Robust Project Pipeline

Urban mass transit (UMT) systems comprising metro rail and bus rapid transit (BRT) systems have been accepted as critical for addressing mobility requirements of growing urban populations. Several metropolitan cities have firmed up plans to execute UMT projects.

The government has been actively supporting the uptake and implementation of UMT projects in different cities. While this has helped cities initiate projects, issues relating to acquisition of land, shifting of utilities, etc., continue to impede project execution.

Indian Infrastructure provides a snapshot of some key projects that witnessed activity in the past few years…

Metro rail projects

Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar Metro Rail Project, Phase I, Gujarat

  • The Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar Metro Rail Project, Phase I will cover a network of 39.26 km connecting the North-South (18.52 km) and East-West (20.73 km) corridors in Gujarat. The Rs 112.73 billion project is being implemented by a special purpose vehicle (SPV) – Metro-Link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad (MEGA) Company Limited.
  • The construction work comprises the development of 32 stations and the installation of state-of-the-art signalling and telecommunication (S&T) technologies such as continuous automatic train control (ATC), automatic train protection (ATP) systems, passenger information display, tetra radio communication and optic fibre transmission networks to enhance operations.
  • The network has an anticipated daily ridership of 0.66 million passengers by 2021. For efficient fare collection, MEGA plans to deploy an automatic fare collection (AFC) system with tokens and smart cards.
  • Besides, at least 96 standard gauge metro cars (with a stainless steel or aluminium lightweight body) will ply on the network.
  • At present, work on the 6 km Vastral-Thaltej stretch on the East-West corridor is in progress. Though the stretch was expected to be commissioned in October 2017, owing to land and legal issues, commissioning has been delayed to February 2018. Meanwhile, the entire project is expected to be completed by 2019.

Mumbai Metro Project, Line 3, Maharashtra

  • The Mumbai Metro Rail Project is being developed in three phases. Phase I (first corridor), spanning 74.07 km, involves the development of three lines (Lines 1, 2 and 3). Line 3, worth Rs 290 billion, is being developed by Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited. It aims to connect Colaba, Bandra and the Santacruz Electronics Export Processing Zone covering a total length of 33.5 km.
  • The scope of work involves the construction of 26 underground stations and the installation of advanced S&T technologies such as ATP and ATC systems, mobile radio communication, LED/LCD-based display boards and passenger announcement systems.
  • Besides, a total of 248 lightweight and cost-efficient standard gauge cars have been proposed for procurement.
  •  Another key feature of the project involves the installation of the AFC system, for which bids have been invited and the contract is expected to be awarded by December 2017.
  • Civil works for the project are ongoing and the bidding process for the procurement of rolling stock is likely to be completed by December 2017. The tender document mandates that the winning consortium manufacture 75 per cent of the coaches indigenously. Meanwhile, Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited is expected to commission the entire project by December 2021. The ridership on Line 3 is expected to be around 1.3 million passengers per day.

Hyderabad Metro Project, Phase I, Telangana

  • The Hyderabad Metro Rail Project, Phase I, entailing an investment of Rs 200 billion, is being executed on a public-private partnership basis by L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Limited. The project involves the construction of a metro rail network of 71.16 km covering 66 elevated stations and will cater to three high density traffic corridors in Hyderabad. These corridors are Miyapur- L.B. Nagar (29.87 km) (Corridor I), Jubilee bus station-Falaknuma (14.78 km) (Corridor II) and Nagole-Shilparaman (29.87 km) (Corridor III). Further, all the metro stations are also planned to have feeder bus services to provide last-mile connectivity.
  • Under the project, 150 to 160 standard gauge rolling stock will be deployed which will be equipped with advance technology including automatic doors, security cameras and ATC signalling systems for driverless operations.
  • For an improved ticketing experience, an AFC system with smart cards and radio frequency identification tokens has been proposed. The projected ridership by 2018 is 60,000 passengers per day during peak hours. This is likely to increase to 2.5 million per day by 2025.
  • At present, construction of the Nagole-Ameerpet and Miyapur-Ameerpet sections is under way and these are expected to be inaugurated on November 28, 2017. Meanwhile, the entire project is expected to be completed by November 2018, except for the 5 km stretch in the Old City and an about 1 km stretch between Hitec City and Raidurg.

