Demand on road space in the Indian context calls for space which is reserved for household activities and other informal activities, reducing the usable area for traffic movement on narrow and winding roads. Implementation of contemporary systems like BRTS on Indian roads requires an in-depth understanding of road space in relation to the socio-cultural aspects of the place and to evolve solutions within the given constraints. While BRTS is expected to serve the city with exclusive network, the city centre remains inaccessible due to limitations imposed by the road widths. It is very critical to connect old city with trunk mass transit system. As part of completing the comprehensive network for mass transit in the city, east ? west connection and connectivity of old city with trunk mass transit corridor are being explored. For establishing connectivity to the inner city of Vadodara, the design of BRT system underwent constant change in planning and design, to overlay the BRT route in the narrow roads of the inner walled city. This includes adaptive planning and design of the system components.
Having flexibility as one of the major characteristic of BRTS, the standard BRTS forming the trunk system (normally catering to demand on wider roads) is redesigned to evolve a system to cater to the narrow roads of inner city, where RoW is inadequate for the standard BRT system. In this type of BRT corridors, segregation would be done only at bus stations and junctions. The buses would be mini/midi buses with lesser capacity than the standard buses. This will be compensated by plying mini buses at high frequency along corridors within the inner city. Bus lanes would be segregated only at bus stations and near junctions. Ticketing would be off-board and complete physical and fare integration would be achieved with full BRTS service.
Some of the roadway design and geometric ideas for narrower RoW has been explored for accommodating BRTS in these corridors. Cross sections can also be explored at specific locations. This specially designed corridor is of 600-800m and at key locations where it meets the standard BRT corridor, high quality interchanges would be constructed. In the initial phase, two such interchanges would be constructed ? one at Dandia Bazaar and the other at Waghodia road.
BRTS feeder services will enable transfers from trunk services. Feeder service will typically be of short lengths (6-10 km) and will offer the last mile connectivity. Buses will run in mixed traffic with no segregation. Physical integration will happen at terminals only. Bus stations will be on the left hand side. Except at terminals, ticketing will be on board through smart cards or paper ticketing. Buses will be midi buses with doors on both left and right hand side. These buses will be branded as ?BRT Feeder? services.
Along with the bus stations, two terminals would also be constructed ? one at Fatehgunj and the other at Makarpura. One workshop and depot would be planned. Two interchange stations are planned ? one at the railway station and the other at Dandia Bazaar. The strategic network for Vadodara public transit system has been identified considering the overall efficiency of the system. The figure below depicts the conceptual plan for transit facility infrastructure in Vadodara.
The facility at Nizampura is 21,200 sqm which is proposed to cater to fleet of 70 buses as well as terminal capacity with 6-bays. Passenger facilities are proposed comparable to best practices. The facility will also include driver?s facility and terminal administration. The facility at Makarpura is 23,000sqm which can cater to fleet of 60 buses as well as terminal capacity with 6-bays. Passenger facilities are proposed comparable to best practices. The facility also includes driver?s facility and terminal administration similar to Nizampura terminal.
Integrated transit management system:
The primary aim of ITMS is to create an enterprise management system which would allow the company along with its host of service providers to manage their individual activities in a highly coordinated manner leading to a high productivity environment and reliable services to the users. The system also aims at creating process based system which continually allows the operations to be monitored against accepted service levels and provide improvement opportunities to transit managers to offer services at best operational levels.
Key tasks and components associated with the public transit system with ITMS support are including automated fare collection system, automated vehicle location system, passenger information system along with depot and terminal management and control centre.
Manish Bhardwaj, IAS
Municipal Commissioner, Vadodara