Bangalore's traffic mess
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Bangalore's traffic mess Solutions. The problem. Year. 1980. 1985. 1990. 1995. 2000. 2005. 2007. 2010. % increase. 74. 96. 44. 65. 58. 36. 54. The current strategy Widen roads to keep pace with increasing traffic. Traffic population will rise 90 % between 2005 and 2010.

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% increase








The current strategy

Widen roads to keep pace with increasing traffic

Traffic population will rise 90 % between 2005 and 2010.

Road space needs to double every 5 years.

Not logical.

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The result

  • 32 Lakh vehicles.

  • 1300 vehicles added daily.

  • Highest road deaths in India : 3 per day

  • Pollution : 3-5 times safe levels.

  • Bangalore – garden city becoming desert city

  • More money spent on roads than on water, power, education, medicare.

  • Temperature rise of 5 degrees in 10 years.

  • Destruction of homes and businesses for road widening.

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Bangalore 2015 ?

Road widening to keep pace with vehicle population has never worked anywhere worldwide.

Traffic simply imcreases to occupy the increased road space. Congestion remains, commute time, pollution and accidents increase.

This is a picture of congestion in 20-lane road in Los Angeles, USA.

LA smog in background.

Pic. courtesy

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Our present strategy - dog chasing its own tail

Road space will never catch up with vehicle population.

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Solution 1

Reduce traffic population

Replace private transport with public transport.

This is THE BIGGEST solution, and the only one that will work in the long term.

The mode of public transport that is cheapest, and can be implemented in the shortest time, is the bus.

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The logic

During rush hour (when people are commuting to or from work),

Each bike carries 1 person

Each car carries 1 person

Each bus carries 75 people

There are 150 vehicles on this flyover.

These are carrying 150 people during rush hour.

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There are 75 vehicles between each pair of red lines, carrying 75 people (because there is only 1 person in each car or bike)‏

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If we get each group of 75 people out of their private vehicles and into buses,

This is what happens.

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Congestion vehicles and into buses,?


Road space used by a person in a bus is:

3 % of that in a car

5 % of that on a 2-wheeler

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The logic already works in Bangalore vehicles and into buses,



32 Lakh people in private vehicles occupy this much road space

38 Lakh people in 5000 buses occupy this much road space (0.5 %)‏

BMTC has 5000 buses, carries 38 Lakh people every day.

0.2 % of vehicle population carries 50 % of the human population.

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The economics vehicles and into buses,

Cost of

Improved bus system with 7000 more buses : Rs. 2000 Cr.

Expenditure on mix of various classes of buses + improved shelters, signage, etc.

- Ordinary bus costs Rs. 12 Lakh, Suvarna (air suspension, no AC) : Rs. 16 Lakh

- Marco Polo : Rs. 55 Lakh

Can be done in 1-2 years.

Road widening for planned 400 km. : Rs. 4000 Cr.

Metro 33 km. to carry 5 % of Bangalore's population : Rs. 7000 Cr.

Metro 350 km. for whole of Bangalore : Rs. 100,000 Cr.

Assumes underground, at Rs. 300 Cr. Per km.

Will take 50-60 years to build.

London has 400 km. with 270 stations. Its size and population are same as Bangalore's.

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This is no great new discovery vehicles and into buses,

Traffic congestion in hundreds of cities worldwide has been solved by bus-based public transport systems.

Hundreds more are in the process of implementing bus-based systems.

Indore, India

Pune, India

Ahmedabad, India

Delhi, India

Bradford, UK

Leeds, UK

Adelaide, Australia

Brisbane, Australia

Ottawa, Canada

Vancouver, Canada

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Solution 2 vehicles and into buses,

Improve traffic speed

Congestion is mainly caused by interesctions. In this picture, note the congestion at the intersection and the sparse traffic at the back.

Coordinated signals

Can increase traffic speed by 10 - 25 % on arterial roads.


Eliminate traffic intersections and signals and can increase traffic speed by 25 -50 %.

No parking on roads

Parking occupies 25 % of the space on most roads. Basement parking in buildings (required by law) is misused for commercial purposes, due to lax law enforcement.

Road surface quality

Makes a big difference to traffic speed.

A vehicles's speed drops to 5 kmph. when approaching a pothole or a rough surface.

Pic. Courtesy

Mapunity Bangalore Traffic Information System

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In sum vehicles and into buses,

First use existing road space to maximum efficiency.

Then think of increasing road space.

We are however doing the reverse. Our road space usage efficiency is abysmal.

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Without destroying Bangalore vehicles and into buses,

These solutions can achieve this


No. of vehicles by 75 %

Commute time by 30 %

Pollution by 80 %

Govt. expenditure on roads by 90 %

Increase expenditure on

Water supply




Rest of Karnataka

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Which lifestyle do you want? vehicles and into buses,

The choice is yours