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Re: WorldTransport Forum 40 k buses - not only stuck in traffic in India

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  • Dave Holladay
    The term bus is rather elastic - for some BRT systems we are talking of 25m triple articulated 200 passenger monsters but form many Asian cities I get the
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 26, 2009
      The term 'bus' is rather elastic - for some BRT systems we are talking of 25m triple articulated 200 passenger monsters but form many Asian cities I get the impression we may be talking 12 seater Nissans as formal bus vehicles - but descending further to open pick-up trucks in other places - for your reference I append a picture of public transport from Cuba - note that this 'bus' carries cycles and some very attractive passengers.

      Dave H

      eric britton wrote:

      Suggest you read this bottom to top. And I’d also invite you to share this exchange with your colleagues and lists. Too, it would be good to have your and their views on this very typical, failure-destined “old mobility” approach. eb (PS. Who says that networking does not work.)


      From: Dr Adhiraj Joglekar [mailto:adhiraj.joglekar@...]
      Sent: Saturday, January 24, 2009 9:53 AM
      To: eric.britton@...
      Cc: yanivbin@...
      Subject: 40 k buses




      You have asked a vital question.


      I would be keen to know answers to many questions, but I share two and explain the reasons for same below -


      1. Which cities / towns are to get these buses and in what numbers?
      2. How are they going to be used?

      Let me elaborate on the second question first. Even before thinking whether the buses can run on bus lanes (median or kerbside) - first, basics need correcting. Bangalore for example has 5000 buses plying on 1800 routes (so I am told). Yet, these buses carry only 3.5 million people. Contrast this with Mumbai - 3380 buses  carrying 45 lakhs passengers daily on 335 routes and London where 8k buses use some 600 routes to carry 6.5 million people (3 more than tubes!!). The pathos in Bangalore model - disproportionately more bus routes to bus numbers.


      Now let's take Pune - like Bangalore - it has 1200 buses and over 200 routes!! I have done a detailed analysis and made concrete suggestion to Pune bus transport but salient features of how the pathology manifests itself is as under -


      1. Average frequency of a bus in Pune is one bus every 57 minutes. Its not surprising no one wants to travel on buses in Pune. I doubt anyone will agree to wait that long for a bus.
      2. Some routes are once every 2-3 hours and others classed as only 3 trips per day or 4 trips per day (very unsual as even inter-city frequency is better).
      3. Over 50 routes are 10 km or under and up to 77 routes are 12km or under
      4. Over half of 209 routes are under 15km
      5. Over 3 dozen starting points exist (too many spokes if one studies hub-spoke model properly).
      6. And most densely covered areas are between traditional bus depots - thus leaving the rest of the city poorly covered in terms of frequencies.
      7. The solution is to have longer routes which overlap - examples are provided including routes as planned in Mumbai.
      8. Successful bus services have 10 buses per route (statistics from London, Mumbai and Chennai). Pune should reduce number of routes to 100.

      For more details on the above please download this document
      I have also created a map of first 30 bus routes as detailed on PMT website. These 30 routes as per my very crude calculation use 102 to 110 buses (approximately 3 buses per route). These routes have an average frequency of 1 bus every 53 minutes. Subsequently I have shown on another schematic map how 9 routes with about 150 buses can cover same area but at a minimum frequency of 1 bus every 10 minutes (on most overlapping routes where two or more buses ply, the frequency is one bus every 5 minutes). This case example may be downloaded from this link -


      Now, I am not at all excited for above and many other reasons with the blind implementation of BRTS in India. Without simple basics in place, BRTS will only fail - more on this in this critique of BRTS projects in India which you may peruse here - http://better.pune.googlepages.com/WhyBRTinIndiadoesnotexciteme.htm 


      Further, kerbside bus lanes have been sidelined and overlooked in India (despite them being in use in London from 1968 and widely in many EU countries). I believe buses should be prioritised where warranted in everyway possible and not just restrict ourselves to trying to implement a Curitiba / Bogota style BRT (as is the current focus in India).


