Allow time for BRT to evolve: CSE

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New Delhi, Apr 25 (UNI) Despite mounting criticism from all quarters, the Centre for Science and Environment today supported the controversial Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, claiming that any new system needed time to pay dividends.

The CSE and the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) claimed here that the BRT would help ferry more people to their destinations in a shorter time. ''It is like a cultural change...people and the planners need time to adjust to it,'' said EPCA chairperson Bhure Lal.

CSE director Sunita Narain claimed Delhi might soon lose its war against growing traffic and increasing pollution, without an effective and massive public transport system. ''Delhi needs big answers for its big problem and tough measures like the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system is one such solution in the future roadmap,'' she added.

She claimed that lessons learnt from BRT test trials would help evolve ways to lessen congestion on the corridor.

''Once seen as one of the most polluted cities in the world, Delhi did succeed in arresting its air pollution through big-ticket solutions like the introduction of CNG. Our research tells us that Delhi could negate the gains made because of the phenomenal increase in vehicle numbers in the city... the answer is heavy investment in public transport. But all this is not enough unless we can provide space for the bus to move and it is for this reason that the BRT is one solution,'' explained Mr Lal.

''The fact also is that buses have not been replaced in India by the car or the two-wheeler as is the situation in other parts of the world. Instead, buses have only been marginalised. Even today, buses in this city, which has an old and disorganized public transport system, move between 50-60 per cent of its people,'' added Mr Narain.

She said this was the reason why Delhi needed a system that can efficiently move the bulk of the city passengers and even provide options for the rest to move towards bus transport. ''...and BRT provides us this option. Out of the roughly 16 million passenger trips in the city, buses cater to roughly nine million passenger trips,'' she claimed quoting surveys.

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