Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) - Case Studies in Indian Scenario
Bus Rapid Transit System :
Mr. Apparao Gandi
Department of Civil Engineering
GITAM University- Hyderabad
Guest Faculty, Center for Transportation Engineering,
Talk delivered at
Training program on Multi Model Transport System for
Environmental and Social Co – Benefits
At Dr. MCR HRDI , Hyderabad
Issues in planning for public transport
systems in India
The thrust of our efforts has to be on
shifting 2-wheeler users and old car users to
public transport and non-motorized modes.
Why will people shift???
• Standard Logit model for mode shift
– Travel time
– Waiting time
• If this is the basis for mode split, no one will
shift from 2-wheelers to public transport
• Yet people are willing to shift
• What makes them do that?
• Hassles of driving on congested roads
• Opportunity for social inter-action
• What else?
• Subject of research
Issues in planning for public
Coverage – accessibility
Technology – cost Vs. capacity
Pricing /fares – who should pay
Regulation and management – role of the private sector
To Overcome all these issues BRTS is
coming into the Picture
WHAT IS BRTS …???
• Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) or High Capacity Bus
System (HCBS) is a high quality, ultra modern,
customer oriented transit option that could
deliver fast, comfortable and cost-effective
urban mobility, quite similar to metro rail.
• This highly effective and economical mass transit
option is now a way of life in many developing as
well as developed countries such as China,
Taiwan, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, Japan, United
States of America, Australia, New Zealand,
England, France and so on.
• BRT is a suite of elements that
create a high quality rapid
transit experience using rubber
• This experience often includes
a high degree of performance (
especially speed & reliability),
ease of use, careful attention to
• Urgent need for efficient mass transport
• Scope for both low density and high density
• Low cost transit solution.
• Less time for planning and construction, more
• Higher speed with little delay for buses.
• Vital component of overall transport plan for
• Can be operated according to the city ethos
• Scope for public private synergy.
• Environment friendly.
MAIN FEATURES OF BRTS
• Dedicated (bus-only) running ways (preferably,
physically separated from other traffic)
• Accessible, safe, secure and attractive stations.
• Easy-to-board, attractive and environmentally
• Efficient (preferably off-board) fare collection.
• Its applications to provide real-time passenger
information, signal priority and service
• Frequent, all-day service.
MAIN FEATURES OF BRTS
• At-grade bus lanes preferred for increasing
commuter access, operational flexibility and
• Priority for buses at intersections.
• Urban / low floor buses.
• Properly designed bus shelters for efficient and
safe boarding / alighting
• Pedestrian facilities for ‘along' and ‘across'
• Inter-modal integration through single ticketing
for seamless travel.
PRINCIPLES OF BRTS
• Move people as effectively as rail at a potentially lower
initial capital cost
• Fully utilize existing roadways, rights-of-way, and
• Take advantage of available technology (e.g., automatic
vehicle location, passenger information, signal priority,
and “Smart Card” type fare collection)
• Apply incremental system development, based on
demand and funding
• Maximize operating flexibility
• Change the mindset for bus transit – from conventional
bus fleet operations to state-of-the-art transit systems
that are convenient, reliable, attractive, and comfortable
COMPONENTS OF BRTS
A BRT system combines flexible service and new
technologies to improve customer convenience
and reduce delays. While specific BRT
applications vary, the components may include:
– Running ways
– Route structure and schedule
– Fare collection
– Advanced Technology
TYPES OF RUNNING WAYS
• Running way types vary in the degree of grade separation &
lateral segregation from general purpose traffic.
• Running ways can be classified into three types
c. Urban street
Separate Running way
• A Separate running way is
the most developed form
of a busway & consists of a
road or guideway to built
on its own alignment.
• It can include both at grade
& grade separated
intersections with cross-
• A separate running way
developed with a guided
track using curb or
another low barrier on
the outside of the track
to help steer vehicles is
referred to as a guide way,
the figure illustrates a
• A free way running way is built with in the limits of the
cross-section of free way, either as a part of new
construction or existing.
• The running ways geometry is controlled by geometry of
freeways general traffic lanes.
