Light rail and bus priority systems: Choice or blind commitment?

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The debate over light rail transit (LRT) systems is often a confrontation between advocates and opponents of LRT systems. It is difficult to separate real evidence from opinion about LRT. This paper reviews evidence and viewpoints about LRT systems in comparison to bus priority systems (BPS), the latter often combined with high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes. Bus-rail comparisons are difficult because people tend to think of existing bus services which are constrained to share congested roads with cars for most of their routes. Extensive dedicated busways or HOV lanes are more akin to LRT systems, and there are few examples of these bus priority operations.BPSs are capable of moving comparable volumes of people at less cost than LRT. Where BPS and HOV systems are in use, they appear to move more people than are being moved in established LRT systems. LRT systems may have an advantage in influencing land-use in a way which will promote greater reliance on public transit, but it appears that similar impacts can be achieved by bus-based systems. There is a need for closer study and analysis of busways and HOV lanes. It is also important to recognize that neither BPS nor LRT are likely to have much impact on overall mode split unless substantial steps are taken to discourage single occupant motor vehicles.

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... Such as bus, light rail transit, metro, regional rail are the most popular public transport. (Vuchic, 2002a;Vuchic, 2007;Thilakaratne, 2011;Vuchic, 2017a;Hodgson and Potter, 2010;Hensher, 1994). ...
... Utilizing the preceding theory of urban transportation modes, actual paratransit and transit modes can be ordered into a ''family,'' ranging from taxis to regional rail systems (Vuchic, 2002a;Vuchic, 2007;Thilakaratne, 2011;Vuchic, 2017a;Hodgson and Potter, 2010;Hensher, 1994;Vuchic, 2002b). ...
... Also, buses can seat 75% of passengers compared with 25% on light rail (Hensher, 2007). Articulated buses operating at 60-second headway yield 6,000 pphpd, assuming 100 passengers per bus (Hensher, 1994). As it isll as, the capacity of the bus is the range betit isen 2,500 to 6,000 pphpd (Richardson, 2006). ...
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Traffic congestion is known as the most significant problem in big cities, especially in developing countries. In recent years, the integration of subway/metro and bus networks has become an effective solution to reduce the growing congestion. In addition, connectivity is a significant problem in large-scale transit networks because the number of transfers required to conduct a trip is considered a discomfort by transit users. The main purpose of this research is to develop a novel solution methodology for the metro line planning problem, which goes beyond previous traditional sophisticated approaches. The solution methodology adopted in this research is based on partitioning the solution into three consecutive criteria; design of a new metro network in the existing cities (Criterion 1), integration of bus and metro systems by the design of a single metro line (Criterion 2) and by the design of multiple metro lines (Criterion 3). In the first criterion, the overall purpose is to enhance existing transit systems by planning a new underground metro network. The design of a new metro network in the existing cities is a complex problem. Therefore, in this research, the study idea arises from the prerequisites to get out of conventional metro network design to develop a future scheme for forecasting the bestmetro network for these existing cities. Two models are proposed to design metro transit networks based on the bestcost-benefit ratio. Model 1 presents a grid metro network and Model 2 presents the ring-radial metro network. A square existing city is presented as a case study for both models. It includes tit isnty-five traffic analysis zones and thirty-six new metro stations are selected at the existing street intersection. In the second criterion, the study presents a practical scheme for a metro line planning problem to integrate the existing bus and metro networks into a single connected transit network. The design scheme offers a set of ring route alternatives for a sizeable actual case study of the Greater Cairo city. The case study included sixteen traffic analysis zones with an existing metro network that consisted of three main lines 113.6 km long, and tit islve main bus lines of 487.7 km, which it isre selected for the analysis. In the third criterion, This study presents a practical scheme of multiple subway line design to obviate the difficulty of dealing with large-scale networks that always suffer from severe combinatorial problems, which represent a hindrance to many theoretical design algorithms. The proposed methodology aims to obviate the usual combinatorial complexity when solving the transit route design problem. It aims to increase the overall transit system connectivity by selecting a consistent and non-demand-oriented criterion of the design. The metro lines are designed by minimizing the Passenger Transfers Number (PTN) through the transit network betit isen origin and destination. TransCAD software was used as the base for coordinating stations and lines of both bus and metro systems. Subsequently, a developed passenger transfer counting algorithm was implemented to determine the number of transfers required betit isen stations from each origin to each destination. Thus, a passenger origin-destination transfer matrix was created using NetBeans software to aid in determining the number of transfers required to complete the trips on the transit network before and after proposing the new line. Results show that Model 2 achieves the maximum Cost-Benefit Ratio (BCR) of the transit network that increases 41 % than BCR of Model 1. Therefore, it is found that the ring radial network is the bestnetwork to square existing cities than the grid network according to overall network connectivity. Based on the evaluation attempts, ring lines exhibited high efficiency in significantly decreasing passenger transfers betit isen stations with the minimum construction cost. The value of this study is reflected in the strategic stage of transit line design to assist in rapidly generating initial solutions when certain demand information is unavailable. The analysis presents solutions that include a multi-subway evaluation of three categories of choice to identify the best solution depending on PTN variance and direct demand coverage percentage, corresponding to each case of subway line construction. After testing many solutions using the brute force technique, two subway lines are recommended with their station structure to increase the overall network connectivity by more than 70%.
... In turn this opens up the relevance of at least assessing other options such as bus-based solutions. This is a challenge in many cities where emotional ideology in support of rail-based solutions (without question) dominates the debate and political decision making (see Hensher and Waters 1994). ...
