Solving Chandigarh's Transportation Problem


Here are a few IRREFUTABLE FACTS -

1. To move a million people around in a city, you need MASS RAPID TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS – NOT CARS AND SCOOTERS.

2. You car/scooter is highly inefficient – it travels a few kilometers everyday (say 10, 20 or 30 km) and mostly occupies expensive real estate to stay parked 95% of the time – say 23 out 24 hrs.

3. A car occupies around 6 lengths of lane/road when moving = 5m x 6 x 3.5 m width = 105 sq m = around the cost of 1/4th of a kanal (420 sq m). Currently priced at Rs. 1.5 crores.

4. A bus carrying say 60 or more passengers occupies the same space. Therefore becoming 20-30 times MORE EFFICIENT.

5. And since the bus is travelling 18-20 hrs per day, it is operating at 83 % efficiency as compared to your car/scooter.

6. On a per capita basis – a bus is therefore 20×30= 600 times more efficient.

7. Tokyo – with a population of around 400 lakhs (Chandigarh 12 lakhs) has NO TRAFFIC JAMS now. Neither has Shangai – with its 16,000 electric buses for starters. + Regular diesel buses. And Maglev trains.

8. Sure there are cars – but they don’t CLOG THE STREETS. Barring a few hot spots.

9. Chandigarh tricity – with its 20 lakh population, can easily SUPPORT AN EFFICIENT PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM – such as BRT. But only if we let it operate without bureaucratic hurdles.

10. The entire population of Zirkapur (1 lakh) can be transported into Chandigarh within a few hours if we have the kind of buses that are operating worldwide already – HCBs with a trailer(s) moving in dedicated bus lanes @ average speeds of 30 kmph approx. Say 200 passengers per bus per direction in 20 buses per hour. Assuming each bus makes 3 trips per hour in DEDICATED BUS LANES, then each bus could carry 600 passengers/hr. 10 hrs operation would mean 6000 passengers.

10 buses operating together would mean 60,000 passengers. That’s one helluva lot. Serves 60,000 families, or 3 lakhs population.

11. The next thing we need is the LOOP SYSTEM explained separately – which will take care of movement to any part of the city.

12. And a 100 buses there on those LOOPS could carry 10,000 people at any given moment. Or around 30,000 if the buses were to serve destinations 20 minutes apart.


Within the city, things are much, much easier. If one studies the attached sketch showing the loop system of bus movement, then one sees the following -

1. A typical loop (say the vertical loop) loops around 2 sectors in width and starting at say, the Punjab Mini Sectt. at Sec 9, would traverse SW along the Jan Marg, and skim the Western edges of Sec. 9, 17, 22, 35, 43, and 52 before making a LHS turn towards Sec 51, also skimming the northern edges of Sec 61 & 62 before turning Left again.
On the way up back towards the Rock garden, it will skim Sec 51, 44, 34, 21, 18, 8, and also 5 and 4 before turning left again at the Capitol Complex chowk.
That’s a cool 14 sectors within its loop, and an additional 18 sectors across the road. And a corner touch of 4 more sectors. In all, the bus will be accessible from say, 40 sectors. Or to make it easy, then 36 sectors.
From the 2 bus stops within the length of each sector, the passenger is no more than 400 m away from any spot in the sector – a 4 to 5 minute walk.

2. There are additional loops between these 2 sector loops – say odd and even, to make life even more leisurely. And also give access to passengers going up northwards.

3. So this gives us a total of NINE VERTICAL LOOPS – each accessing around 36 odd sectors, barring the westernmost sectors which culminate at Sec 38 West.  That’s access to 324 sectors by the vertical loops only. That’s a LOT OF ACCESS.

4. A similar system of horizontal loops (say 6 in number) will take care of the X Axis movement.

5. That brings us to the grand total of 9 + 6 loops = 15 loops in all. These will enable citizens to access any part of the sector grid. The internal circulation, so to speak.

6. All we need are 15 x 2, or more buses to increase or decrease the frequency of buses in the loop. Each vertical loop is around 7.8 km x 1.6 km in perimeter = 18.8 km max. At an average speed of say 30 kmph within dedicated lanes, the travel time would be 38 minutes.
So 10 buses would give us a frequency of 3.8 minutes. 5 buses/route = 8 minutes. Etc.

7. Depending on the specific route needs (after trials and public demand) the entire city could be adequately covered by 15 x 10 buses = 150 buses. The Administration already has over 500 buses.

8. And these buses will also give access to the trunk routes as shown – along the Madhya & Dakshin Margs – leading to Panchkula & Zirakpur. Which shall have the articulated HCBs as mentioned before. Stretching from the Kurali – Baddi road to Zirakpur and Panchkula/Ramgarh.

9. 150 buses @ 50 or 100 passengers/15 minute rides = 30,000 – 60,000 passengers per hour – which can be done for starters.

10. And cost MUCH LESSER THAN A SINGLE FLYOVER @ Rs. 500 crores, considering each bus chassis costs around Rs. 10-15 lakhs, just in case the Administration decides to auction the existing fleet.

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