The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is here to stay. Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit made it clear when she called a review meeting on BRT soon after the first assembly session on Thursday.
The confusion over design, too, is back. The government is still not clear whether to continue with the revolutionary design of the bus lane in the middle or shift it to the position where it has always been — to the left of the road.
Experts feel that having two different designs on one corridor will add to the problem and will cause a lot of confusion at the inter-changing zone.
“The problem is that the agencies which are working on the project have no previous experience of implementation of the BRT. The government should consult international experts who have been part of planning, designing and successful implementation of the system elsewhere,” said Nalin Sinha, programme director of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy.
Senior Delhi government officials accept that moving the bus lane to the middle of the corridor has received flak from all quarters. But they insist that the other option of having the bus lane on the left of the road and not constructing a concrete median to segregate it would mean a virtual end to the BRT concept. “Who will man the bus lanes to see cars and two-wheelers don’t stray into the segregated lanes? With traffic cutting to left at turns, vehicles will have to move into bus lanes,” said an expert.
The Delhi government has divided the 14.5-kilometre BRT project in two phases.
Pilot A of phase-I of the corridor, the 5.8-km-long stretch between Ambedkar Nagar and Moolchand Hospital, has
bus lane in the middle of the corridor.
Bus stops have also been constructed in the middle and the commuters have to cross the road to reach the bus stop.
A section of Pilot B, from Defence Colony, will have bus lanes on the left. And instead of a physical divider, the lane will be segregated from the car lane by a yellow line.
About one kilometre of the stretch beyond Moolchand, which is part of Pilot B, has been modified according to the earlier plan of a bus lane in the middle.