Moving from conventional bus service towards bus rapid transit : establishing priorities
Author(s)Rodríguez, María del Pilar, 1974-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Nigel H.M. Wilson.
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This thesis structures a process to support transit agencies in their decision-making when improving their current conventional bus service (CBS) towards a higher quality system such as Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). Four major tasks were conducted as follows. First a literatu re review was performed to study relevant prior research and BRT cases in operation in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Bogota, Curitiba, and Ottawa. Second, and based on the case studies and literature review, eight key attributes and components of BRT systems were identified. The key attributes defined were: 1) right of way priority; 2) expedited boarding and alighting; 3) knowledge-based planning and operations; 4) high frequency; 5) high reliability; 6) distinct image; 7) connectivity; 8) land use integration. The physical bus components that could be changed in order to achieve these attributes were identified as the right-of-way, stops, vehicles, fare collection system, signal priority system, and automated vehicle location (AVL) system. The third task focused on developing a prioritization process to understand the variables that would lead to achieve the first two key attributes. All components but AVL systems were identified to impact these key attributes. The evaluation process to prioritize the critical variables of each component was based on the time savings and cost associated with their implementation. Time savings were evaluated from a user standpoint as the total travel time, including access time, waiting time, and in-vehicle time. Time savings for the agency were evaluated through running time reductions. Finally, the process was applied to Chicago transit Authority Express service 49 on Western Avenue in Chicago, IL. As a result, the implementation of the prioritized variables was recommended on two phases. The first phase (1- 3 years) includes reducing the stop spacing on the X49 route to increase coverage and demand, upgrade all buses used in the route to low-floor buses, expedite fare collection process through wider use of transit cards, implement active signal priority, implement preferential treatment for buses, and finally upgrade to contact-less smart cards. The second phase (3 - 5) years, includes implementing off-vehicle fare payment and conducting further analysis to determine the cost-effectiveness and feasibility of an exclusive lane operation.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2003.Includes bibliographical references (p. 221-236).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Civil and Environmental Engineering.