High Quality Public Transport: Gaining Acceptance of Bus Rapid Transit Systems

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 automobile 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. This chapter promotes 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 the domain 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 implementation issues can be complex if a successful outcome of a BRT system contributing to the public transport network is to be achieved.

Drivers of Bus Rapid Transit Systems – Influences on Ridership and Service Frequency

This document reports the findings of a comparative analysis of bus rapid transit (BRT) performance using information on 121 BRT systems throughout the world, in which random effects regression is employed as the modelling framework. 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.
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