Use of This Toolkit

The JNNURM project development cycle identifies key milestones and related activities for the submission of projects from cities for funding. After the preparation of the City Development Plan and Project Scoping, the next step is Project Development, including the preparation of the Feasibility Study (FS). According to the Ministry of Urban Development (UT Division) who are administering JNNURM funding, the FS for a project is part of the Detailed Project Report (DPR), a further sub-part of DPR-I, which covers FS, Project Identification, Concept Description and Development .


Figure 1 Context of Feasibility Study and Toolkit

This toolkit focuses on the tasks required for feasibility studies of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and provides case studies/guidelines relating to key issues involved in the development of HCBRT systems within the context of City Development Plans, existing Comprehensive Traffic and Transport Studies and Master Plans. The toolkit assumes that the Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) has already been prepared, and the strategies and framework for the BRT development are readily available together with the transport demand models. The FS comprises introductory chapters on city profile, traffic and transport conditions, followed by chapters detailing the requirements for a HCBRT project.

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Terminology

Practically all the components of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) were developed in Latin America during the 1970s, 80s and early 90s, although at this time the term ‘Bus Rapid Transit’ was not yet in use. This was first used in the US to differentiate an upgraded service from conventional bus services and, after the turn of the century, the term was also applied to Latin American systems. This has caused a certain amount of confusion, as North American BRT is essentially low-capacity in nature, whilst BRT in Latin America uses a trunk and feeder system with passenger volumes well within the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) range. This variant of BRT is here denoted a High Capacity Bus Rapid Transit (HCBRT) System.

Basic components of HCBRT are shown below (details of each component are explained in Annex 1):

  • The designation of valuable city space for public transport in the form of bus-only streets, lanes or infrastructure for trunk routes;
  • The concentration of passenger demand at integration terminal “hubs” and the rationalization of supply in terms of trunk and feeder routes;
  • Full accessibility to the entire system for a single ticket – or at least to the core urban zone. (Electronic ticketing, the standard is now contactless smart cards);
  • Stations on the trunk routes set at longer intervals than conventional bus stops, typically 400–500 metres, preferably offering at-floor level, pre-paid boarding (as in a subway) to minimize loading times;
  • The use of high-capacity units on the trunk routes, with high-frequency services operating at least 20kph;
  • Private sector investment in fleet and operation, with a professional administration and regulation of the concession contract by a regulatory body;
  • System design and building associated with improvements for pedestrians and NMVs.

The HCBRT system as defined above requires integration of bus operations (ideally under a single operator), and coordination with other modes, which is sometimes difficult to do in Indian cities in the short term. In other cases, securing of corridors may be difficult, to allow operation of high capacity units (often of length 18 meters). In these circumstances, some of the critical requirements above may be eased to meet the local constraints. These flexible versions of BRT systems are called Light BRT, Metrobus, Busway, or Bus Only Lane (BOL). These options, however, have limited capacity, and as cities grow, they would face congestion and delays. Nevertheless, they can be selected in lower demand density corridors, feeder routes to the trunk route, and as an initial step to improve conventional bus services. Tentative guidelines for the selection of BOLs and HCBRTs are presented in Annex 6.

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Structure of Feasibility Study Toolkit (in SECTION II)

This toolkit comprises the following sections. They are designed to offer guidance on conceptualization, rationale and the feasibility of implementing an HCBRT System.

1 HCBRT STRATEGY AND PLANNING

2 FEASIBILITY STUDY WORK FLOW

3 SUGGESTED TABLE OF CONTENTS

4 DESCRIPTION OF FEASIBILITY STUDY TASKS

Section 1 provides a strategy and references on appropriate use of BRT, which will assist planners in deciding whether BRT is the optimum solution for a city. At Feasibility stage, BRT may have already been conceptualised within the Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP). However, reference to the decision-making within this conceptualization process is also a requirement for the Feasibility Study. The Feasibility Report should identify the rationale for selecting bus priority measures, including BRT, over other alternatives for public transport. Sections 2 and 3 provide the basic framework for the Feasibility Study, describing the work flow and framework and contents of the Feasibility Study Report. Section 4 provides description of feasibility study tasks.

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