Public transit agencies and city departments of transportation are increasingly seeking to improve bus performance by modifying streets and changing operational strategies. Many of these initiatives, such as dedicated transit lanes, bus bulbs, and traffic signal preemption, can take years to plan and implement, in particular when procurements and construction are required. Some cities and transportation agencies have adopted nimbler approaches to street re-design and bus service improvements. Inspired by the tactical urbanism movement, (which uses low-cost, temporary changes to the built environment, usually in cities) they have used “quick-build” projects to improve bus performance before or in lieu of undertaking more complex, costly, and lengthy projects. They have also used quickly implemented pilot programs to test out operational strategies.
Quick-build projects have been defined as those that are led by a city government or other public agency; installed roughly within 1 to 2 years of the start of planning; planned with the expectation that they may undergo change after installation; and built using materials that allow such changes (Quick Builds for Better Streets: A New Project Delivery Model for U.S. Cities, National Association of City Transportation Officials, 2016). Often times the materials used in quick-build projects are inexpensive, such as paint, plastic cones, and bollards, which can be used to redefine street lanes or sidewalks for pedestrians, bus passengers, bicyclist, and automobiles.
The objective of this research was to develop guidance to assist transit agencies and other key stakeholders such as cities, and state and local DOTs to develop and implement quick-build projects that improve bus transportation services including speed, reliability, access, and quality of service.
The research is completed and recommended for publication. The final report will be will be published summer 2019.