Observations on the Bus Corridor in Delhi

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By Dario Hidalgo, Ph.D., Senior Transport Engineer, EMBARQ

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Observations on the Bus Corridor in Delhi

  1. 1. OBSERVATIONS ON THE BUS CORRIDOR IN DELHI Dario Hidalgo, PhD EMBARQ, The WRI Center for Sustainable Transport Submitted to the Center of Science and the Environment Delhi, India, February 2009
  2. 2. Contents <ul><li>Key Questions About the Corridor </li></ul><ul><li>Delhi Bus Corridor Observations </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendations for Existing Corridor </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Has the bus corridor improved the travel conditions in the corridor? </li></ul><ul><li>Are the strategies to reduce motor vehicle congestion effective? </li></ul><ul><li>Would curbside bus lanes would work better than median bus lanes? </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Has the bus corridor improved the travel conditions in the corridor? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Chirag Delhi Junction Morning Peak Hour AK to MC 4,916 Vehicles 11,480 People Source: DIMTS, IIT Delhi, 2008 You get different answers depending on your priorities – moving vehicles vs. moving people
  6. 6. Calculation based on Webster’s Delay Formula for Signalized Intersections One Leg Chirag Delhi Junction Morning Peak Hour AK to MC 53.0 Vehicle-Hours 164.8 Person-Hours
  7. 7. The Bus Corridor has reduced the average travel time 4,626 3,726
  8. 8. <ul><li>Are the strategies to reduce motor vehicle congestion effective? </li></ul>
  9. 9. Increasing the Signal Cycle increases the waiting time for all users – biggest impact to the bus commuters (55% of the people)
  10. 10. <ul><li>Would curbside bus lanes would work better than median bus lanes? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Curbside bus lanes <ul><li>Left turns are usually higher than right turns (left turns along the stretch, right turns only at the junction) </li></ul><ul><li>Encroachment: hawkers, taxis, auto-rickshaws, </li></ul><ul><li>Punctures (e.g. every 114 m on the left hand side and 134 m on right hand side on the extension of the pilot corridor, Source IIT Delhi, Feb 2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Breakdown vehicles </li></ul><ul><li>More difficult to enforce </li></ul><ul><li>Painted lanes do not ensure compliance </li></ul>The difference in commercial speed between median lanes and curbside lanes is 5-7 km/hour
  12. 12. Curbside Lanes Santiago, Chile, April 2008
  13. 13. Curbside Lanes Santiago, Chile, April 2008
  14. 14. Curbside lanes increase the average travel time for bus commuters and cost of operations for the transit providers 15 Km Corridor – 6 Km pilot, 9 Km with alternatives
  15. 15. What is a Bus Rapid Transit system? “ Is a flexible, rubber-tired form of rapid transit that combines stations, vehicles, services, running ways and ITS elements into an integrated system with strong identity” TCRP Report 90 – Bus Rapid Transit – Volume 2: Implementation Guidelines 2003 “ It is a high quality public transport system, oriented to the user that offers fast, comfortable and low cost urban mobility” BRT Planning Guide – ITDP GTZ, 2007
  16. 16. Photo: Madhav Pai, EMBARQ Delhi Bus Corridor (2008)
  17. 17. Delhi Bus Corridor <ul><li>Initial Operation: April 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Length: 5.6 Km </li></ul><ul><li>Stations: 9 </li></ul><ul><li>Ridership: Total N/A; </li></ul><ul><li>Peak 6,500 passenger/hr/direction </li></ul><ul><li>Frequency: 120 buses/hr </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial Speed </li></ul><ul><li>Peak Hour & Direction: In corridor: 16-19 Km/hr </li></ul><ul><li>Off corridor: 7-11 Km/hr </li></ul><ul><li>Operational Productivity: ? passengers/bus-km (4.8 citywide DTC) </li></ul><ul><li>Capital Productivity: ? passengers/bus/day (848 citywide DTC) </li></ul><ul><li>Investment Infrastructure: Rs 14 crores/km (3 million/km) </li></ul><ul><li>Cost per Passenger: ? </li></ul><ul><li>Average User Fare: Rs 1/km Rs 3.87 per passenger citywide DTC (USD 0.08) </li></ul>Source: Interviews February 2008
  18. 18. Photo By: Madhav Pai, EMBARQ/WRI April 26 th , 2008 Photo By: Madhav Pai, EMBARQ/WRI April 26 th , 2008 @ Ambedkar Marg & Mehrauli Badarpur Road Junction Bus priority at junction
  19. 19. <ul><li>The usage of the active transport facilities is very high </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1,129 bicycles/hour peak period South North at Junction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pedestrian: not available </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pedestrian and cyclists have expressed high level of satisfaction with the new facilities </li></ul><ul><li>Temporary solutions for congestion relief are compromising the concept of segregated facilities for active transport. New space is required to reduce conflicts </li></ul><ul><li>This report concentrates on the bus corridor </li></ul>The bus corridor also includes the construction of segregated facilities for pedestrians and bicycles for the first time in Delhi
  20. 20. Summary Commercial Speed
  21. 21. Summary Performance