      Recently I have made a concrete proposal to Pune Corporation on how kerb side bus lanes may be used on a road only 80 feet wide (removes possibility of Curitiba style completely) with a PPHD of 58k. More on this in the links below -


      Part One of the proposal is available here - http://better.pune.googlepages.com/SB_Road_Pune_Bus_Priority_Part_One.pdf (2MB)
      Part Two (FAQ format) is available here - http://better.pune.googlepages.com/SB_Road_Pune_Bus_Priority_Part_Two.pdf (1MB) 


      Again from the Part One of the above proposal shows at the end how a reformed bus service with rationalised routes and frequencies can do the trick for Pune, in fact I could easily run a successful bus service in Pune using 1200 travel worthy buses.


      Next, my first of the two questions above - whhich cities and towns will get these buses? If political lobyying decides the outcome of this question, Bangalore may end up with 8k buses. What is needed is for small towns of 1million population to start a basic bus service without which they will turn in to Pune and Bangalore in the years to come.


      And all this is useless unless TDM is applied. Petrol subsidy and free parking = travel on two wheelers is cheaper than bus = how then are we to expect people to switch from motor bikes to buses? No one is ready to address this issue.


      Apologies for a lengthy mail (more so for burdening you with exhaustive links above).







      From: Kanthi Kannan [mailto:kanthikannan@...]
      Sent: Friday, January 23, 2009 9:58 AM
      To: eric.britton@...;
      Subject: RE: [sustran] 40,000 new buses to boost urban transport thru JNNURM ?


      Basically the whole exercise is bound to fail unless access paths (footpaths and pedestrian crossings) are provided for people to get to the bus stops. The idea seems more with the elections due in April / May both at the centre as well as several states.


      It is indeed sad that decisions that involve several thousand crores of rupees are taken without the whole project being thought through. There should be as all of us have been saying a single authority that governs the mobility in the city.  This authority should be capable of taking decisions and getting the project implemented.


      In Hyderabad, even the responsibility of the footpath ownership is still not clear.  




      Kanthi Kannan


      The Right to Walk Foundation




      On Behalf Of eric britton
      Sent: Friday, January 23, 2009 9:13 AM
      To: sustran-discuss@...
      Subject: [sustran] 40,000 new buses to boost urban transport thru JNNURM ?


      A splendid idea.  40,000 new buses. Hmm.


      But will they be 40,000 new buses stuck in traffic?


      Someone has pointed out that the only way that they will be able to move in traffic and be useful buses will be if they have access to some former reserve right-of-way.


      Will be "government" which is apparently "rather keen" take this next step?


      Otherwise Vinay, I am afraid they are flushing your hard earned taxpayer rupees write-down the wherever you flush things.


      But of course I may have this entirely wrong, and if so my apologies.


      Kind regards, Eric Britton


      On Behalf Of Vinay Baindur
      Sent: Friday, January 23, 2009 8:17 AM
      To: sustran-discuss@...
      Subject: [sustran] 40,000 new buses to boost urban transport thru JNNURM ?


      Guidelines and reforms proposed are attached no list is provided of who was consulted for preparing the same!

      40,000 new buses to boost urban transport

      Gunjan Pradhan Sinha Posted online: Jan 21, 2009 at 0305 hrs

      New Delhi : The government has decided to procure 40,000 buses as a part of the urban development ministry's scheme to upgrade and expand urban transport at an investment Rs 300 crore. The urban development ministry is working in a fast-track mode to work out the nitty gritty for the scheme announced a few weeks ago.

      The ministry of road transport has also been roped in for consultation and the money will come from Jawahar Lal Nehru National Urban Renewal Misiion (JNNURM) funds.

      "The two ministries are meeting today to discuss the matter and get it through as soon as possible," a senior government official said. These newly purchased buses will be assigned to all the states and union territories depending on the size of their existing fleet and the population that the fleet services.

      "A special section of buses will also be bought to facilitate travel of handicapped persons and senior citizens, which is part of the JNNURM mandate. About 20 per cent of the new buses will be low floor buses, which will be given to states on the above mentioned criteria," the official said. Low floor buses are being currently used by the Delhi government.

      The government is rather keen to give the go-ahead to the proposal before the election mode sets in for the UPA regime. The proposal is likely to be sent to the Cabinet this week once the concerned ministries and departments have given their views.





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