On any route passengers can see the route map displayed in the coaches on six LCD displays and make on-the-spot travel decisions, if required. There will be four cameras for security. Each coach will also have provision to accommodate physically challenged in the DMC. Wheelchairs need not be secured with tie downs due to the smooth ride of the train. In case of emergency, passengers can speak to the driver through a Passenger Emergency Alarm System that connects to the Operation Control Centre (OCC). There will also be mobile/laptop charging points, accessibility to wi-fi systems, automated voice announcements and electronic destination display for passengers.
The Power System
The Metro trains will run on a 750 V DC voltage, third rail, bottom collector system. A third rail is a method of providing electric power to a railway train, typically used in mass transit or rapid transit system throughout the world. It uses a continuous rigid conductor which is an additional rail, placed either on one side of the running rails, or running in between the running tracks, to supply the power. It is fully or almost fully segregated from the outside environment, especially passengers, due to the hazard of electric shock from the electrified tracks. The risk of electric shock is also avoided by using platform screen doors or by ensuring that the conductor rail is on the side of the track away from the platform. Insulated brackets are placed at intervals of 10 feet to support the conductor rail. The train makes contact with the conductor rail through metal contact blocks called shoes. To complete the electric circuit, the running rails are used to return the current used for traction to the generating station. The conductor rail makes contact with the train at the bottom, hence the name bottom collector system.
The Metro will have four substations that receive and distribute the power, each station rated at 66 kV/33 kV, plus auxiliary and traction substations. There will be an integrated network management – SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) system to monitor and control the installations.
Safety and Telecommunication
Bangalore Metro trains will have state-of-the-art telecommunication facilities for continuous communication between a Central Control Centre, train drivers and station masters. Each metro train will have Automatic Train Protection (ATP), Automatic Train Operation (ATO) and Automatic Train Control (ATC) (ATP + ATO).
ATP provides automated protection to the train with driver supervision while ATO enables automatic start, acceleration and deceleration of the train. ATP is used to prevent train collisions due to the train driver’s failure to observe a train signal or speed restriction. The system uses a predefined speed limit which the driver has to observe. When the driver is likely to exceed the preset limit or likely to jump a red signal, he gets visual and audible warnings. The system will automatically apply brakes if the driver fails to respond to these warnings. Automatic train operation (ATO) is an automated train operating system by which the train is either able to run on complete autopilot or as a partially automated system with a driver present. Most mass transit systems use a combination of ATO and a driver who acts as a backup and is able to handle emergencies. The train will also have microprocessor controlled brakes and surveillance cameras for increased security and safety of operations.
Tickets and Fare Collection
The Bangalore Metro will feature Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) with AFC gates at metro stations. Tickets for metro journeys will be available in different forms: Contactless Smart Tokens (CST), Contactless Smart Cards (CSC), Group Tickets and Integrated Metro-Bus ticket.
Contactless Smart Tokens (CST): Passengers have to touch tokens on the pad of the entry gates at the entry station and drop them into the slot at the exit gate at the exit station. Contactless Smart Card (CSC): For automatic ticket validation at the entry station, the CSC holders have to stand near the AFC gates and hold their smart cards close to the validating machine, wait for the gates to open and then cross through the gates. CSCs can be loaded with stored value tickets which provide discounted fares for passengers. These stored value tickets are of two types: Varshik (the money value stored in them gets reduced to the extent the user travels on the ticket) and Sanchar (valid for fixed number of trips and can also be used for trips between pairs of stations having same or less fare). Group Tickets: These are manual tickets issued to groups of a minimum of ten passengers traveling between the same stations. They cost ten percent less than the token fare and will be checked manually at entry/exit points at metro stations.
Multi mode Transport Integration
The Bangalore Metro will be integrated with Railways and other modes of transport at Byappanahalli Railway Station in the East, Yeshwantpur Railway Station in the North and Bangalore City Railway Station and Kempegowda Bus Stand in the Central parts of the city. The city bus corridors will not run parallel to Bangalore Metro corridors – the buses will act as feeders instead. The mono rail network planned for the city also will not overlap with that of the metro, but will connect at major junctions as feeders. On certain high density corridors, three wheelers will be regulated. Feeder bus services will be provided to all the metro stations. Bus bays and parking facilities for private vehicles will be available at all major stations. State-of-the-art satellite bus-cum-metro terminals are being planned in the city outskirts, to control the entry of inter-city buses.
The way ahead
It is estimated that about 45,000-50,000 commuters would use the Metro per hour. Commuters would find it economical use the Metro if the fare were about 1.33-1.63 times the bus fares. Fares have been estimated to escalate at about four percent annually. With an estimated total number of 820,000 commuters expected to use the Metro every day, the fare has been tentatively fixed at र7-15 per commuter. The BMRC hopes to generate 10% of the revenues from non-fare aspects. It would take about seven to eight years for the Bangalore Metro to break even.
With its high passenger carrying capacity, Bangalore Metro is expected to take about 8.2 lakh vehicles off Bangalore roads every day, substantially reducing the pressure on the city’s strained infrastructure. The Metro will substantially reduce the energy required to transport the burgeoning Bangalore population every day, consuming just about 1/5th of the energy compared to a road-based system, thus saving the country precious oil resources and valuable foreign exchange. It will significantly reduce air pollution and the carbon imprint by using clean electric power in place of polluting carbon fuels. It will carry as much traffic as nine lanes of bus traffic or 24 lanes of private cars.