Archive for the ‘Transportation’ Category

City Can Ride Green With a Bicycle Kick

Posted by rajat On June - 11 - 2013

New Delhi: In a city jammed with four-wheelers, the bicycle as an alternative mode of transport has predictably found few takers. The reasons are varied–extreme weather conditions, unmanageable traffic, lack of government initiative, even a lack of bicycle stations in different parts of the capital. Yet, a look at how cycling can change the way a city is perceived makes it apparent that it’s a mode of travel that the government needs to promote.

 Cycle Scheme

It’s a desirable and practicable goal that cities like Copenhagen have achieved. From an industrialized city in the 1970s to the “Bike City of the World”, Denmark’s capital has come a long way. Much like India now, Denmark was faced with a rapidly expanding population clamouring for infrastructure. As in Delhi today, there was a conflict between bicycle and car interests. However, the solution was found in city planning that gave space to four-wheelers, bicycles, pedestrians and public transport. Thus grew Denmark’s extended network of cycle lanes along roads, which has been replicated elsewhere in Europe.

 

With population and traffic becoming unmanageable in Delhi, the time is ripe to promote the bicycle as a mode of transport. It is easy on the environment and also works wonders for people’s health. According to government data, carbon monoxide emission from private cars is as much as 34% while from two-wheelers it is around 61%. Yet, the vehicular population has grown 10% annually, bringing the total to 72 lakh.

 

It’s not easy to bring about change, though. Sudhir Haryal’s company, Planet Advertising, manages the nine bicycle stands built along the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor. While five stations are available at Moolchand, the other four are situated further down towards National Stadium. With nominal charges–Rs 10 for the first four hours and Rs 5 for every subsequent hour–the bright green bicycle stands not only allow commuters to rent bikes but also park them. But it’s been an uphill battle to get commuters to opt for them. Haryal says only 10-12 people rent bikes at a station in a day. “A number of foreigners opt to take a bicycle. It’s more popular during winter, obviously,” he adds.

 

BRT is not the only corridor where the government has tried to implement its non-motorized transport plans. At the Vishwavidyalaya Metro station, Jitender Khurana runs a fairly successful bicycle stand. His 25 bikes can’t be found after 9am. “Students are especially keen to take these bicycles around the university,” he says.

 

That there are takers for bicycles as a mode of travel is obvious from the rising, albeit marginal, group of cycling enthusiasts in Delhi. Cycling clubs abound, with groups of early bikers being seen early mornings in various parts of Delhi on weekends. Ragini Sharma is one such enthusiast. Working with a research think-tank in the ITO area, she used to cycle to work in winter–all the way from Dhaula Kuan. While it took over an hour, Sharma says the benefit, apart from burnt calories, was the sense of relaxation that she got. “However, the traffic was very stressful… people in Delhi have no concept of giving way, even to a bicycle,” rues Sharma.

 

Like Sharma, many people are keen to cycle but wary of the traffic conditions. The absence of proper cycle tracks along arterial roads is a major hurdle. In 2010, during the run-up to the Commonwealth Games, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had promised bicycle tracks along all major roads, including flyovers. The promise is yet to be implemented in entirety. The cycle tracks that were built have been encroached for unauthorized parking. Two-wheelers and autorickshaws avoiding jams, besides hawkers and squatters, also use them. At other places, cycle lanes are used to dump waste and construction material.

 

Bicycles contribute to about 4% of the city’s total commuting trips, against about 60% in the 1960s. The Delhi Master Plan 2021 recommends cycle tracks for all roads. However, Haryal says, “There are many who want to take up cycling as a zero-pollution and affordable transport, but are not able to do so as there are few cyclist-friendly facilities. The government needs to promote the concept.”

 pedal power

Way back in 1998, experts from IIT-Delhi led by Geetam Tiwari had even made a “bicycle master plan” for Delhi. The suggestions were not implemented. Experts say just creating cycle tracks is not enough. In some countries, governments use tax exemptions to promote cycling. Schemes to make commuters switch to cycling for all trips shorter than 5km need to be implemented. Cycles can be an effective feeder system for the Delhi Metro, BRT and even buses.

 

Source: Times of India

RITES REPORT, Baprola Link: Monorail Unviable, BRT on Table

Posted by rajat On February - 2 - 2012

Stating that a monorail link is financially not an unviable option, RITES, a transport and infrastructure consultancy has suggested the state government for a high speed Bus Road Transit (BRT) elevated corridor should be constructed instead. The report states that the BRT will provide an easier access to commuters choosing to travel to far-flung areas like Baprola which is ahead of the Dwarka Mor Metro station. If the Delhi government accepts this proposal, Delhi will be the first city in the country with an elevated BRT.

The Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC) had commissioned Rail India Transit & Economic Services (RITES) consultancy to carry out a techno-economic feasibility study and prepare a detailed project report on a mass transit channel that could link the capital with a Knowledge Based Industrial (KBI) hub which is to be set-up at Baprola in west Delhi. The RITES report will now be put before the state government for approval. If the government clears the project, DSIIDC is targetting a completion deadline of 2015.

The final report which was submitted to DSIIDC, RITES states that introducing a sophisticated transit system for short length routes is very costly and hence monorail may not be ideal for the 4.5 kilometre long alignment between the Dwarka Modh metro station to the site of the KBI hub. Instead the report states “The bus/road based systems are ideally suited for the last mile connectivity as it is the least costly solution” In its report to DSIIDC, RITES states that having an at grade (on ground) BRT system between Dwarka Metro station and the KBI hub will not be suitable as people living on either sides of the corridor will try to cross the roads which will affect the level of service and bring down travel speed and the image of the system for users.

The report states “In view of these reasons it is recommended to provide a grade separated (elevated) closed bus rapid transit system for the corridor.” RITES suggested developing the BRT corridor in two phases, the first one covering the distance of 4.5km between Dwarka Metro station to the KBI Park at an estimated cost of Rs 335.62 crore. The next phase, would extend the corridor to Mundka connecting the metro station from the northwest of Delhi to the KBI hub and the estimated cost will be around Rs 403 crore. Both phases taken together would add nearly 12 km of elevated BRT to the city’s road transport network.

It will be spread over 63.97 acres, the KBI complex will make room for industries of the future and provide direct employment to over 1 lakh people and indirect employment to 1,70,000 people. A proposal for group housing over 4.9 acres was also submitted to make some room for providing space for housing within Delhi. The state government and DSIIDC has already cleared for the Baprola complex, developed on a “green building concept,” is likely to come up at a cost of over Rs 1,500 crore. It is proposed to be developed on a self financing mode.

News Source : Times of India

Pod Cabs – Delhi Next Revolutionary Mode of Commuting

Posted by admin On December - 18 - 2011

Delhi is one of the fastest growing cities in the world and in just two year, Delhi is planning to implement pod taxi. Vasant Kunj may become Delhi’s first locality to get pod cabs. Pods are a quicker and more personal mode of transport. Pod cabs in Delhi will connect various parts of Vasant kunj with Vasant Vihar via Nelson Mandela Marg and Aurobindo Marg near Andheria Morh. Delhi Government has already got a detailed report from the Transport Department for approval.

 Pod Cabs in Delhi - A New Mode of Transport

Pad taxis are small electric cars which run on a dedicated tracks and seating’s range from two to 10 commuters. Pods were first introduced in Morgantown in 1975, which is located in the US stated of West Virginia and this mode of transportation is famous in various parts of the globe.  Haryana government in India is currently doing a feasibility study for Gurgaon. Dwarka, Karol Bagh, Delhi University and east Delhi areas are some areas where Delhi transport Department is planning to implement the Pod Taxis concept.

Officials said that Vasant Kunj was choosen from a list of 20 areas in Delhi to intall this futuristic mode of transportation. Installing Pod in Delhi is not a small task but if everything goes according to plan, Delhi will have its own pod cabs in just two years from now.  Vasant kunj, one of Delhi’s upscale market/residential area was choose by the Delhi Transport Department to be it first location. According to officials, Vasant Kunj is the best location where a facility like pod cars would be highly successful.

Delhi has experience huge change in the mode of transportation, all for better and the installation of Metro Train in December 2002 has made commuting in the Capital much more convenient. With the funky colored air conditioned buses, commuting in Delhi has never been better. Pod cabs which are small personalised, pilot-less taxis and ply on rails or suspended on elevated track will be the latest edition to Delhi’s Transport. Pods will have a carrying capacity of some 4,000-5,000 passengers per hour, per direction, at a speed of 40-70km an hour and will cost around rupees 8 per ride.  

A senior official said that “The system is suitable for a locality where people have paying capacity. It will not only serve as a local transport system within the Vasant Kunj area, but will also act as a feeder service to the Metro network at Andheria Morh (Central Secretariat Line) and Vasant Vihar (Janakpuri-Noida Line),“ UK-based Ultra Fairwood Limited, who are conducting a study for the project in Gurgaon -and MISTER Personal Rapid Transit System have already stated their intention to construct and operate the system in Delhi are some shortlisted companies who will work on the construction as according to an Official.