February 8, 2009 1:42:52 am
Even as consensus on the utility of the Bus Rapid Transit corridor seems elusive,an expert on BRT projects has said the Delhi project is meeting its key objectives.
Dario Hidalgo,earlier associated with the BRT project in Bogotá,Colombia,has said the Delhi BRT is evolving and succeeding in meeting some of its key objectives.
Delhi has the pilot BRT corridor between Ambedkar Nagar and Moolchand.
In the city to assess the corridor in association with NGO Centre for Science and Education (CSE),Hidalgo said the corridor has promise in terms of easing the congestion load in the city.
He said the 5.8 km corridor has reduced the average travel time of people travelling by buses by about 35 per cent. Also,the average bus speed on the corridor has increased from 12-13 km/hr to about 19 km/hr. More than 50 per cent commuters on this route travel in buses.
The focus in Delhi has to shift towards reducing average person delay rather than vehicle delay, the senior transport engineer,who works with Washington-based EMBARQ,which does research in urban transportation,said.
Hidalgo said the wait time of cars and two-wheelers on the route is 96 per cent of the total wait time,and affects only about 32 per cent of the people moving through the corridor.
However,he has recommended short signal timings and better synchronisation and enforcement to ensure a smooth ride on the corridor.
As the Delhi government is already planning two more BRT corridors through the city,he said the citys traffic woes cannot be resolved by merely adding an extra lane or traffic management.
The fundamental solution to this problem does not lie in compromising the space for bus users and pedestrians,but in enforcing city-wide restraint measures to reduce to the overall load of vehicles on the road, he said.
Hidalgo was the deputy general manager of TRANSMILENIO S.A.,Bogotás renowned BRT system. He has assisted in developing similar projects in Argentina,Mexico,Peru,Chile,Colombia,Ghana and Thailand.
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