In 2013, ITDP began working with the city of Coimbatore, the second largest city in Tamil Nadu with a population of 2.26 lakhs in the greater metropolitan area.Though the city has a well-established city bus system, a significant expansion of public transport service is necessary to cope with the mobility needs of Coimbatore’s growing population. On identifying key mobility challenges, the Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation (CCMC) and Government of Tamil Nadu (GOTN) developed a strategic plan for various initiatives to expand the use of sustainable transport in the city. The transport proposals include developing a high quality bus rapid transit (BRT) network, implementing a cycle sharing system, improving non-motorised transport infrastructure, and improving parking management. ITDP has been assisting the city in developing conceptual plans for these initiatives.
ITDP has been successful in garnering interest and support to develop a high quality BRT system in Coimbatore. The city has a network of wide radial streets that provide the perfect setting for establishing a BRT system. The proposed corridors will connect the city centre to various destinations including the airport, central railway station, Gandhipuram central bus stand, dense residential areas, major IT parks, and employment centres on Trichy road. The first phase of the proposal consists of a 72 km network followed by an extension of 25 km in phase 2. ITDP is currently assisting the city in the preparation of terms of reference for the detailed design of the system.
The above images show Mettupalayam Road in its current state and with the proposed BRT corridor.
The city is also proposing a cycle sharing system covering an area of 19 square kilometers with 100 stations and 2,000 cycles. ITDP is providing technical support to the city on the planning, implementation, and operational features of the system.
Coimbatore is home to several lakes and wetlands that have deteriorated over the years. While CCMC has initiated efforts to clean and conserve these lakes, accessibility to the lakes is limited. Building on the existing environmental restoration efforts, ITDP worked with the city to identify a 26 km network of greenways that integrate the lakes with the city’s mobility network. The proposed greenway network will provide high quality pedestrian and cycle connections between residential colonies, educational areas, and employment centres, besides creating new recreational opportunities.
The city has initiated the planning process for a number of other non-motorised transport projects. Various projects in the pipeline include, 9 km of new footpaths, 34 km of protected cycle tracks, and the pedestrianisation of Big Bazar street in the heart of the city. ITDP has been integral to the planning process for these projects and has been assisting the city since their conception.
ITDP is also working with the city to manage its on-street parking more efficiently. Twenty kilometres of streets in the city have been identified for the implementation of a modern parking management system. ITDP has been working with CCMC and the Coimbatore Traffic Police to develop an operational model for the parking system. ITDP is supporting partner ICLEI South Asia in the assessment of parking demand in major commercial areas of Coimbatore through occupancy and turnover surveys.