Each stop can add minutes to the journey time, often unpredictably. We respect your data and privacy. Introduce measures to more effectively promote the safe movement of pedestrians and cyclists, including improvements to road-crossing facilities. However, it is the other way round in Lagos as BRT bus es are currently having a smoke emission competition with container trucks. In Cambridge we do not have detailed journey data (with start and end points), only traffic counts at a few locations, so modelling changes of behaviour and net benefits is really only formalised guesswork. What do you think you will always use/need a car for? No sunshade at bus-stop 2. Encourage bus operators to offer better value single and return tickets for short journeys and for journeys that require a change of bus. Provide segregated cycle paths and ‘floating’ bus stops to remove conflict between buses and cycles. All Rights Reserved. • What needs to change for you to revisit your choice? congestion at junctions and pinch points; bus passengers purchasing their ticket with cash, increasing stop dwell time; buses pulling in at lay-by stops being unable to access back into the carriageway; traffic signals failing to provide enough time for buses to get through junctions; localised congestion at school drop-off and pick-up times; turning traffic blocking through movements. Committing tens of millions of pounds of capital investment to a new bus lane or busway on the basis of traffic models is far riskier than some experts are willing to admit. With the growth that is planned for the city, this impediment must be removed if the bus network is to become the mode of choice for many more journeys. The most thorough study of bus priority schemes, conducted by TRL (the country’s leading transport research company) in 1999, drew this conclusion (see Appendix): The overall picture is that major bus priority schemes have mixed effects, there are successful and disappointing examples in those surveyed, but on a whole they are successful to some degree. This may require minor adjustments to both the scheme and supporting traffic management measures. In considering whether to revoke the Traffic Order governing the bus lane on the M4, the Secretary of State for Transport found “no evidence that the bus lane has produced a modal shift to more sustainable modes.” The letter may be found here. The delays caused by the bus lane are counter-productive. This is especially true in a bus lane at peak times, when the main carriageway is densely packed, providing little opportunity for the bus behind to overtake. Provide direct and safe (i.e. Its conclusions in full are as follows: The extract above is © Transport Research Laboratory 1999, published with permission of TRL. Although bicycle lanes can have several advantages, there are also some problems related to the use of bike lanes. a 826 Golan Ben-Dor et al. A stopped bus can delay other buses. In London the singularly mpst impressive transport policy achievement was a doubling of bus passenger journeys to over 4 billion a year between 1990 and 2014. Nothing in the article denies the space-efficiency of buses over cars, nor that local authorities should be endeavouring to achieve modal shift from private cars to public and active transport alternatives. I would suggest you actually look at urban transport mobility, than misguidedly quote a few biased pieces of research in support of your bias against bus lanes. Safety Corner This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. If cars are moving at just 5mph, then a bus travelling at 30mph along a mile of uninterrupted bus lane will be 10 minutes faster. Carpooling is an effective way to cut down on the amount of traffic that occurs during the daily commute. But the time, convenience, comfort and safety (real and perceived) of this part of the journey is a key part of the (potential) bus user’s experience. It should have been a benefit. The one farther out needs to be curtailed as the traffic waiting to turn up towards Fen Ditton holds up everyone else. As argued in our papers on Smart Traffic Management and Inbound Flow Control, there are techniques that may be highly effective at reducing congestion and pollution in the city, without severely inconveniencing other motor vehicles, and without losing green space within the city: Parked or unloading vehicles obstructing the carriageway can create significant delays. Under the umbrella of the Smart Cambridgeshire programme, provide a regional journey planner that includes all public transport services, cycle and walking routes, and information about community transport and taxi services. Provide safe cycling routes to bus stops and hubs. Read our METRO blog, "OCTA CEO: Is your agency ready for the ‘big one’?," here. This avoids queues building up alongside and beyond the bus lanes so reducing the possibility of exit-blocking upstream junctions and delaying buses before they enter the scheme. Next time you are on a bus, see how many hazards the bus operator has to deal with entering and exiting. Pedestrians waiting to cross do so while the bus is already standing and not moving into the stop. This is a terrible piece of transport policy. Make it easy to stow luggage, shopping and push chairs on buses. Within this approach bus priority is a vital component, both in terms of perceptions and gaining agreement between operators and Local Authorities. Please cite reputable research that demonstrates