BRT Background / Objectives

BRT Background / Objectives


Dhaka BRT

(BRT Gazipur Airport)

Bangladesh is ranked 129th out of 169 countries in the 2010 United Nations Human Development Index, and Dhaka is consistently ranked as one of the world’s most unlivable cities in the Global Livability Ranking report of the Economist Intelligence Unit. Congestion and air pollution play a major role in those poor rankings. Greater Dhaka is one of the fastest growing mega-cities in the world. In the last 10 years, its population has more than doubled and is projected to grow from the 12 million in 2012 to 20 million in 2020, making it one of the world's largest cities. Dhaka is also the most densely populated city in the world, with more than 45,000 people per square kilometer in the core area. Such high density in a city with limited inhabitable land due to the city's topography, limited infrastructure, and low level of public services, results in tremendous congestion. This necessitated immediate intervention to  increase the  efficiency of the transport system of the city.

Accordingly, 6 main corridors in Greater Dhaka’s fringes were analyzed by the  PPTA Consultants and they recommended a corridor in the northern part of Dhaka’s metropolitan area as the one with the best potential to organize urban development and support a mass-transit infrastructure. BRT was then recommended as the best mass-transit mode for the selected corridor, with 20% of its length located within Dhaka North City Corporation area, and 80% located within Tongi and Gazipur Area.

The Gazipur, Tongi area, with an estimated official population of 1 million and having a  Garment hub also attracts a large number of workers, adding to the floating population. There are 272 garment factories in the immediate vicinity of the corridors, employing an estimated 1 million -workers. With rapid motorization, the situation in road-based traffic collisions deteriorates, mostly affecting pedestrians (thus the poorest) who represent up to 50% of road accident fatalities in TGPA streets. 

Public transport in Dhaka is inadequate, in disciplined and of poor quality. There are more than 60 licensed routes and more than 2500 large and mini buses belonging to the private operators are operating through the project corridor. The bus fleet is in poor and dilapidated condition, there are few equipped stops, information on itinerary or connection is not provided, and the ticketing system is also not developed. 

Objective: The Project will establish efficient, cost-effective, environment friendly, sustainable and safe Urban Transport System (UTS) through construction of 20 kilometer Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) along the Gazipur-Tongi-Uttara-Airport corridor.

This pilot project provides a holistic solution for integrated urban mobility, bearing a demonstration effect as no modern mass-transit system exists in Bangladesh yet.

Linkages: The proposed project will contribute to Bangladesh national priority to organize urbanization and upgrade city infrastructures to mitigate climate change, to improve living standards, and, to strengthen economic growth. It complies with Dhaka's urban transport sector priorities by following some of the recommendations of the Strategic Transport Plan, approved by the government in 2008. The Project is also well aligned with ADB recent strong focus on urban transport, as outlined in ADB’s Sustainable Transport Initiative Operational Plan.

The project will ensure close coordination with other development partners’ activities in the urban transport sector. The selected corridor for the project will connect with the BRT corridor to be undertaken by World Bank, leading ultimately to the implementation of a 42 km mass-transit corridor, from Gazipur to Dhaka city center and beyond. It is therefore crucial to coordinate both projects to ensure full technical, operational and institutional integration. With the ADB section of the corridor having more chances to be implemented first, due to easier institutional and technical features, its demonstration effect will ease the implementation of the World Bank section. There will also be close coordination with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) which recently undertook the implementation of Metro (MRT Line-6). A strong potential synergy can be found, notably in capacity building and necessary organizational developments to improve the management of Dhaka’s UTS.

Output 1 activities will include restructuring Tongi- Gazipur Area’s main urban transport corridor by constructing: (i) a 20 kilometer BRT route designed and built following international best practices and quality standards; (ii) two mixed-traffic lanes and one NMT lane per direction, and sidewalks along the BRT; (iii) 141 access feeder roads improved in favor of NMT; (iv) a high capacity drainage system along the restructured corridor; and (v) a BRT terminal will be constructed in the BTCL Land in Gazipur where washing, servicing and repair & maintenance facilities etc will also be available.