• The running ways can have one of three forms
a. A median bus way
b. HOV lanes
A Median Bus way
• A dedicated bus facility
in the median area
physically from other
forms of traffic and
other types of BRT.
The figure illustrates a
median bus way
• A running way
shared with high
on either sides or the
outer lanes of the
freeway. the figures
illustrates a HOV
• Permitted use of the
outside shoulder of the
general traffic lanes by
• Some times limited to
peak hour periods or
• An urban street BRT running way is developed with in
the limits of the roadway cross section either as part of
new construction or existing facility.
• The running way has one of three forms
a. Median bus way
b. Bus lane
c. Mixed use lane
Median bus way :-
• A dedicated bus facility is a
median area sometimes
shared with other high
occupancy vehicles and
separated from traffic. the
figure illustrates the median
• Similarly to a median
busway but tipically located
on the out side of the
arterial roadway and
sometimes shared with
other high occupancy
Mixed use lane
• Mixed use of a lane by both transit general traffic.
• The geometry of a separate busway facility can be
considered for two types of corridors
a. Green field bus ways
b. Constrained corridors
Green field bus ways:-
which are busways constructed in areas that offer
few limitations in terms of space, direct routes to
the desired destinations.
• Constrained corridors:-
Uses routes that are limited in width, located along
routes that are not entirely & are constructed
adjacent to or with in developed area.
Designation Description Dimension (feet)
A BRT/Bus lane Preferred (12) Constrained (11)
B SHOULDER Preferred (4) Constrained (2)
floor, high capacity
volumes of riders
and fast boarding
and exiting. BRT
vehicles often use
clean fuels or
to large transit
stations are located
serve and provide
easy access to the
• Route Structure and Schedule
• Established to maximize direct, no-transfer rides
to multiple destinations and to create more
flexible and continuous service (reducing the need
for a schedule) for local and express bus service.
• Designed to make it fast and easy to pay, often
before boarding the vehicle, BRT fare collection
systems include the use of self-service proof-of-
payment systems or pre-paid stored-value fare cards,
such as a "Smart Card" system.
• The use of advanced technologies (or Intelligent
Transportation Systems) to improve customer
convenience, speed, reliability, and safety.
Examples include systems that provide traffic
signal preference for buses at intersections and
cross streets, as well as Global Positioning
Systems (GPS) to provide passenger information
such as real-time bus arrival information.
• Grade separated will provide highest travel time
saving, level of safety, and reliability of all types
of running ways.
• Bus traffic doesn't interfere with mixed traffic at
• Mixed flow traffic lanes have minimal capital
costs since major physical modification are not
• Converted HOV lanes allow buses to operate
faster, more reliably and more safely than
buses in mixed flow lanes.
• Improvement BRT travel
times can be attained in
designated curbside bus-
only lanes, making buses
in these lanes more compe-
titive with the automobile.
• Grade separated transit way have the highest
capital cost of any BRT option.
• An appropriate right-of-way throughout the
corridor may be unattainable.
• Bus operations are impacted by traffic
• Since buses share a lane with HOV’s
automobiles may impede bus operations, which
make HOV lanes less efficient than bus only
• Median HOV lanes can be more difficult to
• Implementation of new curbside bus lanes and
street widening may displace parking,
pedestrian and bicycle paths.
CASE STUDY ON Ahmedabad BUS
RAPID TRANSIT SYSTEM
Ahmedabad’s most efficient
‘Bus Rapid Transit Service’
Buses move in the dedicated lanes at high speed without the obstruction from
vehicles crossing or jay walkers forcing the drivers to apply brakes .
• Janmarg also known as Ahmedabad BRTS, is
a bus rapid transit in Ahmedabad, India. It is
operated by Ahmedabad Janmarg Limited, a
subsidiary of Ahmedabad Municipal
• It is designed by Centre for Environmental
Planning and Technology (CEPT) University.
