Thursday, March 30

Study proposes bus terminals outside city

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Buses from various districts of Bengal and neighbouring states will not travel till the heart of Calcutta but stop at any of the six “gateway terminals” around the city, a report on rationalisation of bus movement within the city has proposed.

Passengers getting off the long-distance buses will reach the city in separate buses, according to the study conducted by the central government’s engineering consultancy agency RITES.

The study report, handed over to the government last week, states that passengers from the gateway terminals will be ferried to any of the 33 “sub-city terminals” to be set up in the city and its adjoining areas.

Transport department officials said the success of the scheme would depend on whether the private buses that would ferry passengers from a gateway terminal to a sub-city terminal could be made to stick to their timings.

“We want a forward-looking model for running buses in Calcutta and its adjoining areas. Instead of competing with one another, private and public buses should complement one another,” a transport department official said. “Operators of private buses have to be brought on board to make the model work.” Buses from other districts of Bengal and neighbouring states now have their termini at Esplanade and Babughat.

Calcutta High Court, in an attempt to bring down the city’s air pollution, had ordered shifting of the Esplanade bus terminus and imposed a ban on parking of vehicles around the Victoria Memorial. The Supreme Court had in 2011 upheld both orders of the high court.

Officials said the state government had, over the past eight years, been struggling to find a site where the bus terminus could be shifted.

Sources at Nabanna said RITES had been engaged to study the deployment of government buses and suggest a solution to the traffic problems of the city.

“The basic aim was to find ways to reduce vehicular pollution by streamlining movement of buses and increase the earning per trip for the transport department, which draws the maximum subsidy among all state departments,” an official said.

The proposed six gateway terminals are to be set up at Dunlop, New Town, Joka, Santragachhi, New Garia and the airport.

Buses arriving from outside Calcutta will be terminat- ed at these terminals and not be allowed to reach the city.

“Primarily, there will be three sets of bus operations. From one gateway terminal to another, from one sub-city terminal to another and from various locations within the city to the gateway terminals,” a transport department official said.

The RITES report has sug- gested that buses run according to set timings and not the highs and lows of demand, as it now happens.

The report has proposed that the number of buses and their frequency be directly proportional to the length of a route.

It has also suggested that buses move along designated channels.

“This is a scientific attempt at understanding the demand scenario in a metro that has the highest use of public transportation in India,” said a RITES official who was part of the team that drew up the report..

Source: Telegraph India

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