Geographic Information System-System Dynamics Procedure for Bus Rapid Transit Ridership Estimation

This article presents a two-step procedure for estimating the total daily ridership (TDR) of a new bus rapid transit route that runs along a corridor without a competing regular bus service. Bus rapid transit (BRT) is defined as a high-performance bus mode that combines a variety of infrastructure and operational features into a high-quality transit service. The authors describe the use of a Geographic Information System (GIS)-Business Analyst desktop to analyze and extract population statistics, including annual growth rates. The outputs of the GIS-BA desktop are the total population, employed population, number of households, and their respective annual growth rates in the buffer ring. The second step of the procedure uses a simulation model that embeds the known relationships between the demographic variables and the proposed BRT system's infrastructure and operational features; this step estimates the TDR of the base year. The authors then validate this two-step procedure with actual demographic and ridership data from the Las Vegas MAX BRT line and the Los Angeles Orange Line, respectively. They also apply the model to the proposed BRT route along Mesa St. in El Paso, Texas, as a case study. They conclude that this two-step procedure offers a new and relatively simple approach that complements the three known BRT ridership estimation methods currently acceptable by the U.S. Federal Transit Administration. The new procedure more directly links a BRT corridor’s TDR with the BRT system’s features, and the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of the corridor it serves.


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  • Accession Number: 01492216
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 8 2013 3:21PM