A detailed feasibility report on a Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) corridor on a 20-km stretch of Rajiv Gandhi Salai will be prepared within the next six months.
Though it would primarily focus on designing a dedicated bus lane between Madhya Kailash and Siruseri, seamless integration of the BRTS with the MRTS stations at Tidel Park and Kasturba Nagar, and with the upcoming Metro station at Guindy are part of the report's mandate.
The State government has identified the Ahmedabad-based Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), which is also involved in the Anna Nagar cycle lane project, as the primary consultant.
A senior Transport Department official said that factors such as design, cost and travel requirement along the stretch would be analysed. The system is likely to be modelled after the Ahmedabad BRTS.
The Tamil Nadu Road Development Company, which owns the IT Expressway, had initially raised objection to a BRTS as it would affect its toll revenue. It has now given an in-principle go-ahead to the project. TNRDC Managing Director Sunil Paliwal said that as long as the government could compensate the revenue loss in some form, encouraging public transport was a welcome move.
He said that in the second phase extension of the road beyond Siruseri, some space could be reserved for a public transport corridor in the design stage itself.
Shreya Gadepalli, director, ITDP, said that as the Metro Rail was focussing on north-south corridors in Phase-I, there is a need to evolve horizontal mass transit arms. “We would also be suggesting future BRT corridors that could link with Metro stations and create large interchange points. For example, there could be a BRTS connecting the Metro station at Ashok Nagar to residential neighbourhoods in K.K.Nagar,” she added.
The Transport Department is in the process of forming an inter-departmental core committee that will serve as the nodal agency to decide on future BRTS corridors.
Apart from route identification and the traffic study, ITDP is also likely to suggest an institutional arrangement for the functioning of the special purpose entity which is likely to run BRTS corridors in the city.
The CMDA's Chennai Comprehensive Transportation Study envisages 84-km of BRT in the city by 2026.