The three letters BRT signify a nightmare for most commuters, don't they? But with phase III of the controversial-so-far Bus Rapid Transit Corridor promising to be its most user-friendly version, chances are the association take a more pleasant turn.
While the first BRT model (the 5.8 km stretch from Ambedkar Nagar to Moolchand Hospital in South Delhi) came under severe criticism for having its bus lane along the central verge, the second model (8.7 km, Moolchand to Delhi Gate) with the bus lane in the left was not even inaugurated for fear of failure.
To come up along the Marginal Bund Road (Pushta Road) between Karawal Nagar and Shastri Park in Northeast Delhi, the new BRT plan, with higher commercial speed (of buses), fewer conflict points (between buses and other traffic), safer pedestrian environment, minimal interferences with other traffic and easier implementation is being seen most promising.
This BRT corridor will have several firsts.
Unlike the previous two models, where buses get an exclusive lane on the same road as other vehicles, the new model will have an exclusive road for buses.
In yet another first, a common bus stop will be constructed on the central verge for both directions of buses on this BRT model. This will require a new fleet of buses exclusive for this BRT corridor with entry and exit gates opening on the right side.
"It will not require any major change in the design of buses. Only a separate set of gates will be made on right side of the buses," said principal secretary (transport) R.K.Verma.
This BRT corridor will also run on automatic fare collection system (AFCS) that will work on the same principle as the AFCS of Delhi Metro.
According to the detailed project report (DPR) of the plan, cycles and rickshaws comprise 37 per cent and two-wheelers (scooters and motor-cycles) form almost 33 per cent of the total traffic on this corridor. Since the BRT corridor targets people using their two-wheelers to commute to their work, senior transport officials believe the BRT would prove most ideal concept to solve commuting problems on this stretch.
"We cannot have the same BRT model on every corridor," said Delhi Transport Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely. "Different BRT corridors have to be designed keeping in mind the volume of motorised and non-motorised traffic and the percentage of people travelling by buses, private vehicles or cycling to the work."
"Once this BRT corridor is made and commissioned, it will be the best BRT corridor in Delhi," he added.