Friday, April 25, 2008


The latest sensation of public transit in Delhi is the BRT corridor. It has been constructed in spite of all kinds of resistance from all possible sources. The trial run is currently on which lets the very confused Government decide the necessary alterations. The media publicises the project as a major failure.. its there on the front page everyday. But take it from me, a Transport Planner at your service. I admit there are shortcomings, none of which can be ignored. Still, now that immense amount of money has been poured in it, I feel we should carry on with it, modifying it marginally if required. It is absurd to think that by making life difficult for the motorised modes, you can induce people to shift to public transport which is neither comfortable nor reliable. Simple painting of zebra crossings does not make a busy road safe for pedestrians, especially when the traffic is compressed to lesser number of lanes. The signals do not function properly. The road geometry, the quality of the work are not up to the mark. How does one reach the bus stop in the middle of the road? What happens if a bus breaks down? Are cycle tracks justified? The questions are many, the answers missing.

Leaving these grey areas, let us try to appreciate the brighter side of this venture. So long, before the coming of these dedicated corridors, the buses had been wrecking havoc just by being present in the traffic flow. They would stop anywhere, violate traffic rules, what not. Now it seems as if the buses have been taken off the roads and driving is so much more comfortable. Congestion is there, but it is nothing more than what was there already. The bus ride has also improved, since you have to stop only at the bus stops. It feels absolutely royal to zoom past the rest of the traffic during peak hours.

Moreover, it is wrong to judge a system on the basis of a single stretch, which is just a part of a massive network. What was the Delhi Metro when it was introduced? 6 stations, no use! Massive investments, tremendous operation costs, meagre ridership. It was only when DMRC ignored the expert opinions and continued with their venture, that the system became a grand success. Now people look forward to the upcoming corridors and hope to be better connected. The onus is now on the people to support the BRT..let it be what it was conceived to be. One may have loads of queries, but why not wait and watch? Why not ask the experts?


the snake said...

even i felt that having a bus stop in the middle of the road was incredulous....talking from a strictly passenger's point of view..

Anonymous said...