Comparisons of different transit modes have seldom given sufficient attention to service parameters. Rather, costs were compared for modes that optimally provide different types of operations. This study utilizes 2 existing systems for a comprehensive comparative study of bus and rail technologies and their different types of operations. It differs from previous studies in 2 respects: First, it performs the analysis on 2 actual systems and thus does not utilize any hypothetical assumptions. Second, it includes more system characteristics than any of the previous studies. The Lindenwold "Hi-Speed Line" offers all-day, high-frequency, reliable service among its 12 stations; it depends heavily (80 percent) on access by automobile. The Shirley Busway provides mostly peak-hour service on very many lines with different routings, but with a lower frequency and reliability than Lindenwold; it relies mostly (84 percent) on access by walking. Lindenwold required very high investiment and was completed as one project; its revenues exceed operating costs by a significant amount. The line is extremely well operated and managed. Shirley was introduced with considerably lower investment, but it requires at least a 3 to 5 times higher labor force per passenger than Lindenwold. Its revenues closely cover the operating costs. Lindenwold attracts a 70 percent higher ridership than Shirley. Shirley can be improved by the introduction of all-day high-frequency service on some of its routes. The main deficiency of the busway concept will remain street operation in the CBD. Both systems are very successful. Their attraction of new riders proves that there is a considerable latent demand for transit, even in low-density auto-oriented suburban areas, and an underutilized potential of modern bus and rail modes.

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    • Publication of this paper sponsored by Committee on Busways and Bus Lanes. Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
  • Authors:
    • Vuchic, V R
    • Stanger, R M
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  • Publication Date: 1973

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Pagination: pp 13-28
  • Monograph Title: Evaluation of bus transit strategies
  • Serial:

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00050860
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309021928
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Feb 15 1982 12:00AM