Benefit

Bus rapid transit (BRT) can reduce transit running times by 38 to 69 percent, increase ridership by 35 to 77 percent, and improve service reliability.


2007
Nationwide; United States


Summary Information

The Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 118: Bus Rapid Transit Practitioner's Guide supports transportation professionals by identifying and assessing the costs, impacts, and effectiveness of bus rapid transit (BRT) components. The Guide covers running ways, stations, vehicles, operating strategies, ITS applications, and branding. ITS applications focus on transit signal priority, transit automatic vehicle location (AVL), security, vehicle guidance, fare payment, and traveler information.

Surveys were conducted with selected transit agencies that implemented or planned to implement BRT systems. Information was collected on ridership, capital and operating costs, community acceptance, associated land-use development, funding support, support for system expansion, improved mobility, quality of service, travel time, comfort, dwell time, reliability, convenience, safety, security, improved frequency, and wait time. The survey data were compared to previous related research (TCRP Report 90) and updated findings were input into the Practitioner's Guide.

FINDINGS

The costs and performance data collected from selected agencies were input into the Practitioner’s Guide and used to model six different BRT development scenarios. The analysis provided a representative example of how agencies can use locally derived data to estimate the costs and impacts of BRT. The following six alternatives were modeled for a 15-mile corridor.
  • Grade-separated busway (14 miles) and central business district (CBD) bus lanes (1 mile)
  • At-grade busway (14 miles) and CBD bus lanes (1 mile)
  • Median arterial busway (5 miles), at-grade busway (5 miles), mixed traffic (4 miles), and CBD bus lanes (1 mile)
  • Bus lanes with transit signal priority (TSP) (10 miles), mixed traffic (4 miles), and CBD bus lanes (1 mile)
  • Bus lanes without TSP (10 miles), mixed traffic (4 miles), and CBD bus lanes (1 mile)

Although the estimated travel times, ridership changes, and costs derived from the model were dependent on the assumptions made for each scenario, the results showed the effects of various running way types and station spacings.
The table below excerpted from Exhibit 5-36 in the report detailed the estimated costs and impacts of each scenario.

EXHIBIT 5-36 Summary of Anticipated BRT Travel Times, Ridership, and Costs
Item
Scenario 1
Grade-Separated
Busway
Scenario 2
At-Grade
Busway
Scenario 3
At-Grade Busway
& Median Arterial
Busway
Scenario 4
Bus Lanes
(Rebuilt)
& TSP
Scenario 5
Bus Lanes
Only
Scenario 6
TSP Only
Existing (base) one-way travel time
94 min
94 min
94 min
94 min
94 min
94 min
BRT in-vehicle travel time
29 min
43 min
48 min
50 min
57 min
58 min
BRT in-vehicle travel time % reduction
69%
54%
49%
47%
39%
38%
Assumed BRT base ridership
10,000
10,000
20,000
8,000
8,000
8,000
Anticipated BRT ridership
17,660
15,700
33,020
11,600
10,885
10,815
Anticipated BRT ridership % increase
77%
57%
65%
45%
36%
35%
Existing local bus ridership
20,000
20,000
20,000
16,000
16,000
16,000
Anticipated local bus ridership
10,000
10,000
-
8,490
8,490
8,000
Estimated development costs*
$242.0 million
$109.4 million
$84.3 million
$40.3 million
$12.5 million
$11.4 million
Note: Numbers have been rounded.
*In 2004 dollars.

Notes:
Previous research can be found in TCRP Report 90 Bus Rapid Transit Volume 1: Case Studies in Bus Rapid Transit, Washington, DC, 2003. http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/tcrp/tcrp_rpt_90v1.pdf

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Source

TCRP Report 118: Bus Rapid Transit Practitioner's Guide

Author: Kittelson & Associates, in association with Herbert S. Levinson Transportation Consultants and DMJM-Harris

Published By: Transit Cooperative Research Program, Transportation Research Board

Sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration

Source Date: 2007

URL: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/tcrp/tcrp_rpt_118.pdf

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Goal Areas

Mobility
Efficiency

Related Metropolitan Integration Links

Link 16a: Transit Management to Arterial Management

Typical Deployment Locations

Metropolitan Areas

Keywords

bus priority, traffic signals, TSP, automated vehicle location, computer aided dispatch, automatic vehicle locator, AVL, CAD, AVL/CAD

Benefit ID: 2009-00612