Bus rapid transit projects

Pimpri-Chinchwad BRT Project, Maharashtra

  • With the aim of improving the public transport in Pimpri-Chinchwad city, a BRT project with a total length of 44.5 km is being executed by the SPV Pimpri-Chinchwad Infrastructure Company. The project, also called the Rainbow BRT, involves the construction of four corridors – Nigdi-Dapodi (12 km), Sanghvi-Kiwale (14.5 km), Nashik Phata-Wakad (8 km) and Kalewadi-Dehu-Alandi (10.5 km) – and 90 bus stations.
  • The project involves the installation of many smart features such as an intelligent transportation management system (ITMS). This system will be installed in every bus station and will be managed through a centralised control room. A fleet of 650 dedicated buses has been procured for the project and will be equipped with a global positioning system- based fleet monitoring system. This monitoring system helps supervise vehicle movement on a real-time basis. Further, field data will be delivered to passengers through public information system devices such as LED-based display screens which will be installed in terminals and buses.
  • The project is currently under construction and, so far, BRT services have been operationalised on two corridors – Sanghvi-Kiwale (14.5 km) and Nashik Phata-Wakad (8 km) – which are catering to over 0.12 million passengers per day. The third corridor, Nigdi-Dapodi (12 km), was expected to be operational by October 2017. However, owing to land acquisition issues in the construction of parallel bridges, it has been delayed. Meanwhile, the fourth corridor, Kalewadi-Dehu-Alandi (10.5 km), is under construction and is expected to be operational by end-November 2017. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by January 2018.

Hubli-Dharwad BRT Project, Karnataka

  • The 34.25 km Hubli-Dharwad BRT Project is being developed by Hubli-Dharwad BRTS Company Limited (HDBRTSCO). Initially, the project involved the development of two corridors – Corridor I, spanning 19.5 km, from Hosur Circle to Hubli to the Dharwad city bus terminus (CBT), and Corridor II, spanning 2.75 km, from Hosur Circle to Hubli CBT via Rani Chennama Circle and Hubli railway station. However, the project has been extended to cover an additional 12 km length to the University of Agricultural Sciences in Dharwad.
  • The project, estimated to cost Rs 6.9 billion, has been designed with central bus lanes to minimise interference with traffic plying on mixed-traffic lanes. A total of 33 closed bus stations with automatic sliding doors will be developed.
  • It is estimated that more than 0.2 million people will use the corridor daily (by 2018) and the ridership is expected to increase to 0.4 million per day by 2021 and further to 0.6 million per day by 2031. With this projected ridership, a fleet of at least 190 buses will be procured for operations. The contract has been awarded to three manufacturers – an order of 30 buses has been placed with Tata Motors, 100 buses will be supplied by Volvo India and the remaining 60 buses by Ashok Leyland India. HDBRTSCO will sign an MoU with the North Western Karnataka Road Transport Corporation for operating the BRT buses.
  • These buses will be deployed with ITMS and will have advanced technologies such as automated vehicle location system, passenger information system, AFC system, transit management system, and an incident management system. Tickets will be issued at stations through AFC systems, and only commuters with a valid ticket or a smart card can access the platform through automatic sliding doors.
  • As of October 2017, 20 km of network has been laid while work is under way at a brisk pace for another 6 km. It is expected to be completed shortly and trial runs are likely to commence soon. The project is expected to be commissioned by January 2018


The uptake and expansion of UMT projects will offer multiple business opportunities across different segments – rolling stock, civil construction, electrical work, tracks, signalling and intelligent transportation systems, fare systems, etc. As the markets expand, global as well as local players will participate across different segments with greater drive. This will ensure uptake of modern, advanced technology solutions across different segments.