• Transportation Research Board

      TRB 96th Annual Meeting

      January 8–12, 2017

    • Interactive Program


Annual Meeting Event Detail

Session 853

Current Research on Bus Rapid Transit Planning, Design, and Operations

Wednesday 10:15 AM- 12:00 PM
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Lectern | AICP Certification | Practice Ready Paper
Thomas Schwetz, Lane Transit District, presiding
Sponsored by:
Standing Committee on Bus Transit Systems (AP050)

This sessions explores current research on bus rapid transit (BRT) planning, design, and operations in the U.S. and abroad. Issues to be discussed include the impact of BRT on residential property values, benefits of dedicated lanes and queue jump lanes, integration with other modes of transportation, accessibility, and station design.

No agenda available


Title Presentation Number
Does Combining Transit Signal Priority with Dedicated Bus Lanes or Queue Jump Lanes at Multiple Intersections Create Multiplier Effects?
Long Truong, Monash University
Graham Currie, Monash University
Mark Wallace, Monash University
Chris De Gruyter, Monash University

There has been an extensive body of literature dealing with the design and operation of public transport (PT) priority measures. However, there is a need to understand whether providing transit signal priority with dedicated bus lanes (TSPwDBL) or transit signal priority with queue jump lanes (TSPwQJL) at multiple intersections creates a multiplier effect on PT benefits. If the benefit from providing priority together at multiple intersections is greater than the sum of benefits from providing priority separately at each of those individual intersections, a multiplier effect exists. This paper explores the effects of providing TSPwDBL or TSPwQJL at multiple intersections on bus delay savings and person delay savings. Simulation results reveal that providing TSPwDBL or TSPwQJL at multiple intersections may create a multiplier effect on one-directional bus delay savings, particularly when signal offsets provide bus progression for that direction. In general, the multiplier effect may result in a 5-8% increase in bus delay savings for each additional intersection with TSPwDBL or TSPwQJL. A possible explanation is that TSPwDBL and TSPwQJL can reduce the variations in bus travel times and thus enable signal offsets, which account for bus progression, to perform even better. Furthermore, results show limited evidence of the existence of a multiplier effect on person delay savings, particularly for TSPwQJL with offsets that favour person delay savings. A policy implication of these findings is that considerable PT benefits can be achieved through providing both time and space priority in combination on a corridor-wide scale.

Comparing Chinese and Non-Chinese Bus Rapid Transit: Evidence from Evaluation of Global BRT Based on BRT Design Indicators
Pablo Guarda, World Resources Institute (WRI)
Juan Velasquez, World Resources Institute (WRI)
Thet Hein Tun, World Resources Institute
Xumei Chen, China Academy of Transportation Sciences
zhong guo, China Academy of Transportation Sciences

Over the past eleven years, China has added bus rapid transit (BRT) corridors at a faster pace than any other part of the world.  As the number of BRT systems in Chinese cities continues to increase, it is critical to identify the key factors that influence the operation performance and service quality of the BRT systems. In this paper we formulate a methodology to compare the design quality of BRT systems in Chinese and non-Chinese cities using evaluated scores of various BRT corridors based on the set of indicators obtained from The BRT Standard (2013 and 2014 editions), developed by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP). The database includes experts’ assessments of more than 99 BRT corridors, in 59 cities and 21 countries around the world, and is publicly available online. We use the Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) method to test if the BRT score differences were statistically significant between the Chinese BRT and non-Chinese BRT systems, in order to identify strengths and opportunities to improve in Chinese BRT systems. Our results show that on average, BRT systems in Chinese cities scored significantly lower than those in other countries. This result can be explained by Chinese systems’ low scores in design indicator categories such as Integration and Access, a category that evaluates the level of integration with other modes of transportation, pedestrian access and universal accessibility, and Infrastructure, which measures design features of bus stations.


KEYWORDS: Public transport, Bus Rapid Transit, BRT, ANOVA, The BRT Standard

Southeastern BRT Network in Brisbane, Australia: How Much Is Added to Residential House Values as a Result of the Network Effect?
Corinne Mulley, University of Sydney
Breno Sampaio, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco
Liang Ma, University of Sydney

The objective of this paper is to identify how much is added to residential land values through the provision of bus rapid transit (BRT) in Brisbane, Australia both in terms of increases to land values because of the BRT system itself and the value of the network effect as a result of incremental additions to the transport infrastructure which is a much more common feature of Australian cities. Difference-in-differences (DD) models are employed to explore whether there are significant differences between the treatment group (properties close to busway stations) and the control group (properties not close to the busway stations) in terms of housing price changes (first difference), before and after the opening of busway stations (second difference). Two types of control groups are defined using conventional buffer methods and propensity score matching. The model results show increases in property prices due to better accessibility to busways themselves on the one hand and additional additions to the value of land through the network effect of access to a greater service area as the BRT network is developed. The paper reports how different methods of identifying control areas to match given treatment areas result in different results and discusses the implications of this for a literature which has a variety of different methods established for research.

San Pablo Corridor Rapid, California: Planning and 10 Years' Operations Experience
Peter Martin, CDM Smith
Nathan Landau, Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit)

The San Pablo Rapid bus service was planned 17 years ago and was implemented 13 years ago.  The Rapid service, which does not include exclusive lanes is an upgrade of prior limited stop bus service linking the East Bay communities of San Pablo, Richmond, El Cerrito, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville and Oakland California.  Its 14 years of service provides some lessons learned for other communities that are considering BRT lite type of service upgrades.  The service was quick to implement and very low cost, but has not provided the anticipated ridership benefits.  The upgrades apparently were not significant enough to attract ridership increases.  The TPS elements were not well maintained and thus have not provided the desired travel time and reliability benefits.  AC Transit which operates the service and the corridor communities are currently re-looking at further upgrades to the service.  This Rapid service is well used, but more pronounced improvements appear needed to fulfill ridership potentials in the corridor.  The lessons learned are that minor upgrades can be easily implemented, but that noticeable changes seem required to achieve significant ridership gains.