Under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) the centre is promoting bus rapid transit system (BRTS) as a cost effective solution for providing high quality public transport service in urban areas.
Currently BRTS is being taken up in eight cities - Pune's Pimpri-Chinchwad belt, Ahemdabad, Indore, Bhopal, Vijayawada, Vishakhapatnam, Jaipur and Rajkot involving a length of 310km at a total cost of Rs2,740 crore.
Delhi is also implementing BRTS as a state government funded project. At a seminar 'National consultation on urban bus based transportation solutions' in New Delhi, M Ramachndran, secretary urban development, stressed the need to introduce a modern city bus service in all the 0.5 million plus cities and state capitals to start with.
These modern buses will be sleek and have wider doors and windows with level boarding and alighting. and advance fare collection and vehicle tracking system. The aim would be to persuade commuters to shift from personal modes to public transport.
Ramachandran said that this has to be done on a PPP model like the system in Indore in Madhya Pradesh. He said that the government in consultation with the Society of Aindian Automobile Mnaufacturers (SIAM), IIT Delhi, Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), Pune, and the Urban Mass Transit Company have developed urban bus specifications, which had been sent to the state governments in October 2007 for their comments.
This seminar is being organised to fine tune the draft bus specifications, which will specify the minimum specifications for the urban buses.
However, these specifications would also be only recommendatory in nature and state governments would be at liberty to adopt higher specifications. These deliberations would also focus on implementation and efficiency issues of BRTS, which because of lack of appropriate care during implementation had become an issue in Delhi, Ramchandran said.