Improving public realm and accessibility for BRT stations in Yangon
Yangon is Myanmar's largest city, with a population of 5.2 million in 2014. Yangon's transport system used to be based mainly on bus transport, as there were few cars until 2012 and motorbikes have been banned downtown. The city's new administration has prioritized public transport improvements since it took office in April 2016 and this is reflected in the Urban Transport Development Plan of The Greater Yangon (YUTRA). In 2016, the government created the Yangon Regional Transport Authority (YRTA) which has since led transport initiatives. In January 2017, the government started to reform the bus system through implementation of the Yangon Bus Service (YBS). This reform process involves bus route optimization, consolidation and corporatization of the bus operators, and introduction of fixed salaries for bus staff.
In the next phase of reform, the Yangon Region Government (YRG) intends to improve traffic flow and bus service quality along the major corridors and the downtown area utilizing traffic engineering solutions at the major junctions, providing bus priority measures and improving parking management. Following a request for support from the YRTA, the Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA) agreed to fund an urban transport project focused on examining bus priority options and developing an appropriate solution for a major corridor in the city together with associated improved traffic, parking and pedestrian management strategies for the central downtown area. The project is being carried out by Far East Mobility.
AIT will support this study through a knowledge partnership agreement. The particular focus will be on the dynamics of pedestrian and traffic flows in conjunction with the BRT stations. The study will develop station access and station area improvement options for three different stations where each of them represents a particular station type within the planned BRT corridor (see Figure 1):
- Insein Road (station at the crossing with Pyay Road) à characterized as residential and commercial
- Shwedagon Pagoda (at Pyay Road near the entrance to People’s Park) à characterized as tourism and leisure
- Yangon Downtown (2 optional stations on Maha Bandula Road) à characterized as mainly commercial activities in very dense area
Figure 1: Location of the three stations that are part of the study.
The following design aspects will be covered in close cooperation with Far East Mobility, CDIA and relevant stakeholders:
- Investigate access to BRT stations from surrounding feeder streets based on observations during filed studies: categorization of streets (e.g. downtown area includes avenues, medium and small streets) and data collection / surveys to obtain movement behavior
- Develop redesigns including shared space, pedestrianized zones and multifunctional use (e.g. dynamic use of street space)
- Develop pedestrian facility improvement proposals for management of space (e.g. allow for different functions such as street vendors)
- Incorporate a) parking schemes, b) delivery concepts (access for commercial vehicles and vehicles related to the market activity) and c) taxi drop-off areas and their particular interdependencies to the BRT stations.
- Illustrate different station access and station area improvements based on the station types defined by Far East Mobility
For each station within the study scope several station access and station area improvement options will be developed and analyzed resulting in recommendations to support the urban transport project for the Yangon Region Government. All proposed investigations will be based on AIT knowledge and solutions such as multi-modal traffic simulations and data analytics. The results will be prepared as different visualizations for one selected design option for each station type and finally presented to the Yangon Region Government together with CDIA and Far East Mobility.