Bus-based transit-oriented development (BTOD): Opportunities and challenges for low-density, car-dependent Australian cities

Over the decades, public transportation has been less focused on holistic and integrated town planning designs and has not coped with the rapid pace of car-centric, low-density developments. Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) principles are expected to substantially contribute towards achieving accessible, affordable and comfortable public transport services for low-density Australian communities. From the point of view of comparative infrastructure development, timeframe and costs, bus-based TOD systems (BTODs) seem to be more appropriate than rail-based TOD systems (RTODs) in the Australian context, where bus-based transport routes already play a significant role in the overall transportation system of some cities. Transit passenger densities in corridor catchments of low–medium density suburban environments are better suited to buses than light or heavy rail transit which require large commuter volumes. Buses also offer greater flexibility supporting feeder services in addition to serving trunk routes, and potentially have a much greater reach beyond high passenger density transit corridors. This paper investigates and formulates policies on how bus-based transit can be used in achieving transit-oriented development through successfully implementing TOD principles with bus transit within the context of Australian cities. This paper will analyse existing land use and demographic data along a bus route on a suburban arterial road to identify the suitability of the land for higher density developments that would potentially make the transformation of a bus route into a transit corridor viable. The selection criteria in undertaking land suitability analysis to achieve ‘concentrated densities around the nodes’ will also be discussed. The findings of this research will be of value in developing a methodology for undertaking an extensive demographic and land use analysis for the purposes of developing a BTOD model to transition low-density, car-dependent Australian cities towards more transit-oriented and environmentally sustainable urban environments.


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  • Accession Number: 01643874
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ITRD, ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 21 2017 11:41AM