Monthly Archives: April, 2013

Understanding Rapid Mass Transit Systems

  • Trains: rail-based transit systems, elevated or underground, are stratospherically expensive.
  • Subway lines, on average, cost between $100m to $250m per kilometre. The upcoming phase of Delhi Metro would cost $163m per km.
  • Assuming that it would cost $150m per km, how much would the 27-km Lahore Metrobus have cost if it were rail-based? Rs405 billion.
  • China has built 14 BRT systems since 2000 (Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou)
  • India has built 5 (Delhi, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Pune, six under construction and eight in the pipeline)
  • Jakarta ->TransJakarta which has 12 corridors, totaling 172km, served by 520 buses that carried 310,000 passengers per day in 2011.
  • Lahore Metro: Good in facilities
    • barrier-controlled
    • automated off-board fare collection
    • a service interval of less than 2 minutes in peak hours
    • a segregated right-of-way
    • modern stations with well-designed signage
    • information systems and a precision bus docking system synchronised with sliding
    • automated glass doors that give it the look and feel of a subway station.
  • Lahore Metro: Flaws
    • BRT corridors need to be part of a larger transit system with feeder services. It has also been designed ad hoc, independent of land-use patterns
    • Environmental feasibilities, a pre-requisite, were completed halfway through the construction
    • the unending stretch of iron bars does look ugly. Unfortunately, they are imperative to enforce the segregated right-of-way, and avoid accidents involving adventurous citizens crossing the passage. Once we all learn to be law-abiding, the iron bars could be replaced with low-rise kerb stones.
    • one-way fare, irrespective of distance, is Rs 40 (it is Rs.20?). While that may be high for travelling between two or three stations, an auto-rickshaw, the only other alternative in Lahore in most cases, would cost far more.