas has been appointed the head of a special committee that will oversee the implementation of the project. The panel will have representatives from the PWD, BMC, BEST and the traffic police .

According to Srinivas, they have discussed the issue at length and will first go in for lane separation on the two highways and the JVLR. “We are planning to construct special subways at junctions for the buses to be able to take turns at intersections and ply on the special lanes. This is going to be our long-term goal. Currently, we are discussing ways of separating the traffic on the road so that one lane on either side can be ear-marked only for buses. Even bus stops on the highways will have to be changed,’’ he said.

“Vehicles like ambulances and fire-brigade trucks may be allowed to use the special lanes. We might also allow school buses to use the route,’’ he added.

“Setting up the system on JVLR will be easier as compared to the two highways,” an official said.

Running successfully in the US, Australia and many countries of Latin America, the project involves drawing up special lanes on roads which allow rapid movement of buses capable of carrying from 15,000 to 40,000 passengers per hour in either direction. The system has been tried out in cities like Delhi and Ahmedabad as well.

Source: Mumbai Mirror

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