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Estimating the bus user time benefits of implementing a median busway: Methodology and case study


  • Gibson, Jaime
  • Munizaga, Marcela A.
  • Schneider, Camila
  • Tirachini, Alejandro


This paper presents a general framework to estimate the bus user time benefits of a median busway including the effects on travel time and access time. Unlike previous models, we take into account the effects of geometry and the interaction with the demand structure. Models for predicting the bus in-vehicle time benefits of a median dual carriageway busway against mixed traffic condition on 2 and 3 lanes roads are estimated using data from a case study in Santiago (Chile), using a bus travel time model empirically estimated and considering different base case situations, including mixed traffic operations and bus lanes. Results of the application show that the expected in-vehicle time savings of a median busway might be reduced by access time losses due to increased walking distances and road crossing delays. Also, that net time benefits can vary significantly according to the base situation and the structure of demand considered. These findings point out to the need of including a wider set of impacts when studying the benefits of median busways, beyond in-vehicle time savings only. The empirical work presented here is completely based on passive data coming from GPS and smartcards, what makes easier and cheaper to conduct this type of analysis as well as to do it with a comprehensive scope at an early stage of the development of a BRT project. This framework can be extended to other types of dedicated bus lanes provided that a corresponding bus travel time savings model is available.

Suggested Citation

  • Gibson, Jaime & Munizaga, Marcela A. & Schneider, Camila & Tirachini, Alejandro, 2016. "Estimating the bus user time benefits of implementing a median busway: Methodology and case study," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 72-82.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:84:y:2016:i:c:p:72-82
    DOI: 10.1016/j.tra.2015.07.011

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tirachini, Alejandro & Hensher, David A., 2011. "Bus congestion, optimal infrastructure investment and the choice of a fare collection system in dedicated bus corridors," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 45(5), pages 828-844, June.
    2. Mohring, Herbert, 1972. "Optimization and Scale Economies in Urban Bus Transportation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 591-604, September.
    3. Leonardo J. Basso & Hugo E. Silva, 2014. "Efficiency and Substitutability of Transit Subsidies and Other Urban Transport Policies," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 1-33, November.
    4. Tirachini, Alejandro, 2014. "The economics and engineering of bus stops: Spacing, design and congestion," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 37-57.
    5. Steven I. Chien * & Zhaoqiong Qin, 2004. "Optimization of bus stop locations for improving transit accessibility," Transportation Planning and Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(3), pages 211-227, June.
    6. S. C. Wirasinghe & L. Kattan & M. M. Rahman & J. Hubbell & R. Thilakaratne & S. Anowar, 2013. "Bus rapid transit - a review," International Journal of Urban Sciences, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(1), pages 1-31, March.
    7. Ibeas, Ángel & dell'Olio, Luigi & Alonso, Borja & Sainz, Olivia, 2010. "Optimizing bus stop spacing in urban areas," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 446-458, May.
    8. David Hensher & Thomas Golob, 2008. "Bus rapid transit systems: a comparative assessment," Transportation, Springer, vol. 35(4), pages 501-518, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gschwender, Antonio & Munizaga, Marcela & Simonetti, Carolina, 2016. "Using smart card and GPS data for policy and planning: The case of Transantiago," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 242-249.


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