February 20, 2011 12:50:30 am
The state government nod for the Pune metro rail project has brought to focus public transport issues in the bustling city once again,with activists pointing out flaws and suggesting improvements.
The citys existing Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS),was the topic of discussion at a session held by activists in the city on Friday,where experts expressed reservations on the way the work was being carried out and said if infrastructure was not upgraded,the BRTS will not be on par with cities like Ahmedabad.
The main aspects of BRTS – level boarding and alighting at stations,automated fair collection,fleet-monitoring and passenger information system – are yet to be seen in the existing BRT fleet. Besides,as per the proposed plan,a 165-km stretch will be covered,but it will cater to only half the total commuters of Pune,activists point out.
Shreya Gadepalli,senior programme director,Institute for Transport and Development Policy (ITDP),and one of the key persons behind the design of the the Ahmedabad BRTS,said,The first step towards making BRTS work in Pune is to ensure enough pedestrian space,followed by taking away of private parking spaces so that more and more people take a bus. While the attitude in most cities is that it is the duty of the government to provide on-street parking,a fee is charged for it. In Pune,it comes to Rs 3000-10,000 a month or Rs 15-45 an hour.
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