Chocked drains, flooded streets, and pothole-ridden roads. When there are so many problems on the land, one wonders why the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has its eyes fixed on the air. Taking a cue from Gurgaon, the civic body seems very keen on taking up the ambitious Metrino project— a driverless Personal Rapid Transit System (PRTS) on the lines of a cable car.
A Metrino corridor, between Marathahalli and Hope Farm Junction in Whitefield (8.7 km) at an estimated cost of Rs. 1,700 crore, is part of the proposal that the city recently submitted for the Smart City competition.
If the city wins it, it will receive a funding of Rs. 500 crore from the Urban Development Ministry. BBMP plans to pool in the rest of the money through Public Private Partnership.
The corridor will have driverless pods moving on a cable car network at an average speed of 50 kmph. Each pod can carry five to six passengers. The proposed network is planned to carry 8,000 passengers every hour, with a passenger line that stops at every station and an express line that will have no in-between stops. R.K. Mishra, member, Technical Advisory Committee, BBMP, said that the Metrino corridor will connect two Namma Metro lines (K.R. Puram – Silk Board and Byappanahalli-Whitefield) and form a local PRTS within Whitefield. Seconding the project proposal, traffic expert M.N. Srihari says Metrino is best suited for the high traffic volume corridor as it requires very less space and offers a congestion-free transit.
However, not everybody seems to agree with this argument. Urban commute experts have taken objection to the project saying that it will cater to a very small section of commuters and is essentially a personal transport system.
Urban commute expert Sanjeev V. Dyamannanavar said the project was unviable. He said as compared to the cost of the project, the volume of traffic that it can carry will be very limited. “What we need is a mass public transport system and not a personal RTS like a Metrino. This is too elitist,” he said.
Urbanist V. Ravichandar said that metrino worked better as the last mile connectivity or within a smaller area like a shopping district or an airport.
“Metrino network on a high traffic volume IT corridor would mean too little and is not a great idea,” he said.
Metrino is best suited for the high traffic volume corridor as it requires very less space and offers a congestion-free transit M.N. Srihari, Traffic expert
What is Metrino
Car sized, driverless pods running on a network of cable car lines above the ground
Each pod can carry five to six passengers
Average speed: 50 kmph
Credits The Hindu