Bus Rapid Transit
The Ahmedabad bus rapid transit (BRT) system, Janmarg, has begun to redefine expectations about bus-based public transport in India by demonstrating that BRT can provide metro-quality service at a much lower cost. Launched in October 2009 with a 12.5 km phase 1 corridor, the system has proven to be popular with citizens, and ridership remains higher than on the previous bus system. Since its launch, the system has expanded to a network of 82 km and 120 stations, with a further 6 km under construction. Ridership is around 135,000 passengers per day. The total approved network is 125 km. Over 40 percent of the passengers switched from motorised two- and three-wheelers, while most of the remaining passengers switched from the existing city bus service. ITDP, in partnership with CEPT University, assisted the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation with physical designs, operational planning, and contracting.
Janmarg is the first BRT system in India to achieve a Silver rating in the BRT Standard by providing features such as specially designed stations and buses that provide level boarding without steps, high-quality median-aligned stations, ITS-enabled off-board fare collection, a system control centre, and real-time passenger information at stations and in buses. Janmarg’s buses were specifically designed to operate both on and off the corridor with doors on both sides. This allows curb-side passenger pick-up when off the BRT corridor and median-side for when on the corridor. Safe and secure cycling facilities run parallel to the line on parts of the network.
Sustainable Urban Development
With the release of the Ahmedabad Development Plan 2021, the city demonstrated its continuous commitment to create “a livable, environmentally sustainable and efficient city.” The document, which is one of the most progressive city-level land use and transport plans in India, outlines several mechanisms that will help reign in sprawl by promoting a compact city structure with higher densities in zones that have good public transport access. In addition, the plan includes specific provisions to promote affordable housing, including provisions for higher density and relaxed off-street parking requirements. The plan also facilitates mixed-use development by offering a great deal of flexibility in the permitted land uses within each zone. ITDP has been reviewing the document and providing technical advice to the city from a sustainable transport perspective.
One of the key mechanisms identified by ITDP to ensure the accomplishment of the city’s vision is the preparation of local area plans. ITDP has been working closely with the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority in defining the process of preparation of these plans, reviewing the proposed plans, and proposing a methodology for management of the parking supply in these areas.