  22. 22. Delhi Bus Corridor Performance Qualitative Rating Component Rating User Acceptance High <ul><li>High 88% (Bus Commuters, CSE, Jun 08; weighted average 69% ) </li></ul>
  23. 23. Delhi Bus Corridor Performance Qualitative Rating Source: Independent Evaluation D. Hidalgo, M. Pai, EMBARQ, Feb 2009 Component Rating Travel Time Medium Low <ul><li>Accessibility: Medium-High ; at grade pedestrian crossings at signalized intersections; pedestrian wait time higher than 60 seconds at the signal. </li></ul><ul><li>Waiting time: Medium-Low ; 3 routes along the corridor with 5 minute interval during peak hour </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial speed : Medium-High ; 16-19 Km/h (DIMTS, Jan 09); Improved by 128%-27% (from 7-15 Km/h) </li></ul>
  24. 24. Delhi Bus Corridor Performance Qualitative Rating Source: Independent Evaluation D. Hidalgo, M. Pai, EMBARQ, Feb 2009 Component Rating Reliability Low <ul><li>Variability (intervals, speeds): High ; Bunching, Wide-Gaps </li></ul><ul><li>Breakdowns, incidents: High ; Bus breakdowns, encroachment </li></ul>
  25. 25. Delhi Bus Corridor Performance Qualitative Rating Source: Independent Evaluation D. Hidalgo, M. Pai, EMBARQ, Feb 2009 Component Rating Comfort Low <ul><li>Occupancy (buses, platforms): High ; Buses/Platforms beyond crush capacity </li></ul><ul><li>User information: Medium-Low ; scarce/vandalized maps & signs, many guards are available, variable message signs </li></ul><ul><li>Integration with other transport modes: Low ; scarce connectivity, lack of single payment media </li></ul><ul><li>Perception of safety and security: Medium-Low ; well illuminated, clean, guards are available, but operation is chaotic </li></ul>
  26. 26. Delhi Bus Corridor Performance Qualitative Rating Source: Independent Evaluation D. Hidalgo, M. Pai, EMBARQ, Feb 2009 Component Rating Cost Medium Low <ul><li>Costs: Low capital investment (Infrastructure 10 Crores/km) </li></ul><ul><li>Capital and operational productivity: not available ( small improvement expected ) </li></ul>
  27. 27. Delhi Bus Corridor Performance Qualitative Rating Source: Independent Evaluation D. Hidalgo, M. Pai, EMBARQ, Feb 2009 Component Rating Externalities Medium Impacts <ul><li>Fatalities: High (0.8/month) </li></ul><ul><li>Emissions: Low particulate matter, CNG engines; 13% New Fleet </li></ul><ul><li>Increased land values: not available ( low expectation ) </li></ul><ul><li>Congestion relief (attraction of personalized vehicle users): not available, ( low expectation ) </li></ul>
  28. 28. Delhi Bus Corridor - Performance Source: Independent Evaluation D. Hidalgo, M. Pai, EMBARQ, Feb 2009 Component Qualitative Rating User Acceptance High Travel Time Medium Low Reliability Low Comfort Low Cost Medium Low Externalities Medium Impacts
  29. 29. Observed Operational Problems <ul><li>Bus queuing at stations – spillovers </li></ul><ul><li>High number of bus breakdowns in the bus lane </li></ul><ul><li>Pedestrian jaywalking </li></ul><ul><li>Motor vehicles encroachment of bus lanes </li></ul><ul><li>High Vehicle Occupancy </li></ul><ul><li>Unreliable Bus Operation (High variability in intervals and commercial speeds) </li></ul>
  30. 30. Recommendations for the Existing Bus Corridor <ul><li>Establish a Quality Improvement Program </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Define Indicators: User Acceptance, Travel Time, Reliability, Comfort, Productivity, Externalities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Set up a monitoring mechanism: plan, perform, report, take action, evaluate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Measurement and actions should address concerns of all users and constituents </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Focus on Improving Reliability and Comfort which are the lowest rating components regarding system performance </li></ul><ul><li>Reevaluate the service plan: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For each route collect the load profile, occupancy at peak location, variation along the day; then define the required supply (buses/hour, fleet) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Introduce flexible route planning </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Recommendations for the Existing Corridor <ul><li>Do not affect active transport (bike-ped) facilities to improve motor vehicle operations </li></ul><ul><li>The temporary solution for Chirag Delhi is compromising the concept of segregation for the whole corridor and the future expansions </li></ul>
  32. 32. Recommendations for the Existing Corridor <ul><li>Do not focus on queue length or vehicle delay, tackle average person delay </li></ul><ul><li>Use automatic short cycles </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Against conventional wisdom short cycles are the best way to address oversaturated conditions (minimum delays) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Upgrade signal technology (multiple signal timing plans by time of day, flexible/actuated controllers) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Introduce user/driver education and adequate enforcement (replicate the experience of metro that has a passenger behavior act) </li></ul>

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