Though work on the Metro Rail project has already commenced in the city, former Mayor of Bogota, Enrique Penalosa, said that a Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) could cater to larger number of passengers.
Speaking at an interactive session on people-centric urban transport held at the Anna University here on Friday, Mr. Penalosa said that most metro rail projects were highly expensive and only sought to cater to sections of the public who patronised private transport. They were not mass transport systems. Batting for the Bus Rapid Transit System and Dedicated Bus Lane Systems, he said such schemes could ensure speedier transit and reduce congestion on city roads as it could replace cars and two-wheelers.
He stressed that building high-speed transport corridors and highways had not solved the traffic problem of any city. “In cities such as Boston, highways built at the cost of several billions of dollars, are being demolished now as residents find that they create more traffic jams and reduce road space for other purposes.”
As President of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), an international organisation promoting environment-friendly transportation, Mr. Penalosa is advocating governments of developing countries to introduce BRTS and popularising non-motorised forms of transport such as cycling for affordable and sustainable transportation in cities. “Transportation policy must address how to reduce private vehicle use in any city,” he said.
Vikram Kapur, member secretary of the Chennai Metropolitan Transport Authority, made a presentation on the transport projects lined up for the city, in which he referred to the upcoming Metro Rail project as the future lifeline of the city. He spoke of developing radial transportation corridors in the city as the future course of action to improve transportation in the city.
In a presentation, Shreya Gaddepalli of ITDP showed how the BRTS system had already gained popularity in Ahmedabad.