... The best-worst experiment identified attributes affecting the design and service characteristics of the mode, with the same statements being used in the context of being in favour of a rail-based mode and a bus-based mode. The literature underpinning this work came from a review of the more technical papers by Hensher (1991), Swanson et al. (1997), Cirillo et al (2011), dell'Olio et al. (2010a, Mazzulla (2010, 2008a,b), and Marcucci and Gatta (2007), and the strategic studies of Hass-Klau and Crampton (2002), Hensher and Waters (1994), Hensher (1999), Edward (1996a,b), Canadian Urban Transit Association (2004), Cornwell and Cracknell (1990), Kain (1988), Pickrell (1992), and Sislak (2000). This synthesis was supplemented by the more recent literature on the ridership drivers of public transport (Currie and Wallis 2008, Currie and Delbrosc 2013. ...
... This literature is dominated by a comparison of the 'image' of the car versus public transport which is not so relevant to this study, with the exception of the way in which the poor 'image' of public transport has been identified as a principal cause of low take up of public transport by car users. In this context, image is defined as "the set of ideas and impressions, both rational and emotional, which major stakeholders form about the organisation or industry" (TCRP 2000, p.5). Image is thus related to ideas rather than hard facts and there is evidence to suggest that BRT has gained its image indirectly from its association with the bus mode and the way that this is affected by the character of buses in mixed traffic (slow and unreliable) Waters 1994, Hensher and. ...
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As urban areas face increasing demands for new transport infrastructure to promote a sustainable future with an increasing reality of constrained government budgets, the debate on whether we should focus on rail or bus-based investments continues unabated in many jurisdictions. Associated with the debate is an emotional (or ideological) bias by communities in favour of one mode, especially rail, which carries much sway at the political level as if there is no budget constraint. This paper presents a stated choice experiment to investigate this context as two unlabelled options described by 20 potential drivers of community preferences for improved public transport, where each choice scenario is conditioned on an estimated construction cost and a total annual transport infrastructure budget for the relevant geographical jurisdiction. This is followed by a labelling of each alternative to reveal whether the option is bus rapid transit (BRT) or light rail (LRT) and to establish whether this additional information influences preference revision. Data is collected in all eight capital cities of Australia in mid 2014. Mixed logit models with heteroscedastic conditioning in terms of the cost of the project infrastructure and whether the alternative is labelled BRT or LRT, provide new evidence on the nature and extent of community modal bias in a budget-constrained choice setting. The conclusions are twofold. On the one hand, if a fully compensatory choice rule is assumed (as is common in all previous modal comparison studies), LRT is predominantly preferred over BRT despite budgetary constraints, similarities in quality of service attributes and the opportunity to choose a greater network coverage for a given construction cost. However, when we allow for attribute non-attendance (a semi-compensatory choice rule), the modal bias is no longer a significant driver of preferences.
... The literature underpinning the best worst experiment came from a review of the more technical papers by Hensher (1991), Swanson et al. (1997), Cirillo et al (2011), dell'Olio et al. (2010a, Mazzulla (2010, 2008a,b), and Marcucci and Gatta (2007), and the strategic studies of Hass-Klau and Crampton (2002), Hensher and Waters (1994), Hensher (1999), Mackett and Edward (1996a,b), Canadian Urban Transit Association (2004), Cornwell and Cracknell (1990), Kain (1988), Pickrell (1992), and Sislak (2000). This synthesis was supplemented by the recent literature on the ridership drivers of public transport (Currie and Wallis 2008, Currie and Delbrosc 2013). ...
... However, it is important to recognise that the perceptions identified by the literature will play a part in the way in which respondents complete the experiment. In particular, the way in which BRT appears to have gained its image indirectly from its association with bus, which is often tainted by the reputation that bus based modes have in mixed traffic (slow, unreliable etc.) (e.g., Waters 1994, Hensher and. The studies of differing perceptions between car and public transport suggest, drawing a parallel from TCRP (2000) on the importance of familiarity, that LRT is better known than BRT in developed countries, with the reverse being true in developing countries. ...
Much of the debate associated with the development of new public transport infrastructure appears to have an emotional bias with communities in favour of one mode, especially rail. This, in turn, carries much sway at the political level as if there is no budget constraint or consideration of value for money and coverage. This paper presents a stated choice experiment to investigate this context as two unlabelled options described by 20 potential drivers of community preferences for improved public transport. Each choice scenario is conditioned on a given route length but with different costs, reflecting different modal investment options for the same route length. To establish whether a modal bias exists within and between geographical jurisdictions, the choice scenario is followed by a labelling of each investment option to reveal whether the option is bus rapid transit (BRT) or light rail transit (LRT). Data from all eight capital cities of Australia, collected in mid-2014, form the empirical setting. Mixed logit random regret models provide new evidence on the nature and extent of community modal bias in this choice setting. The paper also proposes a complementary tool to benefit-cost analysis that uses the residence preferences model to show, through scenario analysis, the potential gains in public support for BRT over LRT. The results suggest that BRT should be in the mix of candidate projects if more than one mode is considered and not ignored, as is so often the case in developed economies.
... Agrawal et al. (2013) studied the public opinion on policies and strategies governing the operations of bus lanes in major congested urban centers where the bus lanes do not completely exclude other users. Hensher & Waters (1994) analyzed the light rail and bus priority systems along with high occupancy vehicle (HOV) and proved the least cost and flexibility in BPL while stressing the importance of users awareness. ...
Conference Paper
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The bus priority lane is an excellent way to encourage public transport. And BPL helps to reduce traffic congestion. The bus priority lane is reducing the travel time of BPL users at peak times. This research aims to implement the BPL by getting opinions from passengers and operators (Drivers& Conductors). Through conduct, the survey from passengers and operators/ can identify the problems, additional expectations, and current BPL situation. The analysis is based on the survey of user opinion. Three types of survey were conducted under this research. High number of passengers and non-BPL users have used their trips for work purpose. More than 75% of passengers, operators & non-BPL users agreed that BPL will saving their travel time.
