Sunday, September 29, 2013

Urban Transport Improvement initiative of Bhopal


 With launch of Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) at National level, Bhopal Municipal Corporation took this as an opportunity to improve & develop a long term Urban Transport Infrastructure covering the entire area and population of the city with an effectively designed urban road infrastructure promoting efficient public transport System such as BRT/MRT along with Non-Motorized Traffic (NMT) and the pedestrian facilities as well as improving the surface condition of the roads. With unconditional support from Government of India & State government Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been very keen in the up-gradation and enhancement of public transport in the city of Bhopal; It has embarked upon the idea of BRTS for the city of Bhopal.

Longest BRTS Corridor in the core area of the city sanctioned under JNNURM

Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) is a transportation system which gives preferential treatment to buses on urban roads through improvement of infrastructure, thereby attracting general public to use more of public transport than private vehicles. Here it is pertinent to note that, BRTS is a relatively new concept to residents of Bhopal, who have been used to regular city bus services and para-transit modes to fulfill its urban transportation needs. BMC deputed a specialist transport consultant firm to look after the project execution for successful implementation of BRTS Bus operation and effectively incorporating all of its components–exclusive bus lane operations, improved infrastructure, signalized pedestrian crossing at grade, access to BRT stations, Bus priority signaling in openings & intersections, vehicle scheduling, ITS technology, traffic safety & information systems etc. The longest BRTS Corridor from Misrod to Bairagarh passing through the heart of the Bhopal city connecting the old and the new city sanctioned  for an amount Rs.368.62 Cr comprising of a Length of 24.0  K.M and 30 M wide ROW. The Corridor is proposed to be served by Low floor ultra modern buses including 20 A.C. Buses in a central dedicated lane facilitated by 82 Nos. of State of Art BRTS Bus shelters at an average 500-700 M each have been proposed including to & fro bus movements with a desired 4-7 min frequency between any two buses in the same direction.


The Hon. Chief minister of Madhya Pradesh Sh. Shivraj Singh Chouhan launched the “MyBus” on Friday, 27 th September in a grand ceremony held at 10am at ‘MyBus’ Bus depot, Near Sehore Naka in Sant Hirdaram Nagar and dedicated “MyBus” services to the public of Bhopal city by inaugurating the country’s longest 24 KM long BRTS corridor (From Misrod to Bairagarh ) passing through the heart of the Bhopal city, that will ensure hassle-free bus ride though the middle of the city. Now the Citizens of Bhopal would have premium local public transport from Friday as MyBus services on newly constructed Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS) has begin on Friday with dedication of the corridor to the public. The bus services were free of cost on the first day.

In his brief address, Chouhan said the “MyBus” services on the BRT corridor would not only reduce the use of private vehicles thereby cleaning the environment but it would also make travel cheaper and faster and we are making the premium class public transport cheaper here”, he said. He also added that the 20 A.C. low floor buses shall provide a comfortable ride on the corridor and the women & elderly people will also be benefited by this. Emphasizing that Bhopal would soon emerge as the fastest developing city in the country, Chouhan agreed to the request put forth by Bhopal Mayor that the state government would provide Rs. 15 crore for maintenance of the MyBus service in Bhopal and further added that “I have always said this and I will repeat it again that shortage of money will never come in the way of Bhopal’s development. I will always be supportive towards developmental projects here” he said.     
The Sate Urban Development Minister Sh.Babulal Gaur, Home Minister Sh. Umashankar Gupta, Member of Parliament Sh.Kailash Joshi, Mayor Smt. Krishna Gaur, local MLA’s Sh.Druv Narayan Singh, Sh.Vishwas Sarang, Sh.Jitendra Daga and other eminent persons of the Bhopal city were present on the occasion along with all the higher officials of the district administration and Urban Administration & Development Department.
Over the last few months, Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) has been conducting Dry/trial runs on the BRTS corridor with air-conditioned low-floor buses and other low floor buses. The dry run of BRTS buses started from 1st june 2013 and trial run of BRTS buses started from 15th june 2013.


