Friday, June 27, 2008

BRT - Why it does not excite me

The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) as it is currently planned in India is suggested as the one-size-fit-all solution to our transport woes. Having travelled on Mumbai’s bus service (BEST) for thirty years & London’s public transport since 2001, I can’t share the optimism of those who believe BRT (as it is currently planned) is the way forward. When senior citizens, children & disabled struggle to cross the roads safely, one would hope for a solution that improves all aspects of mobility. I wonder why a city like Pune would spend crores of rupees on BRT when 40% of its roads don’t have pavements. That almost a third of Pune citizens commute by walking makes the question more poignant.

I have for some time now tried to find an answer to the question. My quest has led me to assess available information on the BRT projects implemented in India’s two cities. My understanding has grown but as have the questions. Our BRT planners unfortunately have overlooked many issues.

My analysis is as detailed as I could make it, I also regularly update it and it has several links to case studies / examples, those interested please visit http://better.pune.googlepages.com/WhyBRTinIndiadoesnotexciteme.htm

Adhiraj Joglekar