• Janmarg means the people's way in Gujarati
• Ahmedabad has a population
of 72 lakhs(7.2 million), which
is likely to be 11 million by the
• This would lead to
agglomeration of surrounding
settlements like Naroda and
other smaller villages, which
ultimately increases the area
of the city, which may become
1,000 km2 in the year 2035.
• Ahmedabad has limited public
• It has system designs quite similar to Curitiba's Rede
Integrada de Transporte and Bogota's TransMilenio.
By following this system Chennai BRTS
and Bangalore BRTS are also under implementation.
• Technical procedures was started in 2006.
• A part of the first corridor connecting Pirana to RTO
Junction was opened to public on October 14, 2009 by
Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi.
• Second half of the first phase of the BRTS was
inaugurated on December 25, 2009.
• It was stretched up to Kankaria Lake later to cater
eastern part of the city.
Detailed System Design and
Implementation Support (2006):
• BRTS- Ahmedabad is under implementation.
Detailed system design and support during
construction is being provided by CEPT team.
The team had already made some 100 minor
design changes to avoid difficulties faced by
Delhi and Pune in implementation.
SELECTION OF CORRIDORS
• Based on an analysis of the socio-economic
factors, travel demand patterns, road network
characteristics, proposed metro plan and
existing Ahmedabad Municipal Transport
Service (AMTS) route network as the criteria, a
network of roads covering about
155 kilometers in length have been identified
for developing the Bus Rapid Transit System
• How are the objectives and priorities of Janmarg
• What is the level of citizen participation in the
planning of Janmarg BRTS?
• How do stakeholders and planners interact and
what are the consequences in achieving goals?
• What is the social impact of Janmarg BRTS on
• Is Janmarg BRTS successful and can it be
replicated in other regions?
TRANSPORTATION ISSUES IN
• WITH RAPID ECONOMIC GROWTH COMES...
Rising incomes $$$
Growing urban population
Increasing vehicle ownership
TRANSPORTATION ISSUES IN
There will be a five-fold increase in the total
vehicle moving very fast in non-OECD
countries from 2002–2030; two billion vehicles
• Strained infrastructures and air pollution
• Road fatalities and injuries
• Reduced accessibility for non-drivers
• Road traffic accidents are the third-most leading cause of
death and disability in developing countries 72
What are the effects..??
A POTENTIAL SOLUTION OF BRTS
It is one of the most cost-effective options to provide
high-capacity public transit3.
• The motor vehicle fleet has been doubling
every four years the last three decades.
• Many Indian cities are experiencing a cycle of
decreasing bus ridership and reduced transit
TRANSPORT IN INDIA:
MORE MOTORBIKES, LESS BUSES
Family using a motorcycle
at a crossing
• In response, many transit users have switched
to cheap to-wheeled motor vehicles
Typical traffic in Ahmedabad
Statistics:1995 to 2005
road crashes persons injured traffic fatalities
Best Practices BRTS in South Asia
Janmarg System Map in Ahemadabad
In contrast, Pune and Delhi BRTS received
negative press and little public support…..
– Close media attention to BRTS
– Regular press releases by the city
– BRTS branding and hype among citizens.
• PUBLIC EVENTS :
– Workshops for experts, international community
and public officials
– Open displays at CEPT University and other venues
WHICH PUBLIC AND HOW??
– Commissioner’s office open to inquiries,
concerns, questions via phone or e-mail
– Prototype bus station
– 12km demonstration corridor
– Free transit first month of operation
– City and CEPT University took visitor comments
and feedback; also helpful for user education
• Operation costs recovered by fares
• Maintenance costs are still an issue
• Potential for revenues from advertising space
• Are flyovers necessary?
• They are considerable costs to the project
• Buses do not even use the flyovers
• Modal switch detected (34% of BRTS riders
used cars, motorbikes or rickshaws before
• Reduced traffic (esp. Sunday nights)
• Safer, faster and more reliable than AMTS
• Cheap fares (Rs. 2–16) but the average monthly
expenditure on transport is Rs. 103
• Flyovers used for project encourage fast driving
and unfriendly pedestrian environments
• System does not address the majority of trips
that go to the center of the city
• Pedestrian and bike infrastructure present
but inadequately designed:
– 55% of the city bikes or walks
– Bike lanes and sidewalks can be too narrow
– Motorcyclists use bike lanes as service lanes
– Cars/hawkers park on sidewalks and bike lanes
– Infrastructure located only along corridor
• Cars parked on the sidewalk and a hawker setting up shop
along a BRTS corridor
Car parked inside in a bike lane
along s BRTS corridor
• Janmarg has greatly improved public transit and
should be taken with pride by local Indians
• Tells the rest of India that BRTS can work despite
previous shortcomings in Pune and Delhi.
