Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan may have ruled out Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) as an unfeasible transport system for Mumbai but transport activists have cited a study arguing that priority bus lane should be introduced, if not in the entire city, than at least along certain stretches like Haji Ali and Dharavi to reduce traffic congestion.
A recent study by Embarq, India and Mumbai Transformation Support Unit (MTSU) has revealed that about 4,000 civic buses carry 40 lakh passengers on a single day. But road space in the city on weekdays is grabbed by nearly 4 lakh cars carrying less than 8 lakh passengers. Out of this, nearly 1.6 lakh cars have only single occupant.
“If state cannot execute BRTS across the city, it should at least consider bus priority lanes in congested areas or feeder routes, so that a huge number of bus commuters are not stuck in the traffic,” said Ashok Datar, convenor Mumbai Transport Forum (MTF).
As an example, the MTF studied the Suman Nagar to Kalanagar junction stretch via Sion station and Dharavi for execution of bus priority lane. The suggestion is to reserve one of the four lanes of 90 ft Dharavi road connecting Sion station to T-junction as a bus priority lane.
Currently, all four lanes are one-way in T-junctions direction. The activists have proposed to allow only buses to be operated in opposite direction on one of the lanes, so that they don’t have to detour via Mahim Nature Park to reach Sion station, reducing the bus commute to half of the existing time.
If implemented, the bus priority lane could be highly beneficial to daily commuters travelling between Bandra-Kurla Complex and Chembur.
T he activists had approached Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) last week to explain the proposal and received positive response Following which now they are planning to approach local representatives and concerned authorities.