Output 2 activities will include undertaking organizational developments to efficiently manage BRT operations with the private sector, such as: (i) creating a special project organization (SPO) to manage the project during construction and monitor the future BRT operation, (ii) undertaking a capacity development program for the SPO and the private operators, (iii) designing future operations and business model for the BRT system, (iv) conducting negotiations and facilitate consolidation of existing bus industry to operate the BRT, (v) setting up a compensation mechanism and fleet scraping program for operators not participating in the BRT operations, (vi) procuring and leasing 50 articulated Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)-buses to selected private bus operating companies, (vii) procuring and installing the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) for the BRT, including the ticketing and fare collection system,( vii) training bus drivers and testing the BRT system before starting the operations; and (ix) developing the BRT terminal near the airport as part of an intermodal hub through a PPP scheme.

Output 3 activities will include improving the urban quality of the corridor through (i) the procurement and installation of 1000 energy-efficient street lighting all along the corridor; (ii) small improvements at local markets; (iii) the revision and enforcement of vehicle emission standard; (iv) the procurement of sets of equipment for emission testing for the Traffic Police; and (iv) traffic management measures, such as: (a) conducting a capacity building program for the Traffic Police, (b) procuring and installing 70 BRT-priority traffic lights and 150 closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras at main junctions, (c) drafting a parking and hawkers policy, and (d) conducting an awareness campaign on’ proper traffic behaviors.

Due to heavy and chronic congestions at different intersections of the corridor it is planned to construct 6 flyovers including Joydebpur Chowrasta. There will also be 4.5km elevated section along with 8 lanes Tongi bridge with ramp at Abdullapur. Dedicated bus lane will be there  at the center of the road where high capacity articulated buses will ply. Besides, foot path will also be constructed on the two sides of road for easy movement of pedestrian specially for garments workers. All these measures will make mass transportation efficient reducing congestion considerably.

Rationale: The Government approved Strategic Transport Plan (STP) carried out by WB in 2005 and subsequent revision in 2015 by JICA serves as the current basis for urban transport planning in Dhaka. The STP underlined the large size of the transport investment needs in Dhaka and recommended a program of three Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes including BRT line-3. Dhaka Urban Transport Network Development Study (KEI, JICA, 2010) also recommended construction of BRT Line-3. There is severe traffic congestion caused by high vehicular traffic flow with conflicting pedestrian and NMT movements and it is one of the main entries to the city from the Northern side of the country(N3)  and lack connectivity between both east and west sides. There are also growing industrial development mainly RMG factories by the side of the road. Under a TA project ADB engaged Consultant to study the feasibility study of the project. Based on detailed feasibility study of the six proposed corridors, Gazipur-Tong-Airport route(part of BRT Line-3) was found to be most feasible corridor.

Besides due to physical constraints and already heavily built up area on both side of the road the route cannot be widened any further. Moreover -construction of rail-based mass transit is about 10 to 20 times more expensive & time consuming than BRT. But, some sort of immediate intervention are necessary  to remove the chronic congestion and increase the transportation efficiency and  capacity in the routes which can only attained cost effectively and in shorter time through implementation of Bus Rapid Transit system.

Project Organization Structure

PMU staff

MoRTB=Ministry of Road Transport & Bridges, BBA = Bangladesh Bridges Authority; DTCA = Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority; EA = Executing Agency; EPCM = Engineering Procurement and Construction Management and Supervision; RHD=Roads & Highways Department; LGED = Local Government Engineering Department; MOLGRDC = Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and Cooperatives; ODBM = Operational Design and Business Model; PIU = Project Implementation Unit; PMCCB = Project Management Coordination and Capacity Building; PSC = Project Steering Committee; RPI = Resettlement Plan Implementation; RD = Roads Division (Executing Agency); BD=Bridge Division; PMU=Project Management Unit; SPO = Special Project Organization. Source: ADB

