3 Jan 2009, 0545 hrs IST, TNN
Ahmedabad : On Friday afternoon, a prototype of Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) glided noiselessly into the swanky GMDC bus stop on a trial run. Blame it on high expectations, deadline pressures or steel price rise, Ahmedabad’s first real BRTS bus, somehow did not look like what was promised.
BRTS has been hailed as a solution to traffic congestion. The double-door diesel bus that Amdavadis saw on Friday had metallic silver interiors, bearing a Tata chassis, with a capacity to seat 35 and space for 50 passengers to stand. Its body has been made by Ahmedabad-based Charted Speed Private Limited in Sarkhej.
Curious passers-by stopped to look at the machine that ran on the most impressive stretch of BRTS corridor so far, along the 132-feet Ring Road. The swankier part of the bus includes a ticketing system using a smart card reader installed at the door.
Municipal commissioner IP Gautam who addressed mediapersons from the bus stop, said, “From next week onwards we will start regular trials of BRTS buses on this stretch. We are also awaiting inputs from public about any design changes or requirements in the structure.”
Conceptualised three years ago, Ahmedabad Janmarg Limited (AJL), a special purpose vehicle set up by AMC, Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority(AUDA) and Gujarat government, will govern BRTS operations. Two of the proven BRT successes are Trans Millenio in Bogota, capital of Colombia and Curitiba in Brazil.
About compromise on capacity of the bus as against initial planning, a senior AMC official said, “High capacity bus would have cost us around Rs 50 to 60 lakh while this one cost us Rs 27 lakh without compromising much on comfort. Buses will be accessible to physically challenged as well.” City mayor Kanaji Thakore said, “BRTS bus will improve travelling facilities in city.”
Source : http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com