... Moreover, a consensus exists that improving public transport helps to solve metropolitan congestion. Although previous studies concluded that investment in rail offers the best solution to public transit problems (Kain, 1988; Hensher and Waters, 1994), it is difficult to establish comprehensive MRT systems in most cities due to the huge monetary investment and the limited accessibility of such systems (Kain, 1988 ). Besides, many cities utilize busbased systems as legitimate alternatives to rail systems (Wright and Hook, 2006) because of the lower associated risks, including more limited potential for cost overruns, and greater flexibility in responding to forecast demand (Hensher, 2007). ...
Optimizing the location of urban bus routes is a major challenge owing to the enormous range of possible alternatives, as well as the numerous associated requirements and limitations. Additionally, considerable information must be involved in models. For instance, detailed spatial data on population locations and trip demands is crucial for examining bus accessibility. This study employs fuzzy programming, and use four indicators representing sustainable transportation, such as accessibility, operator profit, user cost and reduction of external cost, to optimize urban bus route allocation. The proposed model is applied to Taoyuan County, the most rapidly growing city in Taiwan, and managerial implication are identified to help decision-makers align bus routes based on sustainability criteria, and consideration is also given to extending the model to more comprehensive evaluation functions.
... Why did many of these cities supporting and building light rail not consider having a very fl exible bus system on the dedicated alignment which has the capability of off ering much better door-to-door service than a very infl exible fi xed rail system? Th e answers are relatively simple -the adage that 'trains are sexy and buses are boring' (quoted from the Mayor of Los Angeles) says it all (Hensher and Waters, 1994). ...
Conference Paper
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Transport situation in Dhaka City, the capital of Bangladesh, has recently reached in a crisis situation-road congestion and emissions is spreading and the transport system is unable to meet the demands. Because of unavailable and overcrowded bus service, the cheapest form of public transport, the high dependence on walking and rickshaw in a city of 12 million is a symptom of ineffi cient and ineff ective transport systems and operations. Th e expected addition of another 12 million people over the next 15 years will make the transport conditions almost unbearable, unless urgent measures are taken. So, policy measure for transport of the city should be directed towards tackling the large amount of travel demand and reducing congestion. Based on the secondary information, this paper has been initiated to come up with some guidelines for providing suffi cient transport supply. For this purpose, successful bus rapid transit (BRT) systems of developing countries especially Bogota and Curitiba have been studied to gain lessons for the possibility of BRT in Dhaka. Th e study found that BRT is the most suitable form of public transport for Dhaka City to tackle the public transport crisis.
... On the other hand, these measures are only appropriate when the total traffic flow is low enough to allow for a reduction of lanes open to general traffic; if it is possible to reroute adjacent traffic; or if it is possible to extend the road with additional lanes. Hensher (Hensher and Waters 1994;Hensher 1998) compared LRT and bus priority schemes such as Busway and HOV, and concluded that bus priority methods are capable of serving more passengers at lower cost compared to LRT. A combination of facility, system, and vehicle investments that increase the efficiency of the service for the end user is present in BRT. ...
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Urban transit systems consist of multiple modes of transport of which cars and buses make up the largest portion, particularly in developing countries. Thus, theories on the best means of allocating existing road spaces for cars and buses in city-centers and suburban corridors in order to improve operational transport efficiency has become a frontier research topic. Today, bus priority (BP) methods, as one of the most widely used Public Transport Priority (PTP) strategies, are commonly recognized as effective in lowering traffic congestion and reducing bus travel times. PT authorities, urban planners/designers, and researchers dealing with PT issues (i.e. buses), need to investigate existing BP methods in detail and assess relevant research before setting about designing or implementing new policies. Of course, evaluating such studies is a time-consuming process. In order to address this constraint, the present study proposes a general typology of existing BP methods and evaluates the challenges and requirements regarding their implementation by conducting a comprehensive literature review of existing studies related to PTP. Academic papers (theoretical, analytical, and simulation-based), technical reports, and design manual/guidelines in the context of both developed and developing countries have been searched as part of the literature review process. The study concludes by proposing two comparative summary tables of all spatial bus priority schemes in terms of “min. requirements to justify BP schemes” and “advantages and disadvantages of time-based and spatial BP treatments”. These may provide engineers, urban planners or transit policy-makers with an accessible guide with which to refer in the evaluation stage. However, future research is recommended in order to bridge existing gaps concerning conditions required for the successful implementation of spatial bus priority strategies.
... In public transport research, services are often categorised according to their technical attributes, such as mode, right-of-way strategy or stopping schedule. For instance, comparisons of bus-based and rail-based alternatives are common in public transport literature (e.g., Hensher & Waters, 1994;Ingvardson & Nielsen, 2018;Sivakumaran, Li, Cassidy, & Madanat, 2014). However, when exploring passengers' preferences it may be more relevant to base the categorisation on geographic scale -local, regional, interregional -rather than technology. ...
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When exploring preferences of existing and potential public transport passengers, it is relevant to acknowledge differences between different geographic scales: local, regional and interregional. However, the boundaries between these categories remain unclear. Some previous attempts have been made to define regional travel – and hence local and interregional travel – but the resulting definitions are somewhat vague and use diverse sets of metrics. In order to sort the terms, this paper aims to explore the perception of the concept regional travel through a survey among public transport professionals. In total, 290 completed questionnaires were collected. All continents are represented in the survey, but with a strong concentration of responses in North America and Europe. The results emphasise the importance of maintaining a distinction between functionality and technology, meaning that factors such as vehicle type or speed should not be included in the definition. Instead, the survey indicates a clear preference for either an administrative or a functional definition, depending on the purpose. The functional definition is argued to best fit the purpose of exploring passengers’ preferences, and hence the following working definition of regional public transport can be adopted: Regional public transport targets passengers travelling between separate urban areas or to rural areas, and a majority of the trips are made on a regular basis (daily to weekly in general).
... BRT can be less costly, can offer greater flexibility, and can offer travel-speed advantages at least the equal of LRT while providing capacities adequate to handle the corridor's public-transport volumes (Currie, 2006). With the many advantages associated with BRT, advocates of LRT are sometimes portrayed as being blindly committed to rail technology despite the incontrovertible evidence in favor of BRT deployment (Hensher and Waters, 1994;Hensher, 2007Hensher, , 2016 and as attached to the image of rail rather than any transportation-service advantage it confers (Hensher and Mulley, 2015). ...
