Bus Transit Service Planning and Operations in a Competitive Environment

This article outlines strategies for bus transit service planning and operations in the current, competitive transportation market. The authors note that recent economic factors, such as rising gasoline prices, have resulted in an increase in transit demand. The challenge that transit agencies are facing is to make these increases permanent by maintaining transit’s competitive edge over the private vehicle with more dense and reliable service. The authors contend that comprehensive traffic management strategies, including the use of Intelligent Transport Services (ITS), can make transit services more responsive to the dynamic nature of urban traffic. They present data that correlates travel time obtained from buses to travel time obtained from floating vehicles in the Twin Cities (Minnesota, United States) metropolitan region. This research can introduce more reliable estimates of travel time that can then be used for planning new and competitive transit services. The authors present data on two bus routes collected over a variety of different roadway types and traffic conditions and present statistical models that can estimate travel time based on measurements collected from buses and regular vehicle probes. The models identified the characteristics that cause bus service to be generally slower than private vehicle transportation. The authors maintain that altering bus route characteristics can reduce overall travel time and minimize the travel time disparity between buses and private vehicles. For example, bus-only shoulder policies, stop consolidation, serving major streets with fewer stop signs, and implementation of smart transit signal priority can have a positive impact on bus transportation.


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01148176
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 7 2010 5:54AM