MyBus services shall be equipped with state of art GPS system, Passenger information system, Passenger announcement system, CCTV cameras and other safety features. Bus priority signaling system and pedestrian crossing signal system shall be provided. There is a provision of Zebra crossing for the movement of pedestrians to reach the bus stop/cross the road. Push button traffic signal will be installed at each zebra crossing location where the pedestrian can push the button and the traffic light will give a green signal at a predetermined time gap to allow for safe passage. The signals will be synchronized with sensors to give priority to BRTS bus and pedestrians. The road sign of pedestrian crossing is also being installed for vehicle drivers to see and watch the pedestrian crossing. All low floor buses will be tracked in control room on real time basis. The vehicle tracking unit devices have been installed on all the buses. GPS receiver modules, for bus stop announcement in the buses have also been installed on all the buses. The system has been planned & supported to maintain and monitor information for enhancing the performance of MyBus Services of BCLL and commuter satisfaction. The focus of planned Intelligent Transport System (PITS) is to automate the BCLL’s MyBus operations utilizing a GPS based vehicle Tracking & GIS based monitoring System and thereby improving the frequency and the service level benchmarks of the system. This shall ensure efficient utilization of fleet and hence, reduce the cost of operations through various reports generated such as idling report, bus over speeding reports, activity reports and violation reports on daily basis to be analyzed & rectified critically.
In this process MyBus services shall be able to provide better transport services to the commuters and by reducing the cost of operation directly & indirectly and thereby contribute in the improvement of the national economy. Dedicated Squads for Safety and Efficiency of Bus Operation has been deployed.
The BRTS low floor bus service in Bhopal has been named as MYBUS. A Contest was held for naming the bus service in which 1150 entries were received from the residents. MYBUS given by One of the residents was selected and he would be awarded Rs. 11000 for his best entry

Challenges faces & Hindrances overcome during Implementation

 During planning & initial implementation of developing physical infrastructure for pilot corridor BRT, there were various challenges which were faced. As the sanctioned corridor was passing from the center of the city encompassing & facilitating major activity zones of the city such as Misrod Square, ISBT, Habibganj Railway Station, Board Office Square, the CBD of New Market Area, Polytechnic Square, a major bottle neck of the city the kamla Park earthen bund between the Upper lake & Lower lake of the Bhopal city passing through the old precincts of historic Bhopal and heading towards the lalghati Square (to airport) & Halalpur Bus Stand which finally ends at Bairagadh Area which is again an important Commercial area. The construction of the corridor was itself a challenge with various hindrances in the proposed ROW of 30 M wide corridor. BMC removed these hindrances and shifted many structures, utilities, trees etc. Bhopal Municipal Corporation has been successful in handling with all these hindrances through continuous dialog and co-ordination with the public & stake holders of the project and completed the project as per the timelines given by the state govt.

 Bhopal is a greener city popularly known as city of lakes, enjoys a very good share of per capita green open space as compared to the other similar size cities. For this very reason & the aspirations of the public to conserve Bhopal as green city Bhopal Municipal Corporation took up the challenge to Transplant trees which come in the proposed ROW of the corridor and not cutting them for the sake of construction.  As many as 306 important huge Trees have been transplanted and 6000 plants have been planted for compensatory a-forestation. 903 electric poles and transformers were shifted from the proposed ROW for the construction of the corridor. There were several Encroachments within the proposed corridor which were removed through a dedicated drive and a total no of more than 100 structures were identifies most of them with religious Importance also, as many as 75 of these 100 have already been shifted. Bhopal Municipal Corporation was fortunate enough to get huge public support on the matter a few to quote shall comprise of People willing gave over their premise land which was coming in the way of BRTS to BMC.

Successful BRTS Bus operations on PPP Basis       

 Bhopal city link limited formed a SPV under the Bhopal Municipal Corporation to appoint MyBus operator for the bus services to ply on the BRTS corridor on Net -Cost Basis Contract. Operates shall pay Upfront Fee – 38% of the cost of buses deployed for respective cluster. Bus operation is based on Net Cost Contract offer on premium/subsidy per bus per month besides 38% investment towards Bus cost operator shall be liable to operate & maintain the entire fleet & assets under the project.

Citizen accepted MyBus with happiness

Citizen of Bhopal are very happy to have a safe, comfortable and fast public transport. MyBus has got a huge response from public. Even during trial run MyBus was having 30000 passengers per day but after launching of AC buses also it increased tremendously. MyBus is depicting a new success story in urban transport.

1 comment:

  1. A Very Nice write up by Kumar Manish.