Saturday, September 15, 2012

Gujarat to extend BRTS to Surat, Rajkot.

Gujarat to extend BRTS to Surat, Rajkot.

The success of Ahmedabad’s bus rapid transit system (BRTS) has encouraged Gujarat to extend the model to Rajkot and Surat, which will see such services starting this year.

“The civil infrastructure for both Rajkot and Surat projects, largely inspired by the Ahmedabad BRTS model, is more or less ready,” said I.P. Gautam, principal secretary of the state ur

ban development department. “We expect to open these services for public by December.”

A BRT system involves the deployment of public transport buses in a closed or semi-closed network, with the aim of achieving the comfort and quality of rail while keeping costs down. On paper, this is ideal for the rapidly growing Indian cities that desperately need such mass-transit systems that can be set up quickly and cheaply to decongest roads clogged with ever-increasing traffic.

The first BRT was set up in Curitiba, Brazil, in 1974, although the one in Colombia is generally adopted as the best model for the system.
The Rajkot BRTS has been built at an initial total cost of Rs.175 crore, which includes Rs.57 crore for flyovers.
“Of the 60 odd km route currently planned for the Rajkot project, a stretch of 11km will be operational this month itself,” said Ajay Bhadu, commissioner, Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC). “Travel for commuters will be free for the first three months. We will run 10 AC (air-conditioned) high-floor buses initially.”
In Surat, India’s eighth most populated city, work is on for the 30km that has a budget of about Rs.450 crore.
“It’s time to scale down and think Indian,” said H.M. Shivanand Swamy, associate director of the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (Cept) University, who designed the Ahmedabad and Surat projects. “In the case of Surat, we have designed narrow lanes and narrow buses.”

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