The Value of BRT in Urban Spaces
Edited by Fiona Ferbrache
Bus rapid transit (BRT) is increasingly seen as a sustainable rapid transport solution for cities across the globe. While several BRT projects have started in Asia, its success appears to be limited due to complexities in planning, design and implementation. The Ahmedabad BRT has become a desirable model for several BRT-aspirant cities in India. Its uniqueness has two key dimensions – speedy implementation (taking just three years from conception to implementation) and acceptance by the citizens. This chapter aims to emphasize the applicability of BRT in the Indian context, using perhaps the most popular case in India of Ahmedabad. We start with the introduction of BRT in India and the evolution of BRT in Ahmedabad – the initial idea in 1995 and its revival in 2005. This is followed by BRT design and implementation and then key operational statistics (until December 2016) and integration with the upcoming metrorail system. The impacts of BRT on accessibility and urban development are then presented. We conclude with first presenting the critiques followed by merits and learning for other cities. Mega projects like the BRT are always a learning curve for designers, planners and urban local authorities and therefore this case study is likely to be useful for other cities in the process of developing BRT. They can use the ‘latecomers’ advantage to address the shortcoming and enhance the successful components of Ahmedabad BRT.
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