The National Academies

TCRP A-23A [Final]

Cost and Effectiveness of Selected Bus Rapid Transit Components

  Project Data
Funds: $300,000
Research Agency: Kittleson & Associates, Inc
Principal Investigator: Alan Danaher
Effective Date: 10/20/2003
Completion Date: 9/30/2006

Recently completed TCRP Project A-23, Implementation Guidelines for Bus Rapid Transit Systems, provides planning and implementation guidelines for development of bus rapid transit (BRT) systems. The guidelines cover the main components of BRT systems, including running ways, stations, traffic controls, vehicles, intelligent transportation system (ITS) strategies, bus operations, fare collection, and marketing. In addition, detailed case studies are provided for 26 operational or planned BRT systems in the United States and abroad.

Information is becoming available from BRT projects on the cost of implementing the various BRT components and their effectiveness. Obtaining and evaluating this information would be useful to a number of transit systems to help determine whether some of these selected BRT components are sufficiently cost-effective for application.

The objective of this project is to determine the costs, impacts, and effectiveness of implementing selected BRT components.

Major BRT components to be addressed in this project shall include the following: (1) use of exclusive right-of-way, including busways, exclusive lanes, and "by-pass" lanes for buses at congested intersections ("queue jumping") to reduce vehicle running time; (2) use of more limited-stop service including express service and skip-stopping; (3) application of ITS technology such as signal priority, AVL systems, system security, and customer information; (4) use of advanced technology vehicles (e.g., articulated buses, modern propulsion systems, more accessible vehicles, and low-floor buses), and new specially-designed vehicles with doors on each side; (5) design of stations; (6) use of off-board, fare-payment smart cards or proof-of- payment systems; (7) "branding" the system; (8) use of vehicle guidance systems (mechanical, electronic, or optical); and (9) other strategies that enhance customer satisfaction.

Impacts of BRT components should include, but not be limited to, the effects on the implementing transit systems, the community, and the political structure. The research will review the BRT demonstration projects currently underway or planned in the United States, other similar projects throughout the world, and bus systems that employ the components described above.

Status:  The revised final report has been published as
TCRP Report 118 and TCRP Web-Only Document 39.

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