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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Sustainable public transport systems: moving towards a value for money and network-based approach and away from blind commitment

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