• Fair compensation needed for impacted
communities or avoidance of slum clearance
• Lessons learnt from international examples can
be adapted to the local context and culture
• Research and explore case studies before
tackling planning problems
• • Janmarg would have had the same
shortcomings seen in Pune and Delhi if ITDP
was not there
• to provide technical support, international
BRTS experience and information
01. As the bus arrives at the Platform of
the station. the door of the platform
and of the bus open up, and thereafter
close, simultaneously before the bus
leaves. The buses are fully air-
02. Stations are in the median.
03. Ticket issuing clerk is sitting in the
middle in a cage covered by a glass.
BRTS is operational on 18.7 kms. from
RTO to Pushpakunj at Kankaria
Another good feature of the stations
is that they have provided ramps for
physically challenged people to use
With walls in the ramp (pathway),
there will be no spillage of people in
the path of the bus.
The platforms have good seating arrangement especially for ladies waiting for the
arrival of the bus. My wife among others, can be seen here
Our people are
exiting on reaching
When the bus leaves the dedicated lanes
to cross a junction, red signal stops other
Stations are well-lit at night
Ahmedabad BRTS is a bus-based high
quality, high capacity rapid transit system
In a BRT system, the buses travel in
exclusive lanes, thus avoiding congestion.
This is a system of segregated right-of-way
infrastructure, rapid and frequent bus
Operation, easy boarding and alighting
facilities for the passengers and excellence
In marketing and customer service.
Gujarat Chief Minister: Sri Narendra Modi
is seen travelling in a BRT bus on the
day on its inauguration on 15th Aug 2009. It is
Modi’s personal interest that Ahmedabad’s
BRTS became a reality and today the most
It is now getting International attention as per
Times of India (24-02-2009). In fact the
delegates from some 17 countries were
a 2-day tour of Ahmedabad on 22 / 23-2-2009
to study its working and probably to copy.
BRTS has been long seen by Urban
Planners as an answer to traffic chaos
in Big Cities
BRTS Ahmedabad was conferred the award for Sustainable Transport for the year
2010 on Jan.12, 2010 in WASHINGTON D.C. U.S. A team led by the Standing Panel
Head: Ashit Voha flew to Washington receive the said award for visionary achievement in mass transport from the U.S.
backed Institute for Transportation & Development Policy.
• BRTS Ahmedabad has
installed this machine at
the exit at every station.
• Ticket is to be ‘shown’to
it while exiting.
• The machine will catch If
the person who has
taken ticket for a shorter
distance, has travelled
2nd Largest city of A.P. with an area of 550 sq. Km.
City is home to several industries, steel plant, apart from
being port city.
It is also home to Eastern Naval Command.
As per 2011 India census, It had a population of 4,288,113.
Need of Rapid Transport at V.S.P
As per National Urban Transport Policy (NUTP), cities with
one million-plus population must target to a minimum public
transport mode split of 50% .
By giving impetus to public transport to arrest the trend of
Increase modal split in favour of public transport.
To have smooth flow, safety and to minimize travel time,
Reason for adoption of BRTS at V.S.P
Cost – Implementation of MRTS costs around 200 crores per km,
where as BRTS costs around 20 crores per km.
Implementation can be done with in a less span ( 1- 3 years
after conception) – a significant advantage when compared to rail
Before Implementation of Project:
As of 2011, about 4.5 lakh registered vehicles ply on the city - 90%
of Motorized Two-Wheel Vehicles (MTWVs).
Travel demand of 12 lakh trips per day – 65% private basis & only
20% favour public transport.
