Road Safety Inspection of Metrobus - Istanbul's BRT System
Photo: Lubaina Rangwala/EMBARQ India
EMBARQ Turkiye staff made a presentation on the Istanbul BRT at Studio X in Mumbai. Lubaina Rangwala reports on the event.
18th March 2013 | Mumbai: Ali Dogan Salva and Serdar Oncel from EMBARQ Turkiye did a presentation on Istanbul’s Metrobus BRT system to an audience of 40 people at an event co-hosted by EMBARQ India and Studio X in Mumbai on 18th March 2013.
Istanbul, like Mumbai, is a densely populated city, with a growing population of 13.6 million (recorded officially). Metrobus transports as many people per day as an efficient rail or metro system, but is heavily used and runs over capacity resulting in a reduced level of service. The system has segregated bus lanes, except on the Bosphorus bridge, where it runs in mixed traffic.
The first phase of the system was 18.6km long and was implemented in approximately 8 months, and therefore, encountered several problems owing to inadequate infrastructure, bad and unsafe design elements, and poor maintenance. EMBARQ Turkiye, in collaboration with the bus authority in Istanbul (IETT) conducted a road safety inspection on the system and suggested necessary retrofits including redesigning key stations and details to improve services. Some of the key findings included provision of additional fences to prevent pedestrians from entering BRT lanes, stronger vehicle crash barriers, and increased pedestrian walking and waiting areas. More importantly, issues of universal access to stations and station areas were addressed. Today, the BRT system, with segregated lanes and 400 buses runs every 20-25 seconds (in a 4-5 bus set), serving 720,000 passenger trips each day. The city is constantly working on the system, performing regular maintenance to improve services.
The event ended with a lively Q&A session, where the most popular question was, “Do you think a system of this nature would work in the context of Mumbai?”. Serdar agreed that it would work, provided it was a true BRT on a segregated corridor, designed well keeping in mind important aspects of safety.