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) has been widely reported to have a capital cost advantage over Light-Rail Transit (LRT) ranging from 4:1 to 20:1. These cost estimates are poorly grounded. Careful estimates tend to show a smaller capital-cost gap between the two technologies, but often fail to break down guideway elements and cost components, particularly the share of exclusive right of way, which varies markedly between systems. This paper analyzes cost and service differentials between BRT and LRT using data from 49 U.S. systems. On a per-exclusive-guideway-kilometer basis, BRT enjoys a capital-cost advantage of 2:1 to 2.2:1. BRT systems with high shares of exclusive right of way provide service competitive with that of both the automobile and LRT, but in the United States, many self-identified BRT systems fail to dedicate the space that would support these service benefits. The failure of BRT to dedicate significant right of way to transit movement tends to strengthen the view equating rail with high-quality public transportation.
... 'Image' in this context is defined as ''the set of ideas and impressions, both rational and emotional'' and ''is not formed solely from the set of hard attributes conveyed directly by the entity'' (Worldwide and CandN 2000). There is some evidence in the literature suggesting that the 'image' of premium transit such as BRT -or in this case HSBT -may have been tainted by its association with the bus in mixed traffic which is slow and unreliable (Hensher and Waters 1994;Hensher et al. 2015). It can also be interpreted that those who have never used an intercity bus have no prejudice and are more likely to ride HSBT. ...
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Increased intercity travel and consequent freeway congestion have made intercity transportation a big concern for planners and decision makers. Common rail-based solutions require high capital costs, and most existing modes face trade-offs between mobility and accessibility. An alternate solution could be High Speed Bus Transit (HSBT), an innovative intercity transit service proposed by the authors, that has high cruising speed on a freeway-dedicated lane and multiple terminals in the urban area. This paper is focused on modeling the mode choice behavior of individuals and identifying the significant factors influencing people’s choice of intercity travel mode. Furthermore, the feasibility and potential market of the proposed HSBT is also studied in competition with other intercity travel options such as drive, rail, regular bus and a demand-responsive shuttle service. To collect the data, an interactive stated preference survey was employed that estimates the respondent-specific attribute values in a real-time manner, customized to the individual information provided by the respondents. Such a process helps to present a choice set that reflects each individual’s travel context more realistically. The collected data showed that a transportation option with the characteristics of HSBT, that provides a fast, reliable, accessible, frequent and safe intercity travel, has the potential to take up a considerable market share, even larger than driving. Having applied a discrete choice model, the significant factors influencing the choice preference were recognized and the analysis results provided insightful findings toward intercity mode choice behavior and improving intercity transit services.
... 8 On the other hand, busways are claimed to be far cheaper than light rail and operate with the speed, reliability and efficiency of light rail at only a fraction of the cost. 9 Bus lanes are claimed to be even less expensive to implement and run, but their overall impacts are believed to be less significant. 6 The aim of this paper is to assess the conflicting empirical evidence in the UK and abroad in order to allow an objective assessment of the policy implications. ...
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The merits of alternative urban and inter-urban public transport systems have been the subject of some debate, particularly since the publication of the UK's 1998 transport policy White Paper A New Deal for Transport. This current paper aims to assess some of the conflicting empirical evidence in the UK and abroad in order to allow an objective assessment of the policy implications. Section 2 presents an overview of technical and financial characteristics of mainly urban public transport systems, including capital and operating costs of recent light rail, guided bus, bus priority and suburban rail systems. Section 3 explores the evidence on the wider costs and benefits of systems in the UK, including wider environmental and socio-economic impacts. Although more expensive to build (under similar conditions), light rail systems often carry more passengers than 'intermediate' bus-based systems such as guided bus and segregated busways. There is not much between public transport systems on the basis of operating costs per passenger-km, except metro systems, which are twice as expensive to run as bus-based systems. When comparing revenues and operating costs directly, all modes except suburban regional rail appear capable of covering operating costs overall, with light rail and some of London's suburban rail services providing a marginal surplus of revenue. Average speeds of light rail and bus-based systems are comparable. In heavily congested corridors, new light rail systems can reduce journey times significantly, but such reductions are lower for bus-based systems, mainly because of the relatively limited amount of segregated right of way and priority at traffic signals. This highlights the fact that bus priority systems act primarily as 'congestion busters' at hot spots, which can be implemented more flexibly and gradually than for rail-based systems. Currently, electric propulsion appears to be the best option to mitigate air pollution and noise. However, new clean vehicle technologies will soon be in a position to play a major role in reducing emissions, in particular for bus-based systems. In terms of external costs per bus/train-km, environmental costs appear higher than accident costs, but lower than congestion externalities.
... Around the world, there have been numerous debates on the preferred transit technology-bus or light rail-for medium-capacity transit corridors. Amongst these debates, Hensher and Waters (1994) have stressed the importance of moving the discussion and rhetoric beyond one that is based on opinion and beliefs towards one that measures the merits and costs of each technology. Edwards and Mackett (1996) echoed this argument by suggesting that the decision-making process for transit systems require further rational structure. ...
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This paper presents an easy-to-use model to assist in technology selection for transit planning. The model computes annual costs for two technologies-currently BRT and LRT-for a system with characteristics specified by the user and from "real-world" operating data. The model computes the annualized capital and operating costs over a wide range of demand; it also calculates location-specific, energy-related emissions for both technologies' operations. Most importantly, the model allows the user to test the sensitivity of the technology selection result to nearly all inputs. The model is applied to a recent case in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, to verify its functionality. The results show that, economically, these two technologies result in very similar annual costs for "normal" demand levels. As a result, small changes in assumed input values for period of evaluation, interest rates, labor costs, and infrastructure costs can result in a change in recommended technology.