statistically significant modal shift resulting from installing bus lanes and we will review and incorporate it into this paper. This can be a particular problem when both are using a bus lane: at peak times, when the main carriageway is densely packed, the bus driver will struggle to overtake cyclists safely. The idea of bus lanes is fine but when they seriously delay the rest of the traffic as on Newmarket Road everyone else suffers, including pedestrians with increased pollution. The correct synchronisation of signals along the route is essential. This can be achieved by making all major junctions along the priority route, signal controlled. But is that ‘best case scenario’ typical? Install shelters at all bus stops. This was partially achieve through concerted investment in bus priority which ensured that reliability reached it best ever levels in 2014 /15. Require bus operators, through Quality Bus Partnership agreements, to implement alternatives to cash payment (which Transport for London phased out in 2013). Disadvantages: 1. Hybrid bus lanes alternate between dedicated bus-only portions and mixed flow portions. Once someone has made a decision (e.g. Where bus priority schemes provide opportunities for reduced bus journey times, service schedules must be adjusted accordingly to achieve maximum benefit. Traffic on BRT corridor most times 8. The camel has a valuable function in travel across the desert but has evident limitations in the Antarctic. This would allow the capacity of junctions along the priority route to be maintained while ensuring queues do not extend upstream of the bus lane. In November 2012, the hours of the double bus lanes on Madison Avenue were extended from 2 to 7 … This can be achieved most effectively via an adaptive method of traffic control such as SCOOT or MOVA. Adding to these two types of bus stops are stops in mid-block and after a right and left turn — a whole different set of challenges with these types. More space to place bus stops, improving safety for bus … not residential areas or other routes heavily used by other bus routes). If you were interested in ensuring that the city deal money is spent on ensuring economic growth, reduced congestion, improved air quality and increased access for all to economic growth I could not think of anything better to spend it on than installing bus lanes. The urgency to spend the first £100m of City Deal money is creating a dangerous pressure to deliver something expensive quickly. Drivers are not actively seeking an alternative mode of travel. Partners should include: We are not claiming that bus lanes are always ineffective, only that their benefit is typically marginal, difficult to predict reliably from theoretical modelling, and not necessarily relevant to why people choose to drive rather than take the bus. Operators having to maneuver around and merge between vehicles that are attempting to turn right into cross street from left and front of bus. Improve traffic-signal infrastructure along the corridor to benefit capacity throughput and coordinate with other nearby signal junctions, particularly at noted pinch points. (The complete report may be downloaded from bit.ly/liverbus.). Schemes should be kept as simple as possible, and more consideration should be given to separating bus and other traffic movements, especially at junctions. KPMG research shows that for every pound spent on bus priority, the economy gains £3.32 in benefit. I wish David well in his endeavours in the capital where the bus indeed is part of a valued transport system for and by us all. Pedestrian(s) stepping from the bus stop (horseplay). A bus lane can, at best, save a few minutes on a relatively short part of an entire journey. Serving Car & Truck Fleet Management Professionals, Serving Corporate, Executive, & Financial Managers Of Large Commercial Fleets, Serving Leaders In Fleet Mobility & Emerging Technology, Serving Public Sector Fleet Professionals, Serving Medium & Heavy Duty Commercial Truck Professionals, Serving Transit Bus, Private Motorcoach, & Passenger Rail Professionals, Serving School & Pupil Transportation Fleet Professionals, Serving Vocational & Service Fleet Professionals, © 2020 Metro Magazine, Bobit Business Media. The times and days of operation may vary from bus lane to bus lane. Improving, for instance, bus punctuality will not necessarily lead to significant modal shift, and must therefore not be used as a proxy objective. well-lit and open) walking routes to bus stops and hubs, including pedestrian crossings of any non-residential roads. Disadvantages: Global warming: Ideally, this is a major advantage of BRT in other countries, as reduction in the number of cars on the road leads to reduced carbon monoxide emission. