Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) is the public transit system for the state of Maharashtra, India. With 16,500 buses in operation and 7 million passengers daily, it is one of the largest transit systems in the world. MSRTC has embarked on a system-wide modernization of their buses and facilities. The firm was hired in December of 2016 to provide Schematic Design for thirteen new stations throughout the state. To initiate the design process, the station at Panvel was determined to be a prototype for the design of all stations.
The Panvel site is unique as it is a short distance from the Panvel Railway Station, and within a region of rapid growth. This, combined with the already high bus and passenger turnover, leads to the need for a very densely utilized site. With around 2,400 buses visiting the site daily, and an expected 30% growth rate over the next 30 years, the facility will need 32 bus bays to maintain efficient operations. Based on these needs, the Panvel site will require a Ø41m dome for its central hall.
Within the central hall, there will be vertical circulation up to an elevated pedestrian walkway connecting to the Panvel Railway Station. This will include both stairs and an elevator to accommodate wheelchair passengers. The upper level of the central hall will have small areas for seating and will overlook the ground level.
Connected directly to the central hall will be the waiting hall which will provide additional services to customers while separating them from the main flow of passenger traffic to and from the buses. This will feature a food court with seating for over 100 people and will be serviced by an onsite kitchen as well as rentable booths for outside food vendors. A first class lounge will also be provided and will provide higher quality amenities like air conditioning, more comfortable seating, and higher quality toilet rooms.
Separated from the central hall will be the exit retail building. This will be the main means of egress for passengers departing their buses. It will contain public toilets as well as an area for luggage storage. The rest of the ground level will be devoted to rentable booths for retail purposes. Connection to the upper level will provide access to a station operated hotel. This will include six large bedrooms and ten small bedrooms as well as a shared bathroom. In the hotel, passengers with an extended layover will be afforded the opportunity to rent a room to rest or relax while they wait for their bus.
Staff spaces will be located in the main building, with the upper level containing lockers and sleeping rooms for facility drivers. The remainder of the upper level will be dedicated to retail space and will provide connection to the elevated walkway. The walkway will also connect to a structure on the site that will house administrative offices and provide apartments for employees who reside onsite.