The German city of Freiburg has experienced an enormous and unprecedented rise in the demand for local public transport since the early 1980s. This study investigates the causes of this dramatic increase in the popularity of both tram and bus use. Although traffic restraint measures and improvements in the quality of the public transit service are significant factors, the main explanation lies in the introduction of low cost `environmental' travel cards with the key characteristics of transferability across friends and family and wide regional validity across operators. These season tickets considerably augmented transit demand without seriously exacerbating the operating deficit.
Growing public transport patronage in the presence of a strong demand for car ownership and use remains a high agenda challenge for many developed and developing economies. While some countries are losing public transport modal share, other nations are gearing up for a loss, as the wealth profile makes the car a more affordable means of transport as well as conferring elements of status and imagery of “success”. Some countries however have begun successfully to reverse the decline in market share, primarily through infrastructure-based investment in bus systems, commonly referred to as bus rapid transit (BRT). BRT gives affordable public transport greater visibility and independence from other modes of transport, enabling it to deliver levels of service that compete sufficiently well with the car to attract and retain a market segmented clientele. BRT is growing in popularity throughout the world, notably in Asia, Europe and South America, in contrast to other forms of mass transit (such as light and heavy rail). This is in large measure due to its value for money, service capacity, affordability, relative flexibility, and network coverage. This paper takes stock of its performance and success as an attractive system supporting the ideals of sustainable transport.
Public transport in urban Australia is dominated by the automobile. As we approach the end of the 20th century, there is much renewed interest in revitalising urban public transport as one way of combating the increasing levels of traffic congestion, deterioration in air quality and global warming. This paper takes stock of the situation in Australia, identifying the challenges that the urban public transport sector faces in redressing the imbalance between car and public transport market share. Particular emphasis is given to the role of buses and busways in contrast to rail, and strategies to reduce the attractiveness of the car.
This paper analyzes the cost structure of the French electricity distribution sector prior to the re-structuring reforms that have been initiated in 2005 and gradually implemented in the form of re-grouping certain activities across distribution units. The aim of this study is to assess the empirical evidence in support of these re-structuring measures. We explore the cost structure of the distribution units operating in France over the three year period. The data include 279 observations from 93 distribution units from 2003 to 2005, operating within the French electricity distribution network namely, Electricit� R�seau Distribution France (ERDF). A Cobb-Douglas cost function is estimated using several specifications focusing on the analysis of the economies of scale and customer density. In order to account for the unobserved heterogeneity and its impacts on the economies of scale, we use a latent class specification. The results suggest that a majority of the distribution units can exploit statistically significant economies of scale. Further, the empirical analysis indicates that the unexploited economies of scale can vary considerably from one unit to another, not only because of variations in outputs but also because of the unobserved differences in networks and technological characteristics. In particular, the latent class approach can identify a group of distribution units that do not show any significant economies of scale. Further analysis suggests that such distributors are often located in metropolitan areas with high customer density.
In the rail industry worldwide, there has been a search for new solutions, including restructuring, corporatization, and outright privatization, but the complexity of the rail industry offers special problems. In the Workshop we looked in detail at the British, Swedish, German, Australian (New South Wales) and New Zealand experiences, as well as considering more general issues such as cost structures, vertical separation and competitive tendering. Whilst it was agreed that some developments, such as greater contracting out, were clearly beneficial, other developments such as the separation of infrastructure from operations remained of uncertain value until the issues of efficient pricing and slot allocation were resolved.
The physical image of transport systems, as perceived by users and non users, has long been put forward as a powerful influence on the formation of preferences. One setting for this is in the choice between bus rapid transit (BRT) and light rail transit (LRT) where there appears to be a strong preference in favour of LRT in developed countries and the reverse in developing countries. Using data collected in six capital cities in Australia in 2013, in which individuals rated two BRT and two LRT designs presented as physical images, we develop a full rank mixed logit model to identify candidate sources of influence on image preferences. These provide signals to assist in preparing the ground for a segmented profile for policy makers and politicians to understand how to underpin building a rational debate for modal options in our cities.
Travel is a form of unsustainable consumption resulting from the Western lifestyle societies allow, encourage or occasionally seem to force citizens to adopt. In the Handbook of Sustainable Travel we disseminate current research findings of both the positive and negative sides of travel. We primarily target readers who are not active researchers of travel behaviour (many of whom are chapter authors) – but other specialists including researchers in environmental science as well as politicians and journalists who have a professional need for reviews, analyses, and syntheses of research findings.
Developing and updating public transport infrastructure is one of the most complex and far-reaching investment decisions for government. Better public transport and transport infrastructure generates benefits for users and helps manage urban congestion and climate change. This paper presents the results of a survey of residents of six capital cities in Australia to investigate potential jurisdictional differences and similarities in the support for BRT in the presence of LRT options, a common context in many metropolitan areas. We develop two best–worst preference experiments, one associated with design characteristics and the other with service descriptions, in which a number of statements about bus, BRT and LRT, are presented in sets of four, and respondents are asked to indicate which one they perceive as the best circumstance and which one they perceive as the worst. The sets of statements are varied across preference sets to elicit the role of each statement as an identified barrier against or in support of BRT and/or LRT. The main focus of the experiments is to assist in the development of a strategy to promote BRT and to break through the barriers that have created the modal misperceptions so common in many geographical jurisdictions. A survey of residents of six capital cities in Australia provides the empirical context. Ongoing research is extending the study to other locations throughout the world.
Effects of price promotions for high-speed rail (HSR) on the choice behaviours of potential consumers are analysed for public transit marketing purposes. A questionnaire survey, with 300 valid samples collected from private vehicle drivers with long-distance trips through freeways, is conducted. Factor analysis is employed to determine the constructs of service quality, while a discrete choice model considering individual heterogeneity, namely a mixed logit model, with stated preference is utilised to explore the diversion of passengers from private vehicle drivers due to price promotions. Analytical results reveal that service qualities, socio-economic characteristics and price promotions significantly affect choice behaviours. Finally, some strategies are developed from these analytical results to help a HSR operator increase its market share.