Minimum public transport mode split of 50% (as per NUTP).
Travel demand has to grow to 16 and 28 lakh trips per day by
2011 and 2021 respectively.
Project was approved in the year 2008, started in the year 2010
GVMC, appraised a BRTS network of 100 Km consisting of 6 BRTS
In phase I, 2 corridors were proposed:
RTC complex – Pendurthi (20 Km)
RTC complex – Simhachalem (18.5 Km)
The study was approved by MoUD and aid was granted through
For development of foot over bridges, bus shelters etc. Public
Private Partnership (PPP) mode was chosen.
Goals of Project
Not to compromise with space requirements for dedicated buses,
Motor Vehicles, Non- Motor Vehicle lanes and safety.
To augment transport supply at an affordable cost to the citizens.
To prepare a comprehensive parking plan and will be
implemented with control on demand and fiscal measures.
Project design features
Min 30m width at mid- block section;
36m width at stations/ junctions;
Dedicated bus lane, 7.0 m (2 x 3.5 m);
3.4 m wide passenger platform with shelter;
2 x 3.25 m motorised vehicle lane (MV), 2 x 2.5 m non- motorised
vehicle lane (NMV), minimum 2.0 m wide sidewalk on both sides;
Placement of stations- based on demand ( 500 to 700 m);
Additional right turn to MV lane at junctions;
Provision of bus passing lane at some stations;
Adequate depot and terminal facilities; and
Safe dispersal and integration measures.
Fig: Typical Cross section at 36.0 M row (with Bus Bay)
Fig: Typical Cross Section of flyover, Pier Location
Development under Public Private
Implementing (financing, designing and executing) the proposed
Modern Bus Shelter and Foot Over Bridges dividing them into 3-4
Operating and maintaining for a given concession period.
Transferring the facilities to GVMC after concession period.
‘Public’ is represented by a Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) named
‘ Visakhapatnam Urban Transport Company Limited ( VUTCL).
The project will be implemented by a SPV with equity stakes
through GVMC ( 25% equity), APSRTC (51% equity) and VUDA (24%
Role of Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV)
To provide BRTS by way of planning, designing, financing,
developing and constructing etc.
To facilitate multi modal transport services including owing,
licensing and operating bus routes.
To serve as a single agency to facilitate, coordinate control &
monitor the activities of various public & private partners.
I. Total cost of project:
For Civil and electrical infrastructure is estimate at : 339 Cr. ( with
contingencies of 1.5 Cr.)
For shifting of utilities has been estimated as 26.53 Cr.
For producing ITS related facilities for 300 buses, 50 bus stops, 8
terminals, 3 depots and a control centre has been provisioned with 6
The Operation & Maintenance cost shall be about 15% of capital
Financial Partners Involved
By GOVT. of India (JNNURM) – 50%
GOVT. of A.P. – 20%
GVMC – 20%
Others – 10%
2. Sustainability of the Project
The annual O&M per annum will be 39 Cr. by 2021.
Expected ridership on PTC and STC corridor will 3.15 Lac./day by
Estimated bare box revenue will increase to 125 Cr. by 2021.
5 Cr. per annum can be generated through advertisement rights.
Operation viability is expected to be sound as the project Internal
Rate of Return (IRR) comes to healthy 41% .
All other( buses, fare collection system and ITS) can also financed
from the fare box revenue and even enough to maintain fixed
Availability of ROW to achieve segregation of traffic on the
Issues to be reckoned are utility diversions and addressing the
Diversion of traffic during construction.
Difficulties in acquisition of land at various strategic locations.
Environment and social problems and prospects of resettlements
• India is witnessing a rapid growth in urban populations.
Consequently, the demand on transport infrastructure is huge.
• A planned response is needed to meet the challenge.
• Some solutions include:
• Optimization of transport network,
• Development of feeder networks.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS AND REFERENCES
I would like to thank members of Mr. K.RamGopal, Dr.MCRHRDI,A.P and
Dr. Sravana (JNTUCEH). for giving this opportunity, as well as my Students, friends and
family for their support.
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