On August 1st 2009 afternoon, a prototype of Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) glided noiselessly into the swanky GMDC bus stop on a trial run.
Ahmedabad’s first real BRTS bus, somehow did not look like what was promised. BRTS has been hailed as a solution to traffic congestion.
The double-door diesel bus that Amdavadis saw had metallic silver interiors, bearing a Tata chassis, with a capacity to seat 35 and space for 50 passengers to stand. Its body has been made by Ahmedabad-based Charted Speed Private Limited in Sarkhej. Curious passers-by stopped to look at the machine that ran on the most impressive stretch of BRTS corridor so far, along the 132-feet Ring Road.
Bus includes a ticketing system using a smart card reader installed at the door. Municipal commissioner IP Gautam who addressed mediapersons from the bus stop,said,“From next week onwards we will start regular trials of BRTS buses on this stretch.
AJL (Ahmedabad Janmarg Limited) will introduce smart cards for commuters. Regular BRTS passengers will be able to buy these smart cards, which will function similar to the monthly pass system for state transport and AMTS buses. The AJL will, however, offer many schemes for the users of their smart cards.
The commuters will be able to buy the smart cards at Rs500 apiece and the fare for each journey will be deducted from this amount. For example, for a journey from the RTO to Nehrunagar costing Rs5, this amount will be deducted from the Rs500 paid for the smart card. Hence, the commuters will not have to carry money for the fare every time they travel on the BRTS buses.
Also, paper tickets will be available at the special ticket windows at the BRTS stations. There will be turnstile machines near the ticket windows, where the commuters can have their tickets punched to allow them entry inside the stations.
There will also be measures to ensure that there is no cheating in the case of these turnstile machines. A commuter who buys a ticket for the journey from the RTO to Nehrunagar will not be able to travel up to the Dharnidhar bus station as the turnstile machine at the end of such a journey will detect this. In all likelihood, the commuter will have to pay a hefty fine to the officials at the BRTS stations.
A special purpose vehicle set up by AMC, Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority(AUDA) and Gujarat government, will govern BRTS operations. “BRTS bus will improve travelling facilities in city.” What makes this bus unique? Length - 12 m. Height - 3m .Seating capacity - 35 passengers and a driver. Standing capacity - 50 passenger, Inbuilt ticket validating machine. Liquid Emitting Diode (LED) display of bus routes and approaching bus stands .
Cost of a bus - Rs 27 lakh .
Bus operator - Charted Speed Private Limited (for a 7-year period) .
Before zeroing in on this prototype, AJL had also considered... Volvo 7700 ,Volvo 8500 city bus low floor ,Volvo 8500 intercity bus ,Tata starbus low floor ,Tata starbus Ultra low floor CNG ,Ashok Leyland Viking BS-II ,Ashok Leyland 12 M bus