Date of Award

Spring 5-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Urban and Regional Planning


Planning and Urban Studies

Major Professor

Kate Lowe

Second Advisor

Anna Brand

Third Advisor

Stefan Marks


Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) has a demonstrated capacity to improve safety, mobility and accessibility for multiple types of road users. In India, where road safety is an ongoing problem, the national government has supported cities’ efforts to implement BRT as a cost-effective tool to improve urban travel. The case of Indore’s iBus attests to the cultural and institutional barriers that Indian cities may face in gaining public support for BRT. After a contentious implementation process, the High Court ruled to open the dedicated bus lane to private automobiles, resulting in drops in ridership and increases in accidents and travel delay. This study examines the competing, public narratives that framed the issues during and after project construction. Contested notions of the public interest, the cause of traffic problems, and community participation informed the basis for the arguments that culminated in the court ruling.


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