BRTS dry run: A bumpy ride on Day One

The trial run throws up glitches on 7-km Sangamwadi-Vishrantwadi stretch, bus doors refuse to open, shelters do not have electricity supply.

Written by Atikh Rashid | Pune | Published: August 2, 2015 3:50 am
BRTS, BRTS trial, BRTS buses, BRTS bus launch, BRTS buses start, Pune news, Maharashtra News, Indian express During the first day of the dry run carried out by the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited Saturday. (Express Photo by Sandeep Daundkar)

The trial run of the Sangamwadi-Vishrantwadi stretch of the Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS) corridor – under the Pune Municipal Corporation – Saturday threw up quite a few technical glitches that the PMPML, the implementing agency for BRTS, will have to fix before the service is opened to public. On Saturday, the first dry run was carried out by the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) to locate and iron out the last minor glitches in the system before it opens the corridor for full-fledged operations.

The conductors, drivers, operations managers and technical personnel, who were involved in the supervision of the operations of 10 buses in the 7.1 kms long stretch of the BRTS road, found that there’s quite a bit of work that they would need to do before the service got under way.

Among the issues that popped up on Saturday, some prominent ones were refusal of the bus doors to open automatically, some bus shelters did not have electricity supply thus affecting the digital and automated operations, in quite a few buses the announcement system went mute and there were other buses where display boards failed to come to life.

On the brighter side, however, the bus drivers and conductors were seen taking note of the glitches so that they could bring them to the notice of the administration and those providing technical support.

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“These buses, which were bought to be run for the BRTS, were operational on other routes and hence the automatic doors remained idle. Sometimes they wouldn’t open or if they opened they wouldn’t close unless they were shut manually,” said a conductor deployed on one of the buses.

PMPML personnel also faced some difficulties while operating the Intelligent Traffic Management System (ITMS), which works on the lines of the Metro with in-sync operation of automated doors of the bus and the shelter, as well as real-time updation of the position of the buses.

“ITMS system works only when the bus engine is on. If we turn it off – say at a signal – then the system too turns off and we have to reboot. Once the system is rebooted, the entire setting has to be fed again, a process that might take around 10 minutes,” said another conductor.

The administration has deployed traffic personnel to stop private vehicles from entering the BRTS lane. The PMC has also started the repair of the lane dividers, bus shelters and doors which were damaged by miscreants. The shelters, which were ready about 18 months ago, were lying unused. The BRTS staff, including drivers, conductors, traffic wardens, station staff and security personnel, have been trained in handling the BRTS operations.

Mayura Shindekar, chief executive officer, PMPML, said it was a good thing that these glitches were located before the BRTS became operational. She added that the administration would address them at the earliest.

“The aim of this dry run is to find out what technical glitches crop up at the eleventh hour. In my opinion, 95 per cent work on the corridor is done and the technical glitches that we are facing show that only 5 per cent work remains to be done. The technical support is looking into the issues brought to our notice by the staffers, and they will be fixed before we open the service to public,” said Shindekar.

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