This paper reports the findings of a comparative analysis of bus rapid transit (BRT) performance using information on cross-section data of 121 BRT systems throughout the world, in which random effects regression is employed as the modelling framework for stand alone patronage and ridership models, and 3SLS for joint models in which frequency is treated as an endoneous effect on patronage. A number of sources of systematic variation are identified which have a statistically significant impact on BRT patronage in terms of daily passenger numbers such as fare, frequency, connectivity, pre-board fare collection, and location of with-flow bus lanes and doorways of a bus. In addition to the patronage model, a bus frequency model is estimated to identify the context within which higher levels of service frequency are delivered, notably where there exists higher population density, more trunk lines, the corridor provides bus priority facilities such as priority lanes for many bus routes, and where there is the presence of overtaking lanes at more than half of all stations along the heaviest section of the corridor. The findings offer important insights into features of BRT systems that are positive contributors to growing patronage which should be taken into account in designing and planning BRT systems.
Strong public and political support for mass transit in the U.S. is based on lofty goals, including congestion reduction, economic development, aesthetics, sustainability, and much more. Yet, as is the case in many areas of public policy, the pursuit of multiple and broad objectives, however worthy, can diffuse efforts and fail to achieve desired results. Moreover, these goals suggest a lack of focus on the needs of transit riders themselves, particularly the poor and transit dependent. We examine this by combining data from the National Household Travel Survey, the National Transit Database, the American Public Transportation Association, and a survey we conducted of 50 U.S. transit operators. First, we find that while rail transit riders in the aggregate are approximately as wealthy as private vehicle travelers, bus patrons have far lower incomes, and this disparity is growing over time. Second, few transit agencies publicly identify serving the poor or minorities as a goal, instead focusing on objectives that appeal to more affluent riders and voters as a whole. Finally, in recent decades transit spending priorities have been slanted away from bus service and towards commuter-oriented rail services favored by the wealthier general voting public, although most members of this group rarely if ever ride transit. We contend that efforts to secure popular support for transit subsidies stifle agencies’ ability to acknowledge transit’s critical social service function and serve the needs of its core demographic. While such strategies make sense politically, underserving the poor may be poor public policy.
The selection of appropriate public transport investments that will maximise the likelihood of delivering the levels of service required to provide a serious alternative to the car is high on the agendas of many metropolitan governments. Mindful of budget constraints, it is crucial to ensure that such investments offer the greatest value for money. We promote the view that integrated multi-modal systems that provide frequency and connectivity in a network-based framework offer the best way forward. A mix of public transport investments with buses as feeder services and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) as trunk services can offer a greater coverage and frequency than traditional forms of rail, even at capacity levels often claimed of rail. Design features are important in order to promote good performance, and evidence is presented as to the importance of the various design elements to driving patronage. Decision-makers need to recognize that implementation issues can be complex to achieve a successful outcome of a BRT system contributing to the public transport network.
Bus rapid transit on dedicated right-of-way and branded bus services with a distinct visual identity have been implemented in various forms around Australia over the past three decades. A major public policy debate has surrounded the relative success of these bus priority and branding measures as compared with generic route services in attracting patronage. In this paper, we devise a metric known as a (gross) patronage performance ratio to quantify the success for each of seven bus rapid transit systems and 20 branded bus services as compared with regular route buses across six Australian capitals. A regression analysis is conducted to determine the statistical significance of various bus priority and brand identity initiatives which are used as inputs into a normalisation procedure to determine the net patronage performance ratio of each service offering. This allows an informed comparison between systems and cities, controlling for operating environment and other service characteristics. The results reinforce the patronage merits of upgraded bus services in contrast to standard bus services. Measures like network legibility and brand identity all help upgrade the image of the bus.
Choices among alternative transit capital investments are often complex and politically controversial. There is renewed interest in the use of performance indicators to assist in making rational and defensible choices for the investment of public funds. To improve the evaluation of rail and bus performance and provide more useful information for transit investment decision-makers, it is important to use performance indicators that fairly and efficiently compare different transit modes. This paper proposes a set of inter-modal performance indicators in which service input, service output, and service consumption are measured by total cost, revenue capacity miles/hours, and unlinked passenger trips/miles respectively based on economic principles and evaluation objectives. The proposed improvements involve the inclusion of capital as well as operating costs in such comparisons, and the recognition of the widely varying capacities of transit vehicles for seated and standing passengers. Two California cases, the Los Angeles – Long Beach Corridor and the Market/Judah Corridor in San Francisco, are used for testing their usefulness in the evaluation of the efficiency and effectiveness of rail and bus services. The results show substantial differences between performance indicators in current use and those proposed in this study. The enhanced inter-modal performance indicators are more appropriate for comparing the efficiency and effectiveness of different modes or a combination of transit modes at the corridor and system levels where most major investment decisions are made. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000
Presents a benefit-cost analysis of one of the radials of an LRT system. Five benefits are identified and measured. These relate to reductions in commuter travel times, congestion on the road network, automobile operating costs, parking costs and bus costs. It is concluded that the project is not economic.-from Authors
Describes the recent planning history of Curitiba, a city of 1.6 million people some 200 miles southwest of Sao Paulo. Founded in 1853 as a colonial capital, it flourished earlier in this century as the capital of the agriculturally-based Parana State, before its industrial develoment lagged behind that of comparable areas in the 1960s as a result of pressure from a rapidly expanding population. A new master plan in 1965 resulted in growth being channelled and restricted to five high-density, but slender, transport corridors which were subject to strict zoning regulations. The author outlines the environmental benefits of preserving the city's historic centre, promoting recycling schemes, increasing the availability of green space, and providing a flexible and extensive network of bus services. The conclusion highlights the city's achievement of promoting ecologically sound development of a large developing world metropolitan area at a low per capita cost. An inset to the main article consists of the personal recollections of a planning consultant from the mid-1980s. -P.Hardiman
This paper presents an economic evaluation of Los Angeles' San Bernardino Freeway express busway. The potential for efficiency of this mode in a highly dispersed metropolitan area is demonstrated. Findings indicate that the mixed-mode operations allowed on the facility generate a good part of the benefits. It is also suggested that a lane flow reversal design would have increased efficiency beyond that of the existing facility. Finally, the wisdom of recently enacted (California) legislation, requiring convertibility to rail transit on all future busway construction, is questioned.
