In a couple of months from now, the city would have air-conditioned bus shelters under Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) project. Initially there would be about 24 such bus shelters on the proposed BRTS corridor. Of these, 16 would be on Bandar road, while the remaining would be on the BRTS road at Stayanarayanapuram.
The Vijayawada Municipal Corporation (VMC) has commenced construction of these shelters on the BRTS road. On this stretch of the road, two each near Nageswara Rao Pantulu road, Food junction and Madhuranagar junction would be constructed. And, two shelters are likely at the end of the road, taking the total number to eight. On Bandar road, two bus shelters each at eight junctions would be constructed.
According to the officials, each non-AC bus shelter would cost around Rs. 6 lakh, while an AC bus shelter would cost around Rs. 8 lakh. It was initially estimated that an AC bus shelter would cost anywhere between Rs. 14 lakh and Rs. 16 lakh, while an ordinary bus shelter would cost between Rs. 8 lakh and Rs. 10 lakh.
The bus shelters, which are being designed to meet international standards, would have information hub, a kiosk and passenger amenities with side entry. Each bus shelter will have an automatic ticket vending machine. The bus shelters would be constructed on the left side of the kerb of the dedicated corridor.
The city-based Prakash Arts, the leading outdoor advertising agency, has been given the contract for designing the shelters for the BRTS project. The contract was awarded on Build Own Transfer (BOT) basis. The agency would generate revenue by using the interiors and exteriors of the shelters for advertising purposes.
The first phase of the BRTS project covers a distance of 15.5 km. The road connecting the G.S. Raju road and Madhuranagar, which is meant to be an exclusive BRTS corridor, is almost ready now. The old Satyanarayanapuram railway track has been converted into the BRTS road.
The city would have a rare distinction in the entire country if the Corporation could complete the project as per plan.
No other city in the country, including Ahmedabad and Delhi where BRTS project is being implemented, have AC bus shelters.