Innovation is a key to promote bus transit systems planning, design, and operations. Many transit agencies have adopted innovated technology, operation plans and strategies in order to enhance and/or supplement their transit services to the public. This section discusses the innovations in bus rapid transit systems, tactical transit lanes, electric bus holding, and energy and emission impact of autonomous bus. Audiences who are interested in how innovations enhance bus transit systems are welcome to join this session.
Understanding the Effectiveness of Bus Rapid Transit Systems in Small- and Medium-Sized Cities in North America
Michaela Sidloski, University of SaskatchewanShow Abstract
Ehab Diab, University of Saskatchewan
In response to a lack of existing academic literature regarding bus rapid transit (BRT) system success in small and medium-sized cities, this research examines the operational, demographic, and socioeconomic aspects of BRT at the route and system level in 16 small and medium-sized cities across North America. The results are compared with BRTs of large North American metropolitan areas in order to establish how the determinants of and requirements for BRT success differ. A wide array of factors collected from transit agencies, the Canadian and American 2016 censuses, and General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) data are analyzed alongside ridership, which represents the primary determinant of BRT system success. The findings suggest that BRT routes of larger cities generally enjoy higher ridership levels compared to smaller and medium-sized cities in North America. Operational variables including service frequency were considerably higher in larger cities, with shorter route lengths, compared to small and medium cities. Higher population density, local accessibility and percentage of rented households can also be observed in larger cities’ BRT system catchment areas in comparison with smaller cities. However, some BRT routes of smaller and medium-sized cities in North America exhibit comparable ridership levels to those in large cities. These routes have similar levels in terms of rentership, route length, and headway, with good local accessibility, while falling behind in population density. This paper expands on previous research on BRT systems, helping transit planners and policymakers to better understand the relative association between the city size and BRT ridership levels.
Tactical Transit Lanes: Recent Trends
John Gahbauer, University of California, Los AngelesShow Abstract
Juan Matute, University of California, Los Angeles
This report describes a new category of transit project that we call the “Tactical Transit Lane”. These lanes (TTLs) are bus-only lanes installed in congested, dense areas along specific segments where operational data indicate transit vehicle delays and schedule variability are significant and affecting many riders. This tactical use of bus only lanes, installed only where and when they can provide rider benefits, is a recent phenomenon: all 17 of the TTLs found in metropolitan areas across the country were implemented after 2013 (and most after 2016) either permanently or as pilot projects, which TTLs’ low cost and reversibility make feasible. Based on interviews with 24 planners from twenty city departments and agencies between August 2018 and January 2019, and informed by the results of a survey of 81 professionals with 26 respondents in January 2019, this report presents findings in best practices in the planning of TTLs, with a focus on strategic considerations for public engagement. Five case studies illustrate the recent experiences of planners in a variety of operating environments and community contexts.
Bus Holding of Electric Vehicles: An Exact Optimization Approach
Konstantinos Gkiotsalitis, University of TwenteShow Abstract
In high-frequency electric bus services with more than five buses per hour, bus operators strive to increase the service regularity by minimizing the deviation between the planned and actual headways. In this pursue, bus operators apply corrective control strategies, such as bus holding(s) at control point stops. This study expands the traditional headway-based models of bus holding to cater for the planned arrival times of electric buses at the respective charging points. To this end, this study models the bus holding problem for electric buses considering the scheduled charging times in the objective function. The resulting mathematical program is not smooth and cannot be solved to global optimality. To rectify this, this study introduces slack variables and proposes a problem reformulation into a convex, nonlinear program that can be easily solved to global optimality with exact optimization methods. The proposed bus holding logic is shown to reduce significantly the delayed arrivals at the charging points (up to 34%), while the average passenger waiting times exhibit a marginal increase when compared to the existing control methods (up to 1.08%).
Evaluating Energy and Emission Impact of Autonomous Bus on Urban Expressway
Yixin Zhang, Beijing Jiaotong UniversityShow Abstract
Xumei Chen, Beijing Jiaotong University
Lei Yu, Texas Southern University
In recent years, a series of traffic problems have emerged with continuously increasing traffic. The connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV) technology is considered to be one of the effective ways to relieve these problems. However, the full-scale CAV system is not likely to be implemented in the short term. It is believed that buses, trucks, and other special vehicles can be one of the first application areas to promote the development of CAV technology. Due to the feature of high emission and energy consumption for such heavy vehicles, buses have been the focus of motor vehicle energy conservation and emission reduction. Therefore, this paper aims to evaluate the impact of autonomous buses on emission and energy consumption on urban expressways. In order to achieve the objectives of research in this paper, the established autonomous buses model is embedded into the simulation platform with VISSIM DLL interface. Models are developed for emission and energy consumption calculation based on the VSP (Vehicle Specific Power) to quantify the environmental impact of autonomous buses. Finally, a VISSIM simulation platform based on the Fourth Ring Road in Beijing (Xueyuan Bridge to Haidian Bridge) is built to conduct case studies. The research results show that CAV technology can facilitate more stable buses operation, reduce exhaust emission, and save energy consumption. With gradually increasing heavy vehicles such autonomous bus and potential future autonomous truck, the environmental benefits of CAV technology would be expected to increase significantly.
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