Event paper Deposited for Communication & Planning, in Abstract submission

(February 2012) Integrating Rickshaws with Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Systems in Developing Cities

Integrating Rickshaws with Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Systems in Developing Cities image

Various types of non-motorized modes and para-transits have been evolved due to rapid growth of city and unavailability of formal public transport to cater the increasing travel demand in many developing countries. For instance, rickshaws are operating in many cities, particularly in Asia, and playing a crucial role of transport. They are ‘green vehicle' (fuel free) and often the only accessible mode in narrow streets. However, in recent years, many cities (i.e. Delhi, Manila, Dhaka, Jakarta) have tried to restrain rickshaws either for reducing congestion (smooth flow of motorized traffic) or enhance the city image. Instead of restricting, if planned properly rickshaws could play an important role as feeder service to public transport.

Many cities both in the global North and South have implemented BRT systems, while others are planning to do so as a means of tackling transport problems. Better integration of various modes could provide convenience to the public transport users whilst feeder services are crucial to maximize the benefits of mass transit. Several modern BRT systems (i.e. Bogota, Guangzhou) have modal integration with bicycles; however, there is no BRT system in the world which yet demonstrates integration with rickshaws.

Objectives of the research are: (i) understand the cities if the rickshaws can serve as a feeder service of BRT systems and what type of design for BRT station could assist for such; (ii) study the understanding of stakeholders' view and policymakers' opinion about the design of BRT station for accommodating rickshaws and fare integration; and (iii) determine whether the design of BRT station for integrating with rickshaws would be transferable to other cities and what would be the issues and concerns for that.

Empirical approach will be followed with the case study of Dhaka City in Bangladesh to fulfil the research purpose. Having the resource constraints, only two (potential) locations of BRT station had been studied. Participatory methods and qualitative approach have been followed to achieve social sustainability through ‘transport within lifestyle' solutions. The research involved three steps of work: (i) preparing initial plan of BRT station based on existing literature and good practices of BRT operating in other countries as well as local traffic and spatial context; (ii) understanding the stakeholder's view about the initial plan; and (iii) re-designing the plan considering the stakeholder's opinion. A total of 11 FGD (one group of disabled people and five FGDs of different stakeholders for each location) in a form of participatory action research (PAR) and 25 interviews of the key informants will be conducted to fulfil the research purpose.

It is expected that the research output will provide a plan of BRT station able to integrate rickshaws in terms of modal changes and fare. Thus, the outcome could be helpful for other cities having rickshaws that have (or planning for) BRT systems. Moreover, the research provides learning for public involvement and stakeholder's opinion in transport decision-making process. Further work could be whether the design of BRT station for accommodating rickshaws would be transferable to other cities.