The latest award comes from the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), which is the international body of Urban Transport agencies in the world. Ahmedabad Janmarg Limited –AJL has won two awards at 60th UITP World Congress, Geneva on 27th May, 2013. AJL-AMC and CEPT have received award in the category of ‘UITP India Political Commitment Award’ and ‘Design Award for BRTS’. This award was given by Mr. Peter Hendy, President Elect UITP, in the presence of other UITP delegates from all over the world and delegates from India.
Ahmedabad started its BRT system in 2009. Since its inauguration in October 2009, Janmarg has been accepted as the first “complete” BRTS in India and has influenced planning and design choices in other cities – in India and abroad. The trans-vision of Ahmedabad is captioned as ‘Accessible Ahmedabad’. As part of this vision, the Ahmedabad BRTS is officially called ‘Janmarg’ - the people’s way.
Janmarg in Ahmedabad went through the whole gamut of choices before choosing a certain design approach. Ahmedabad was willing to be flexible to change key design elements even during implementation stage. Janmarg was and is still seen as a long term infrastructure provision and every element was discussed, debated, and even experimented before the final decision. Many of these experiments led to innovations and best practices.
Janmarg is designed as a strategic intervention, to attract latent transit demand, improve air quality and help the city remain compact. The guiding principles for the selection of the network corridors are the ability to reach a larger segment of people. Also considered was the corridor’s ability to accommodate BRTS treatment, integrate well within the existing infrastructure, contribute to ease the traffic problems in a significant way, provide opportunities for improvements in land use, be implemented quickly, inexpensively and provide potential for cost-recovery.
In today’s world of advanced technologies, Janmarg employs an Intelligent Transport System (ITS) to improve customer convenience, speed, reliability and safety. This system continuously monitors buses from the control centre through GPS (Global Positioning System) devices fitted in all buses. ITS gives passenger’s information about the real-time bus arrivals at the bus stations. Announcements are made in the buses about the arrival of the stations.
Today, Janmarg operates over a network of 63 km and has a daily ridership of 1.4 lakh people. 127 buses operate everyday with headway of 2 minutes in peak hour. Almost 20% of the commuters on Janmarg today have shifted from their 2- wheelers. Plans have been finalized now to extend the network by another 50 km taking the corridor length to 135 km by the end of 2015.
This isn’t the first or final award won by the Ahmedabad BRTS. Recently it won Silver rating from globally renowned experts on the BRT. The Ahmedabad BRTS has won numerous national and international awards in the past too. The Prime Minister adjudged the BRTS as the best Mass Rapid Transport System in the country. Ahmedabad BRTS also won the ‘Best New Innovation Project’ award under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) for excellence in Urban Transport. The Central Government awarded it again with the National Award for ‘Best Intelligent Transport System – 2011’ at the 4th Annual Urban Mobility Conference, New Delhi. On the international front, it won the Sustainable Urban Transport Award (2010) in Washington. Ahmedabad BRTS was the Joint Runners up for the award for Outstanding Innovation in Public Transport, 2010 at International Transport forum, Innovators meet, Germany. It got yet another accolade from United Nations Climate Change Secretariat for Momentum of change light house activity, December 2012, at Doha, Qatar.