Table 2 Rationale for Introducing HCBRT

Strategic Rationale Description Advantages / Disadvantages
(1) To Build a Mass Transit Corridor and Associated Road Network Structure. A HCBRT corridor can either be newly constructed (so that the new infrastructure does not have a negative impact on the function or traffic of the arterial corridor – such was the case of the Beijing HCBRT and in the Western Corridor of Curitiba), or retrofitted onto the existing road network. The latter case requires that there should be either grade-separation of junctions or a suitable secondary road network that can absorb the displaced traffic – not just in terms of capacity, but also any turning movements affected. If the corridor in question has a population density of less than 25–40 inhabitants per hectare, then it tends to be difficult to consolidate the demand that can justify Mass Transit. The very high average population density of most medium sized Indian cities is considered to be well above this required minimum. Advantages:
  • Rapidly promotes PT on main corridors – although capacity is limited to 15k/h/d
  • Costs vary according to complexity, but grade separation implies higher costs, say, US$6m/km
  • Negative Image if traffic congestion increases/banned turns
  • Lower speed due to traffic signals and junctions
  • Many competing bus routes
(2) To Complement an Extension of the Metro. The Guidelines obtained from the International case-studies reveal that for large Mega Cities, the Mass Transit System tends to make use of both Metro/Rail and HCBRT, often with HCBRT as an extension of the Metro – or pre-Metro. Typical example of this can be seen in the Metro extensions of Mexico City and Sao Paulo (Brazil). Advantages:
  • Quick execution: 1 year to design, build and operate
  • Low cost: about 3–5US$m/km
  • Flexible: headways can be from 1–10min
  • Low Traffic Impact (in new zones or when purpose built)
  • Brings High Quality Mass Transit and adds value to new development
  • Increases Metro Revenue
  • Positive Image
  • New Franchise with little existing competition from existing services
  • Does not cater to immediate short-term corridor demand
(3) For Transit Orientated Development –TOD This is a question that has long been understood in Metro projects and is now being applied to HCBRT. If the city needs to enhance the development of a specific corridor or zone, then the use of HCBRT – rather than just ordinary buses – can provide an essential stimulus. HCBRT is especially suited to this role as costs (capital and operational) are closely linked to demand and the demand handled can vary by a factor of 10 (a twelve meter unit operating at six minute headways or articulated units at one minute headways).
(4) To Promote Regional Integration HCBRT is often used – as are other mass transit modes – as a means to promote regional integration. This does not imply only physical access, but in cities with lower income populations located on their outskirts also includes fare integration between modes, with some cross subsidy between the shorter trips from wealthier zones offsetting the costs of longer trips.
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