Pune,PCMC BRTS Update

S.K. Lohia, director, urban transport, Union ministry of urban development, said that the Bus Rapid Transit Systems (BRTS) being introduced in major cities have to be funded through revenue earned from hoardings and parking charges.Lohia, who inspected the proposed BRTS corridors in Pimpri-Chinchwad, said that passenger fares alone cannot be the sole revenue source for the BRTS. Instead, urban local bodies need to come up with parking and advertisement policies for revenue generation for the transport system, he said.“Roads are meant for vehicle movement and not for parking. Urban local bodies have to give importance to public transport while planning land usage,” he said. According to Lohia, there would not be any consistent model for implementing the BRTS in all cities, and that their levels of implementation may also vary. “There would be changes in implementation based on road width and other features. For instance, there are elevated pedestrian subways on the highway stretch in Pimpri-Chinchwad, while in Pune, there would be elevated pedestrian subways only at some locations,” he stated.The BRTS, he said, has to be supplemented by feeder services such as autorickshaws and also by a highly well-managed public transport system. When asked whose responsibility it really is to improve public transport, Lohia said that funds for the same have to be provided one way or the other. According to Lohia, the BRTS is a new concept for the country and that there are some valid questions being raised regarding central and side lanes, the nature of pedestrian crossings, and so on. “The BRTS has to have various features such as smart ticketing systems, passenger information systems, reliability of services, modern comfort levels, and affordability,” he added.
According to Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal commissioner Ashish Sharma, work on the BRTS corridor on the 13-km stretch between Nigdi and Dapodi is expected to be completed by September 15. The PCMC would soon form a special purpose vehicle for the implementation of transport and traffic mobility projects, to be funded through the JNNURM, World Bank and other financial institutions. The corporation has been asked to prepare a parking policy and an advertisement policy on which discussions are already on, he added.City engineer Eknath Ugile, who gave a presentation on the twin township’s comprehensive mobility plan, said the current system of two-way traffic on service roads will soon be stopped. The PCMC is initially working on two BRTS routes – one on the highway stretch, and the second on the Aundh-Ravet stretch, he added.
S.K. Lohia also said that the pilot BRTS implemented on the Katraj-Swargate-Hadapsar route in Pune is just a dedicated bus lane service and not a complete bus rapid transport system. The corporation was working on improving it, he added. Lohia said the BRTS needed to have various modern features and that people should be able to take pride in using it.

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