In spite of a broad consensus among transportation analysts that bus rapid transit, whether operating on exclusive rights-of-way or on uncongested high occupancy vehicle lanes or general purpose limited access facilities, provides higher performance and has significantly lower costs per passenger trip than rail transit in medium and low density cities, nearly all Sunbelt cities are building or planning heavy or light rail systems. This paper reviews previous studies of the cost-effectiveness of heavy and light rail transit with bus-rapid transit and the growing experience with busways and transitways and concludes, once again, that some form of bus rapid transit would be a far more effective way of providing improved transit in these cities than heavy or light rail transit. Not only would bus rapid transit be substantially cheaper, but it would provide a higher quality of service than light or heavy rail transit for virtually all users. Finally, the paper speculates on the reasons for the continued, “blind” commitment to rail transit by policymakers in Sunbelt cities and on the refusal of policymakers in all but a few of these cities to even consider bus rapid transit.
This paper describes a set of specialized spreadsheets that model the cost and performance of transit system options including light rail transit, guideway bus, express bus, and ride sharing. These spreadsheets are demonstrated by comparing a guideway bus (GWB) transit system and a light rail transit (LRT) system proposed for construction in an active rail corridor. The comparisons for assumed levels of transit ridership include guideway geometry, travel time, headways, vehicle requirements, grade crossing protection, and capital and operating costs.The planned GWB system runs on an exclusive dual guideway in the rail right-of-way, and the alternative LRT system operates on the existing rails with new bridges and track as needed for a dual guideway system. The analysis compares the two options for mode splits between 0.5% and 50%. Results show that while both options have approximately the same travel time, the GWB system costs approximately 30% less than the LRT system. The cost difference results primarily from lower GWB vehicle purchase and operating costs.The spreadsheets are available through the McTrans Center at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
High occupancy vehicle lanes have become an integral part of regional transportation planning. Their purpose is to increase ridesharing by offering a travel time advantage to multiple occupant vehicles. This paper examines the extent to which an HOV facility increases ridesharing. Using data from the Route 55 HOV facility in Orange Country, California, changes in the carpooling rate on Route 55 are compared to that of a control group of freeway commuters. The analysis shows that the carpooling rate among peak period commuters, and particularly those who use the entire length of the facility, has increased. However, there has been no significant increase in ridesharing among the entire population of Route 55 commuters. Results suggest that barriers to increased ridesharing are formidable, that travel time savings must be large in order to attract new carpoolers, and that further increases in capooling will likely require development of extensive HOV lane systems.
Two on-board surveys were conducted to determine how transit riders perceive transfers. The surveys were conducted before and after the imposition of a transfer in the middle of an existing bus route. Results of the surveys showed that riders perceive bus transit trips as significantly worse when the trip requires a transfer, even if transfer time is neglibible.
In its relatively short life, the automobile has provided a level of mobility unlikely to have been feasible with a reliance on conventional forms of land based public transport. It has contributed in both a positive and negative way to the quality of life, transforming our cities, our way of life, and giving us a greater command over time and space. Concern over the undesirable social and environmental impacts has increased over time, with calls for governments to take action to reduce the automobile's dominant role. New investment in fixed-track public transport and bus priority systems together with strategies to discourage travel have been proposed to improve accessibility and to aid in cleaning up the physical environment. This paper reviews some of the issues facing society as it works to identify policies to achieve an economically and environmentally sustainabie future. There is a need for a broader set of policies to facilitate alternative land use-transport lifestyles while facing appropriate pricing signals. Some of the key issues are adjustments in the relative prices of location and transport, spatial incentives to make public transport economically viable (i.e. changing urban densities, zoning/incentive changes to allow more infill), road pricing (i.e. charging cars the economic cost of using the roads), new information technology systems (e.g. IVHS) to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of transport infrastructure, major improvements in the fuel efficiency of fossil fuelled vehicles, and alternative-fuelled vehicles (clean-air vehicles).
An international cross-section of light-rail transit systems is examined. Demand is tested as a function of transport system, city, and population attributes. All tests confirm the standard hypotheses at high levels of significance. High levels of explanatory power support the notion of model transferability. The models developed in this paper are used to predict demand for new LRT systems now being installed in North American cities. Model outputs suggest that the official forecasts are very optimistic.
High Occupancy Vehicle Treatments, Impacts, and Parameters, Volumes I and II. Report prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Transportation Exclusive Busway versus Light Rail Transit: New System Successes at Affordable Prices
  • T M Batz
Batz, T.M. (1986). High Occupancy Vehicle Treatments, Impacts, and Parameters, Volumes I and II. Report prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Transportation, U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington DC. Biehler, A.D. (1989). Exclusive Busway versus Light Rail Transit: New System Successes at Affordable Prices. Special Report 221 (pp. 89-97). Washington, DC: Transporta-tion Research Board.
Transport and Land Use: A ‘Neo-modem’ Approach
  • Brindle
Brindle, R.E. (1992a). "Transport and Land Use: A 'Nee-modem' Approach." Proceed-ings 16th Australian Road Research Board Conference, Part 6, 111-136.
The Adelaide O-Bahn: How Good in Practice Papers of the Australasian Transport Research Forum, 17(Part 1):83-100
  • P Chapman
Chapman, P. (1992). "The Adelaide O-Bahn: How Good in Practice." Papers of the Australasian Transport Research Forum, 17(Part 1):83-100. Charles River Associates. (1989). Development ofa Consensus Paper on How Transit Transfers Affect Ridership (Memorandum CRA No. 527.00, September).
