Residents raise safety issues at BRT bus stations
With the Swargate-Katraj BRT corridor finally operational, issues have been raised about safety at bus stations.
Pedestrian First, convenor, Prashant Inamdar, has written to the PMPML raising a concern about there being no automatic doors provided at bus stations, which is an essential infrastructural requirement for the BRTS design.
“The bus station platform is at a height of about 900mm from the road level. Hence, in the absence of automatic doors, there is a high probability of commuters falling from a height into the bus lane, resulting in a grave injury or even fatality,” said Inamdar.
According to Inamdar, the earlier pilot BRTS corridor design for the Swargate-Katraj corridor had separate curb-side bus stops for each direction.
“These bus stops were of the conventional type, suitable for bus entry/exit through doorways with steps. Even though this BRTS corridor was working well, PMC decided to dismantle and reconstruct it as per the BRTS design with median bus station common for both directions and level boarding (bus station platform and bus floor at same level). This total renewal of the Swargate-Katraj corridor was done reportedly at a cost of about Rs100 crore. After shutting down the BRTS corridor for years and spending such a large amount of public money, the least that citizens expect is that the new BRTS corridor should be complete and safe in all respects,” he added.
Automatic doors are a vital necessity, so that the doors open automatically only when the bus properly docks at the bus station platform, and again close when the bus moves away from the station.
Electronic sensors need to be provided at the bus station and on every bus for this automatic operation of doors.
PMPML’s divisional manager, BRTS, said, “We are aware of this issue and have written to PMC to work on getting the automatic doors fixed.”
In response, a PMC official on condition of anonymity, said: “For automated doors to operate, the PMPML buses should have the radio frequency identification (RFID) system, which is not available in all PMPML buses. There is no point in spending Rs1 crore on something which isn’t used properly by the transport body.”