Mr. Nicolas Muhlich from SNZ Engineers and Planners AG visited Rajkot on the 17th and 18th November, 2017 to understand the existing public transportation infrastructure and on ground situation for a prefeasibility study of electrification of Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS) corridor in Rajkot under the CapaCITIES project. A meeting was carried out with Mr. Jaiman Upadhyay, Mayor, RMC; Mr. Banchhanidhi Pani (IAS), Municipal Commissioner, RMC; Mr. Arun Mahesh Babu (IAS), Deputy Municipal Commissioner, RMC; Mr. Chirag Pandya, General Manager, Smart Cities; Mr. Rasik Raiyani, General Manager, Rajkot Rajpath Limited, RMC by Mr. Nicolas Muhlich, Mr. Ashish Rao Ghorpade, Deputy Director, ICLEI South Asia and Mr. Ankit Makavana, Senior Project Officer, ICLEI South Asia.
The RMC officials provided an overview of the existing transportation scenario in the city including RMTS, BRTS, IPT and NMT along with some of their major operational issues. This study will be of great importance for Rajkot as RMC is planning to extend its existing BRTS network and wants to have all electric buses in the long run. Conducting a feasibility study for electric buses and identifying a viable model for the Indian context including charging infrastructure will have good implementation potential, Mr. Banchhanidhi Pani, opined. He also emphasized the need for multi modal transportation and last mile connectivity since a lot of the locally made diesel vehicles (using kerosene as well), along with auto-rickshaws are competing with the public transportation system. Requests were made to identify the potential of e-rickshaws and e-bikes along with this study. He thanked the team and assured them all necessary support for this study.
The team also visited the centralized command and control center for RMTS & BRTS. It was noted that data from centralized command and control center could be utilized and analyzed for this study. The team then travelled in a BRTS bus along the 22kms BRTS corridor with Mr. Rasik Raiyani, to review existing operational practices, infrastructure and the condition of corridor during peak hours (11am to 2pm). They also visited Gondal BRTS bus depo and Raiya RMTS bus depo on BRTS route to identify the potential for charging infrastructure for the electric buses. Finally, a meeting was held with private contractor responsible for operation and maintenance of BRTS buses to better understand existing operational and maintenance issues.