Project Funding

•   Asian Development Bank (ADB :    USD 160.00 Million
•   Agence Française de Development (AFD) :    USD   45.00 Million
•  Government of Bangladesh (GoB) :    USD   45.00 Million
•  Global Environment Facility (GEF) :    USD     4.60 Million


Implementing Agencies

1. Project Implementation Unit (PIU), Roads & Highways Department (RHD)

2. Project Implementation Unit (PIU), Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA)

3. Project Implementation Unit (PIU), Local Government Engineering Department (LGED)

4. Special Purpose Organization (SPO), Dhaka Bus Rapid Transit Company Ltd. (DBRTCL)



1. Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management(EPCM)

  • Design, Procurement, Construction, supervision& Contract Management.

2. Project Management Coordination and Capacity Building (PMCCB)

  • Project Management, Institutional Development, Procurement Support/ Communication, Public Participation etc.

3. Operational Design and Business Model (ODBM)

  • BRT Operation Plan, Business Model, Service Start up, Specifications for Buses, Negotiation with the Operators.

4. Christian Commission for the Development of Bangladesh (CCDB)

  • Preparation of PAP and compensation to them.


Project Components

RHD Components

1 Upgrading and widening of pavement of 16km corridor with provision of BRT Lanes, Mixed Traffic Lanes, NMT Lane, Footpaths, Drainages, 6 Flyovers, 19 Stations and Terminal at Joydebpur  [ From Chainage 0+000 to 2+600 and chainage 7+100 to 20+200].


BBA Components

2 Construction of  4.5km of Elevated Section including 10 lanes Tongi Bridge over Turag River and 6 Elevated Stations ( From chainage: 2+600 to 7+100).
3 Upgrading and widening of  pavement of 4.5km corridor by BBA under the elevated section with provision of mixed traffic lanes, NMT lane,footpath and drainage.


LGED Components

4 Construction of BRT Depot at BTCL Land, Gazipur.
5 Construction of 10 Kitchen Markets.
6 Improvement of 141 nos. of access roads on either side of the BRT Corridor.
7 Installation of 1000 Energy Efficient Lights along the proposed corridor from Gazipur to Airport.


SPO, BRT Company Components

8 Procurement of 50 nos. of Articulated Buses.
9 Procurement of ITS Equipments for BRT operation.
10 Procurement of Traffic signal system and Equipment of Traffic Management Centre.
11 Negotiation with existing operators and selection of BRT operators for BRT Operation.

GDSUTP – BRT (Airport – Gazipur) - at a Glance


Name of the project  : Greater Dhaka Sustainable Urban Transport Project (BRT Gazipur-Airport)
Division : Road Transport and Highways Division
Ministry : Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges
Implementing Agencies : Roads and Highways Department (RHD)
    Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA)
    Local Government Engineering Department (LGED)
Duration : December 2012- December 2018
Proposed : December 2012- June 2020
Project Cost : BDT 20,398.5 million
  : GOB             : BDT   4,345.8 million
  : Project Aid   :  BDT 16,507.0 million
Project Financiers
Government of The People's Republic of Bangladesh (GOB)
    Asian Development Bank (ADB)
    French Development Agency (AFD)
    Global Environmental Facility (GEF)
20.50 kilometers
    At Grade      : 16.00 kilometers
    Elevated       :  4.50 kilometers
25 nos.
Bus Depot
01 nos. (Gazipur)
02 nos. (Airport and Shibbari)
06 nos. (Airport, Jasimuddin, Kunia, Open University, Vogra & Joydevpur Chowrasta) 
01 no (upgrading Tongi Bridge to 10 lane)
Kitchen Market
08 nos
Access Road
113 nos (56 Kilometers)
High Capacity Drain
24.00 Kilometer on both sides
20.50 kilometers on both sides
Travel Time
50 minutes (Gazipur to Airport)
Frequency of Buses
2 to 5 minutes








BRT Background / Objectives