Canberra Transport Study: Study of Future Public Transport Options, Report on Stage I. Report prepared for the ACT Admini-stration
  • Denis Johnstone
  • Associates
Denis Johnstone and Associates. (1992). Canberra Transport Study: Study of Future Public Transport Options, Report on Stage I. Report prepared for the ACT Admini-stration, Canberra, September.
Mass Transit in Developing Cities: The Role of High Performance Bus Systems
  • Fouracre
Fouracre, P.R. and G. Gardner. (1992). "Mass Transit in Developing Cities: The Role of High Performance Bus Systems." Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers International Conference Bus '92: The Expanding Role ofBuses Towards the Twenty-First Century, pp. 231-337.
Transport: The New Realism
  • P B Goodwin
  • S Hallett
  • F Kenny
  • Stokes
Goodwin,P.B.,S. Hallett, F. Kenny, andG. Stokes. (1991). Transport: The New Realism. Report to Rees Jeffrey Road Fund, Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford.
Bus Priority Systems in Metropolitan Areas: A Strategic Assess-ment and Framework DocumentSocially and Environmentally Appropriate Urban Futures for the Motor Car
  • D A Hensher
Hensher, D.A. (1992). Bus Priority Systems in Metropolitan Areas: A Strategic Assess-ment and Framework Document. Report prepared for the NSW Department of Transport, Sydney, October. Hensher, D.A. (1993). "Socially and Environmentally Appropriate Urban Futures for the Motor Car." Transportation, 20(1):1-19.
Transfer Penalties: Another Look at Transfer Riders' Reluctance to Transfer Taxation and Financial Policy Impacts on Urban Settle-ment
  • Aj Horowitz
  • Dj Zlosel
Horowitz, AJ. and DJ. Zlosel. (1981). "Transfer Penalties: Another Look at Transfer Riders' Reluctance to Transfer." Transportation, 10:279-282. Industry Commission. (1992). Taxation and Financial Policy Impacts on Urban Settle-ment, Volumes 1 (Report) and
Cost-Benefit Analysis for Four Public Transport Systems
  • K Ip
Ip, K. (1992). "Cost-Benefit Analysis for Four Public Transport Systems." Institute of Transport Studies, Graduate School of Business, The University of Sydney, Mimeo.
Buses for the '90's (pp. 55-64). PTRC 19th Summer Annual Meeting
  • K A Moffat
Moffat, K.A. (1991). Buses for the '90's (pp. 55-64). PTRC 19th Summer Annual Meeting, University of Sussex, England.
Cities and Automobile Dependence: An International Sourcebook. Farnsborough: Gower Strategic Future Directions for Sydney: Urban Passenger Transport
  • P Newman
  • J Kenworthy
Newman, P.w. and J.R Kenworthy. (1989). Cities and Automobile Dependence: An International Sourcebook. Farnsborough: Gower. New South Wales Department of Transport. (1991). Strategic Future Directions for Sydney: Urban Passenger Transport. Discussion Paper No.1, November.
Transitways Offer Superior Level of Service and Economic Efficiency
  • M Nisar
  • A M Khan
  • W Johnson
Nisar, M., A.M. Khan, and W.E Johnson. (1989). "Transitways Offer Superior Level of Service and Economic Efficiency." World Conference of Transport Research Pro-ceedings, Yokohama, III:247-261.
Light Rail and Development: Constraints and Conditions Light Rail Transit: Planning, Design, and Implementation
  • Re Paaswell
  • J Berechman
Paaswell, RE. and J. Berechman. (1982). "Light Rail and Development: Constraints and Conditions." Light Rail Transit: Planning, Design, and Implementation. Transporta-tion Research Board Special Report 195. Washington, DC: Transportation Research Board.
High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes in Sydney
  • Pettigrew
Pettigrew, K. and P. Angus. (1992). High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes in Sydney. Paper presented at the Biennial Conference of the Australian Road Research Board, Perth, November.
How Many More Rail Systems Does the U.S. Need? Paper presented at the 1\venty-Sixth Annual Conference of the Association of College Schools of Planning
  • D H Pickrell
Pickrell, D.H. (1984). How Many More Rail Systems Does the U.S. Need? Paper presented at the 1\venty-Sixth Annual Conference of the Association of College Schools of Planning, New York, October 19-21.
Travel Demand Management and HOV Systems Proceedings of the Fifth National High-Occupancy Vehicle Facilities Conference
  • Rh Pratt
Pratt, RH. (1991). "Travel Demand Management and HOV Systems." Proceedings of the Fifth National High-Occupancy Vehicle Facilities Conference, Transportation Research Board Circular Number 384, December, pp. 113-138.
Transport of Delight-The Mythical Conception of Rail Transit in Los Angeles. Paper presented at the Joint International Congress of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning and the Association of European Schools of Planning
  • J E D Richmond
Richmond, J.E.D. (1991). Transport of Delight-The Mythical Conception of Rail Transit in Los Angeles. Paper presented at the Joint International Congress of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning and the Association of European Schools of Planning, Oxford, July.
Bus vs. Rail Costs Southern California Rapid Transit District Office of the Controller-Treasurer
  • T Rubin
Rubin, T. (1991). "Bus vs. Rail Costs." Southern California Rapid Transit District Office of the Controller-Treasurer, August 21 (memo).
Exclusive Busway versus Light Rail Transit: New System Successes at Affordable Prices
  • Biehler
The Adelaide O-Bahn: How Good in Practice
  • Chapman
Transitways Offer Superior Level of Service and Economic Efficiency
  • Nisar
Light Rail and Development: Constraints and Conditions
  • Paaswell
How Many More Rail Systems Does the U.S. Need?
  • Pickrell
Travel Demand Management and HOV Systems
  • Pratt