BRTS not feasible in State, says Sreedharan

The Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) adopted in several cities with dedicated lanes to provide smooth and affordable transport to the public has no future and is not feasible for Kerala, Planning Board member E. Sreedharan has said.

“Even in Ahmedabad where the authorities claim BRTS is most successful, it is heavily subsidised by the government and is not pollution-free compared to monorail and metro. BRTS has no future. In Kerala, you need six dedicated lanes for BRTS. It will be impossible to acquire land and hence it is not feasible,” Mr. Sreedharan told The Hindu.

Since the vehicles travel in exclusive lanes, they avoid congestion on the road.

Other motorised traffic is benefitted from the BRTS due to shifting of buses to dedicated lanes. Mr. Sreedharan, who is also Principal Advisor to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, said the increasing personalised mode of transport should be discouraged to decongest the roads that were narrow compared to other States. Only Kochi had the potential to operate metro. Monorail, another Mass Rapid Transit System, is feasible for Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode as per the Peak Hour Peak Direction Traffic (PHPDT) that determined the mode of transport, he said.

Increase in vehicles

The State had witnessed a 300 per cent increase in the number of vehicles during the last 12 years.

Ruling out BRTS for the town and cities, Mr. Sreedharan said bus travel should be promoted to decongest roads and roads had to be widened to ensure the smooth flow of vehicular traffic.

“There is no harm in running private buses along with the fleet of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC). They should be limited and encouraged to provide good and efficient service to the commuters,’’ he said. The government should promote private bus industry in the State and give recognition to them as the State-owned KSRTC was under financial crisis.

Durability of roads

Mr. Sreedharan, who headed a sub-committee of the Planning Board to find ways to increase durability of roads, had mooted several steps such as decongesting roads, promoting public transport system, and concreting roads.

The Planning Board member said commuters were willing to pay if they got good services from the public transport. Travel cost of the people in the State was less compared to the money spent on education and clothing, he said.