Trial run of priority lane for buses on ORR to start on October 20

Full-fledged operations from November 1 with introduction of 45 more buses

Updated - October 11, 2019 08:08 am IST

Published - October 11, 2019 12:03 am IST - bengaluru

Bus passengers using Outer Ring Road (ORR) — from Silk Board to S.V. Road — will soon be able to see if the perennial congestion that plagues this stretch has eased.

The trial run of the priority bus lane project for Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation’s (BMTC) fleet will be launched on October 20 on this stretch.

At the first ever public consultation on the project, BMTC Managing Director C. Shikha said that the trial will help them asses the problems on ground.

Full-fledged operations will start from November 1 with the introduction of 45 more buses on the road.

The consultation, held on Wednesday evening, was attended by members of citizens’ groups, and the public.

Currently, the BMTC operates 768 buses on ORR with 6,596 trips daily.

Every day, nearly 3.5 lakh commuters rely on the buses.

BMTC officials said once the 20-km priority line becomes operational, its daily ridership will increase by nearly 1.5 lakh.

If the project is successful, the average speed of a bus may increase from 7-10 kmph during peak hours to nearly 25 kmph.

Mammoth task ahead

The ORR is notorious for its congested traffic junctions, such as Central Silk Board, Mahadevpura, K.R. Puram railway station and Tin Factory, to name a few.

Providing a priority lane and manning traffic in this area is already a challenge.

At Tin Factory, as part of phase II, BMRCL is building two parallel metro lines — Baiyappanahalli to Whitefield and K.R. Puram to KIA.

Providing a priority lane for buses will be a challenge considering the traffic gridlock in the area.

Officials acknowledge the difficulty of the task but believe that it will be successful if all agencies coordinate with each other. Senior officials of the BMTC, the DULT, the BBMP, the city traffic police have already visited the area and deliberated on how to implement the project.

The BMTC plans to use the left lane of the road to run city buses. Earlier, it had considered operating the priority lane service between Silk Board and Tin Factory, but has now decided to to extend it till S.V. Road.

There are 22 bus stops on the stretch and the BMTC has to provide basic amenities, such as bus bays.

Plan project thoroughly’

Citizens groups, such as Bus Prayanikara Vedike, Samarpana, Whitefield Rising and Citizens for Bengaluru, voiced their concerns and suggestions on the project.

Regular commuters also took part in the meeting. They urged the BMTC to plan the project thoroughly before launching it, given that it’s been in the offing for 10 years.

“If the BMTC fails to implement the priority lane project this time, it is end of the project,” warned a participant.

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