Routing Strategies for BMTC Buses Decision Evaluation Using Simulation
18 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2012
Date Written: January 30, 2007
The Banaglaore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) operates public bus services in the Bangalore metropolitan region. BMTC owns over 3500 buses and operates through six depots spread across the city. On an average 30 lakh passengers are carried and BMTC runs over 10 lakh bus kilometers per day. This generates a daily revenue of Rs. 1.5 crores. Over the last 10 years the city has seen tremendous growth. BMTC has responded to the public demand for bus services for the newer areas by starting point-to-point routes. Despite this the organization is unable to meet the growth in demand. The increase in the services has been reactionary rather than in a planned manner and it is desirable to look into the possibility of rationalizing the routes and schedules with the objective of improving service efficiencies.
BMTC currently provides point-to-point services throughout the city. This routing practice usually results in low frequency of service and low service levels characterized by large waiting time, number waiting and total travel time.
It is felt that routing based on a hub and spoke orientation may result in better service levels. The Jayanagar sector in the city is studied for evaluating potential benefits of such an orientation. The Jayanagar bus stand is taken to be the regional hub in the Jayanagar sector and it serves seven demand centres in the region. This hub is connected to three hubs across the city, namely, KR Market, Shivaji Nagar and Kempegowda Bus Station.
Simulation models are developed to simulate the current and proposed routing systems and field data is used to compare the two. Analysis is carried out for various scenarios to compare the waiting times, number waiting, travel time and number of buses required. The results suggest that the hub and spoke routing strategy provides better service levels to the commuters for the various scenarios generated. Moreover, this can be done using fewer buses.
The proposed routing system will entail change of buses at the hubs. A sample field survey of 165 commuters was undertaken in the Jayanagar sector to understand willingness to change buses for different levels of savings in total travel time. The survey results indicate that the percentage of commuters willing to change buses is substantial.
The results from the simulation models can be used to assist BMTC officials in making a decision on adopting a hub and spoke system of routing as well as for evaluating various decisions with respect to frequencies on the routes.
Keywords: Routing, Public Transport, Simulation, BMTC
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