Overview of Rapid Bus Measures and Effectiveness
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Overview of Rapid Bus Measures and Effectiveness And Case Studies. Presentation to TAC June 17, 2009. Agenda. Priority Bus Elements and Their Potential Effectiveness PCN Corridor Segmentation PCN Goals, Objectives and Measures of Effectiveness. Features of Priority Bus.

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Overview of Rapid Bus Measures and Effectiveness

And Case Studies

Presentation to TAC

June 17, 2009

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  • Priority Bus Elements and Their Potential Effectiveness

  • PCN Corridor Segmentation

  • PCN Goals, Objectives and Measures of Effectiveness

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Features of Priority Bus

  • Exclusive or semi-exclusive lanes

  • Fewer stops

  • Off-board fare collection

  • Traffic signal priority

  • Real time information

  • Branding

  • Level boarding

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Projects and Case Studies

  • Springfield, MA

  • Los Angeles Metro Rapid (Red Line)

  • Los Angeles Orange Line

  • New York +selectbus

  • Kansas City

  • Silver Line - Boston

  • Salt Lake City (SR 171 / 3500 South)

  • Las Vegas

  • Cleveland

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Springfield MA

Project Overview

  • First transit vehicle priority system in region

  • Four Mile - Sumner Ave/ Allen Ave Corridor

  • Includes 9 existing traffic signal locations

  • Facilitate direct service to downtown area

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Transit Priority

Priority differs from preemption in that the controller never leaves coordination and no phases are skipped during an event.

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Springfield MA

Project Objective

  • Desire to provide improved express transit service along existing bus route

  • Reduce Congestion

  • Reduce VMT/Emissions

  • Improved Schedule Adherence

  • Increase Ridership

  • Efficient implementation of system on limited budget

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Springfield MA

  • Route length: 15 miles

  • Schedule: 50 trips/day

Existing PVTA G1 Route

(Non – Express)

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Springfield MA

PVTA G1 Express Route

  • Route Length: 8.0 miles

  • Schedule: 10 trips/day

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Springfield MA - Benefits

  • Travel time

  • Sumner Ave

    • 4miles, 3 min saved

  • Downtown

    • 4 miles, 10 min saved

  • Congestion Ratio

    • Before: 1.23

    • After: 1.14

  • Ridership + 8%

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LA Metro Rapid

As of 12/2008:

  • 26 Metro Rapid lines

  • 400 miles of service

  • 250,000 weekday boardings

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Ventura Blvd Performance

Topanga Canyon to Vineland, 14 miles

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Conclusions from Ventura Boulevard

  • Travel times reduced 23%

  • One-third of savings due to traffic signal priority

  • Two-thirds of savings due to lane priority and fewer stops

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New York City +selectbusservice

Source: Woodford, et al (2009)

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New York +selectbusserviceOverview

  • Local funding

  • Dedicated curb lane

  • Transit signal priority

  • Off-board fare collection

  • Leading bus interval

  • Customer ambassadors

  • On-board cameras

  • Branding

  • New stations

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New York +selectbusserviceFirst Implementation – Bx12 - Fordham Road

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New York +selectbusserviceBx12 – SBS 6-Month Outcomes

  • 18-20% improvement in running time,

  • Ridership increased 11%

  • Customer response:

    • 89% say SBS service is better than the limited.

    • 30% say that they are riding more frequently than before

    • 68% say that paying on the street is more convenient

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New York +selectbusserviceLane Configuration

Between stations

At stations

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Kansas City BRT Metro Area Express (MAX)

TRB BRT Conference, July 21, 2008

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KC MAX Bus-Only Lanes

  • Street Capacity Available

  • Peak Hour Bus-Only Lanes

  • Full –Time Bus-Only Lane Downtown

  • Bus-Only Lanes 52% of MAX

  • Meets FTA “Fixed Guideway Requirement” for New Starts

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KC MAX Results

  • MAX opened in July 2005

  • Ridership up 50%

    • Pre-MAX: 3200/day

    • Current: Over 6000/day

  • High Level of Public Acceptance and Satisfaction

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KC Traffic signal priority

  • Upgraded controllers and interconnect (fiber)

