‘Lanes, intelligent traffic signalling required for bus rapid transit’ | Pakistan Today

‘Lanes, intelligent traffic signalling required for bus rapid transit’

The Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) in Karachi requires dedicated lanes as well as an intelligent traffic signalling system on some intersections, said a Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) expert. Assoc Prof Toshiyuki Okamura of Japan’s Yokohama National University visited the Karachi Mass Transit Cell (KMTC) office and gave a detailed presentation on the global experience of the BRTS. KMTC Director General (DG) Rasheed Mughal, KMTC Planning & Coordination Director Mirza Anwer Baig, KMTC Technical Director Ghulam Rasool, and Shogo Uchida (Deputy Team Leader), Yu Iwahashi and Katsuya Kusunoki of the JICA team for the study on the Karachi Transportation Improvement Project were also present.
Okamura said the BRTS is a potential project for clean development mechanism study to obtain foreign funding and support for the environment friendly project. His current visit to Karachi is part of JICA’s feasibility studies on two corridors from Surjani Town and Safoora Goth to the Central Business District. JICA had already submitted an interim report on the Karachi Transport Master Plan on June 30 this year. Subsequently, a seminar on the topic was organised by JICA and the KMTC to interact with all stakeholders, including transport experts, on September 29 at a local hotel.
The outcome of the seminar would be incorporated in the report of the Transport Master Plan 2030 along with the feasibility study report of the corridors by June next year. In his presentation, Okamura appreciated the Bogotá modal of the BRTS as a success story. The maximum ridership on a single BRTS lane is about 41,000 passengers per hour per direction. By articulated compressed natural gas buses (with a capacity of carrying 350 passengers) are operating on high travel demand BRTS lanes, whereas non-articulated buses of 18 metres (with a capacity of carrying 160 passengers) are plying on low travel demand BRTS lanes.
The system is integrated with feeder buses of a capacity to carry 70 passengers, whereas the e-ticketing fare system is integrated with the feeder service. Okamura informed the participants of the seminar about the fleet composition of the BRTS, stations’ designs and other facilitation programmes. During the presentation, he shared the BRTS experience of Curitiba (Brazil), Korea and Jakarta (Indonesia) among other locations. As regards implementing the BRTS in Karachi, he suggested that dedicated BRTS lanes as well as an intelligent traffic signalling system on some intersections are required, whereas manual traffic control on other intersections might be possible.
He said the BRTS buses are being operated by private operators under a public sector organisation, TransMilenio.
The KMTC DG said Okamura’s presentation was a good opportunity for sharing his experience and expertise of high calibre with the participants of the seminar. This exercise would go a long way as regards improving the public transport facility in the city with a contemporary touch as well as modern technology, the DG said.

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