BRT - Bus Rapid Transit - IV
This one is on infrastructure.
3.a. I heard people cannot use the lane reserved for BRT. How will this be ensured (unless there is a divider on both sides of the lane)? If there is no divider, then I think its not possible to prevent people (at a basic level we have a problem people not obeying signals) from using this lane (at times of peak hours and traffic jams). How is this aspect taken into care?
3.b. Are safe cycle stands planned at the bus stops so people can literally ‘get from anywhere to anywhere in Pune’?
3.c. Now a days buses are flooded beyond their limits, is there any increase in no. of buses during peak hours?
3.d. BRT lane is in the middle of the road, a person has to cross the road and come on the Bus Stand. Is't it risky?
3.e. Having signals etc is fine, but would the duration be sufficient for senior citizens and the el derly to finish crossing the road comfortably?
3.f. Now that the road is being dug up for expansion, any chance of having good foothpths at either end?
3.g. What provision will be made to ensure that pedestrians can cross the road conveniently once BRT becomes operational? (Even without BRT, there was no place for people to stand half way through while crossing the road, at some places)
3.h. - If the bus lanes are going to be in the middle of the road, then what provision will be there for the pedestrians to cross the road? Are they providing overhead bridge or subways for crossing? If you look at the current condition of subways, the pedestrians don’t use these at all!! They still like to cross the road the conventional way. Can this attitude not result in lot of accidents with BRT system?
3.i. - Is there going to be a compound/fencing for the BRT tracks to avoid pedestrians crossing the tracks? If so, are those going to maintained?
The focal point is PEOPLE, not technology - hence many of the design aspects are not "foolproof". They are possible only when supported by public education and enforcement.
Yes, there will be a small divider to separate a BRT bus lane from other lanes.
Cycle stands near bus stops are planned where possible, but just stands won't be enough unless there is a citywide network of cycle tracks.
The frequency of buses on the BRT routes is supposed to be very high, say, a bus every 2-3 minutes (or even higher if supported by usage), thereby virtually eliminating waiting time. Only that will reduce the overall commute time, and encourage people to take a bus rather than their personal vehicle.
Very high frequency will need to be supported by offboard ticketing/smart cards, automatic signal priority and also flyovers/subways a t select intersections.
Much debate has gone in on the "central lane" issue. Key factors are:
- Dedicated lane is critical for reaching max. speeds without disturbance (e.g. access to roadside buildings). Heavier vehicles are safer (for all) in central lanes for various reasons. Even we prefer using a central lane while driving a 4-wh instead of a 2-wh.
- Central bus shelters do not increase the amount of road crossing (and hence also the risk) when compared with the current situation in a round tour.
- One needs to come to an intersection and cross the road at a zebra crossing upto the stop. Yes, the stop will be in the middle of the road, but right next to a zebra crossing. Assuming that other vehicles stop at the stop line before zebra crossing AND people also cross the road on zebra stripes when it is green for pedestrians, this is safe. Of course, implementation needs both public education as well as strict enforcement. [An organization like SPTM can play a vital role in it, but only if we are large in size.]
Signal duration: if we have issues with signal duration etc., yes, they can be raised & resolved. [Again, SPTM can play a vital role (as above).] Subways/ overbridges are discouraged for pedestrians, since they are both expensive as well as inconvenient esp for the elderly/ handicapped.
The BRT design includes wide and walkable footpaths. The whole idea is to discourage personal vehicles & encourage shared as well as non-motorized transportation.
Though there will be lane separators, there won't be any fence to prevent people from crossing the road in the middle. High frequency of buses will discourage not only people from running after a bus, but also other vehicles from encroaching in BRT lanes.