Rajkot City Launches BRT Pilot Corridor

Source: ITDP

Photo: wikimedia.org

Rajkot, a fast-growing city in the western Indian state of Gujarat, launched a BRT pilot corridor last October, which replicates the world-class Janmarg BRT in Ahmedabad. The new corridor, called Rajpath, runs parallel to the 150 Feet Ring Road, a rapidly developing area with new shopping malls and residential construction.

Rajpath is a major step toward a formal public transport system in Rajkot, a city of 1.6 million. Rajpath features BRT best practices such as median stations and at-level boarding. Electronic ticketing with smart cards is planned but not yet implemented. Planners also chose to follow Ahmedabad’s approach to contracting and institutional oversight by retaining a private bus operator who receives payment on a per-kilometer basis.

The Rajkot Municipal Corporation made several trips to Ahmedabad, during which ITDP India presented on the value of developing a gold-standard BRT. ITDP team shared information on best practices with RMC staff and shared concepts they had worked on for Pune BRT which eventually lead to Rajkot changing its design. Initially, the Rajkot BRT, Rajpath, was planned with curbside stations and intended to operate using regular buses, emulating the Delhi BRT but Ahmedabad’s example proved a stronger one. ITDP played a key role in the creation of Ahmedabad’s Janmarg BRT system, the best practice example in the region.

Rajkot BRT system integrates the best practices of Ahmedabad BRT, like at-level boarding, off-board ticketing, high-quality median stations and performance based bus operations contracts, with high-quality pedestrian and cycling infrastructure based on Delhi BRT corridor design. RMC is also exploring increased density along the corridor to allow more residents to live and work near BRT stations. Currently, RMC is conducting trial runs of Rajpath BRT on a pilot 11 km corridor. There are plans to expand the system to three corridors and a total length of 63 km.