  • New signal timings

  • TSP when >1 min. late

  • No Operator Interaction

  • Goal: 60 % to 70% TSP granted

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KC MAX Street Operations

  • 7 days per week

  • 4:30 AM to midnight

  • 9 minute headways AM & PM

  • 15 minute headways midday, Saturday, events

  • 30 minute headway nights and Sundays

  • Plaza to Downtown: 18 minutes down from 24 minutes

  • Local bus service paired with MAX in corridor

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LV Travel Time Results

Average Weekday Travel Times (min)

on Route 113 and MAX by Time of Day

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LV Dwell Time Results

Average Weekday Dwell Times (sec)

on Route 113 and MAX by Time of Day

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Use of Exclusive or Semi-Exclusive Lanes

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Observed Priority Bus Station Spacings

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On-Board vs. Off-BoardFare Collection

Bus Passenger Service Times (sec/passenger)

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PCN Evaluation Analytical Approach

  • Divide each PCN corridor into “segments” of no less than two miles

  • Compile characteristics of each segment (number of lanes, density, etc.) and characterize segment by adjacent urban form (urban, inter suburban and outer suburban)

  • Develop list of enhancements by investment level (high, medium or low) and adjacent urban form

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Analytic Approach (continued)

  • Develop benefits per bus treatment (increased bus speed from TSP, queue jumps, exclusive lanes etc)

  • After initial “full build” model run identify PCN characteristics to be applied to each segment

  • Input into model for “modified” network

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Corridor Segmentation Methodology

  • Decision factors for where to cut segments:

    • Always cut at intersections

    • Number of lanes, particularly a change from 3 to fewer, and functional classification

    • Household and Employment Density

    • Area Type (as defined by model, compilation of household and employment density)

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Corridor Segmentation Methodology (continued)

  • Recorded additional corridor and segment characteristics

    • WMATA routes and local bus routes

    • Available median and/or parking lanes

    • Transit ridership

    • Effective headway

    • Availability of existing park and ride locations

  • Characterized each segment by urban form

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Segment Overview

  • 24 Corridors

  • Approximately 233 miles as roughly measured in GIS

  • 120 segments

  • Average segment length is 1.95

    • Originally planned for segments to be ≤ 2 miles

  • Some portions of the corridors go off the main corridor at beginning and/or end to reach Metrorail Station or transfer center

  • Will be separating those from the main portion of the corridor.

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Next Steps to go from Segments to Characteristics

Review segments with TAC

Determine recommended improvements for each type of urban form for each level of investment.

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Review of Draft Segmentation

  • Review Handout of Segmentation Characteristics and Definitions

  • Provide feedback

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Project Goals

Goal 1: Improve competitiveness of bus transit

Goal 2: Support existing and planned land use and economic development

Goal 3: Improve efficiency of transportation system

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Project Goals

Goal 1: Improve competitiveness of bus transit

Goal 2: Support existing and planned land use and economic development

Goal 3: Improve efficiency of transportation system

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Goal 1 Improve Competitiveness of Bus Transit



1.1: Increase average bus speed

1.2: Increase bus ridership

1.3: Increase number of jobs that are accessible by a 45 minute transit trip.

1.4: Improve travel time of transit relative to auto

  • Percent increase in average peak period bus speed

  • Percent increase in average off-peak bus speed

  • Percent change in average travel time per passenger

  • Annual passenger travel time saved

  • Percent increase in average peak period bus ridership

  • Percent increase in average off-peak bus ridership

  • Percent change in regional bus ridership

  • Percent of jobs within 45 minutes by transit to households

  • The ratio of transit travel time to auto travel time

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Goal 2Support Land Use & Economic Development



2.1: Provide transit service within walking distance of existing and planned households and jobs.

  • Increase the number of households within ½ mile of express bus stops

  • Percent of households within 45 minutes by bus to job centers

  • Increase the number of jobs within ½ mile of express bus stops

  • Percent of jobs within 45 minutes by bus to corridor households

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Goal 3Improve Efficiency of System



3.1: Maximize utilization of roadways by people

3.2: Reduce the cost of providing bus service

3.3: Increase average speed for bus passengers in corridors

3.4: Maintain auto passenger speed within corridors

3.5: Improve speed for all passenger trips in corridors

3.6: Reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT)

  • People served per new lane

  • People served per converted lane

  • Bus hours needed for service

  • Number of buses needed

  • % change in bus passenger times for trips through and within all corridors

  • % change in auto passenger times for trips through and within all corridors

  • % change in times for all (auto and bus) trips through and corridors

  • % change in bus VMT

  • % change in auto VMT