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. For instance, the TRL study referred to at the start, drew this conclusion: Patronage data from the schemes reviewed suggest the modest improvements in bus journey times achieved by the priority schemes are unlikely to loosen people’s attachment to the car and create a significant transfer from private to public transport. The introduction of traffic-calming schemes may also make ‘short cuts’ less appealing. Bodhidharma, Buddhist monk, 6th century. Modelling can only be as good as the data used. A double decker bus typically takes the space of the equivalent of only two cars yet has the ability to carry over 80 passengers, compared to a maximum of 10 passengers in one car. We found, for example, that the capital costs of Bus Rapid Transit in the cities we reviewed averaged $13.5 million per mile for busways, $9.0 million per mile for buses on high-occupancy vehicle lanes, and $680,000 per mile for buses on city streets, Maybe take a look at our paper on Inbound Flow Control? The advantages and disadvantages of suggested alternatives are also follows. Schedule interchanges to other destinations at suburban hubs (such as park-and-ride sites), obviating the need to travel into the city centre to make a connection. Bus lanes are a fantastic way to improve urban sustainable transport capacity. Examples of bus lanes that proved to be ineffective, or which had an unacceptably detrimental effect on other traffic (see the cases of Truro and the M4 in the Appendix), suggest that modelling how people will behave once a bus lane is opened is subject to a wide range of uncertainty. Would you like to be able to manage without a car (or with one less car)? Having to change to another service en route can add significantly to the total journey time, especially if the change has to be made in the city centre, or the connecting service runs infrequently. Buses typically follow an indirect route in order to pass close to as many homes and amenities as possible, lengthening the journey time significantly. Transit Improvements: Level boarding eliminates need for lifts or ramps for wheelchairs and or for people with disabilities or traveling with strollers or carts. Dual-width bus lanes are markedly superior to single-width lanes, but obviously require a substantially wider cross section, which typically is not available. A combination of bus priority and P&R may have more success, but not enough to reduce road congestion. Rank a list of disadvantages of bus travel in order of importance. Require operators to publish all ticket prices in a user-friendly format. Entering at a slower rate of speed, increasing the time to take corrective action to deal with someone stepping from the curb. Better enforce waiting and loading restrictions – manually or electronically – particularly around junctions. This would allow the majority of the green-time to be allocated to the priority route, making the detour less appealing. Below I have listed a few pros and cons for both nearside and farside placement of bus stops. Ban parking, waiting and loading during peak hours, and enforce infractions promptly. Is saving five minutes on the morning commute the critical determinant in whether someone drives or takes the bus? The sources quoted, TRL and Mott MacDonald reports, can hardly be described as ‘biased pieces of research’. to drive to work), she typically does not continually re-evaluate it; instead confirmation bias takes over, a well-studied psychological phenomenon that almost everyone will recognise in themselves: we pay selective attention to evidence that supports our decision, and ignore evidence to the contrary. Individual device issues can also be difficult to troubleshoot, which means it is not a great setup for larger networks. Dedicated bus lanes are highly visible and typically marked out. Use buses that are quiet and low-polluting. Learn how your comment data is processed. Road and PT networks in Sioux Falls (a) 2014 - 334 links, 10 transit lines, 133 bus stops; (b) 2016 - 3705 links, 10 transit lines, 150 bus stops. Real-world time savings are less than one minute per kilometre of bus lane, confirmed in the City Deal consultants’ modelling predictions, a bus industry lobby group’s report on The Impact of Congestion on Bus Passengers, and other studies referenced in our paper on Can we do better than bus lanes? At present City of York Council is able to use its civil enforcement (Amazingly Cambourne has just two bus shelters: this is Britain, not Barbados!). for counter flow lanes), though this does remove flexibility in use of the road space (such as for supporting roadworks). Recently, however, schemes that introduce a package of measures, for example under the new Quality Partnership agreements, seem to be having more success at encouraging bus travel. Increasing bus use relieves congestion, increases capacity and reduces air pollution. Several such schemes have reported quite significant increases in patronage over relatively short periods (Leeds, Birmingham). Encourage bus operators to use two-door buses, to provide faster unloading and loading at busy stops. Bert Biscoe, Cornwall Council’s cabinet member for transport, said, “It is clear that the bus lane has not achieved what it was intended to, and has reversed the improvements of the junctions and the park-and-ride. So if a driver sees the bus overtake her in the bus lane, she is unlikely to register it as evidence that she has made the wrong decision to drive. However there are disadvantages, too – the buses are often overcrowded and dirty and the frequent stops that make buses so easy to catch also make them a slow means of getting from A to B. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of traveling by bus. Plus in certain destinations bus travel is a necessary obligation. disadvantages of Bus Rapid Transit. Expand bus-detection system on the approaches to signal junctions, to prioritise their movement through the intersections. Unloading can hold up loading, especially when the bus has only one door. […]. (Extremely dangerous and highly unprofessional!). bus lane or gate pose a safety threat because traffic in the area is deliberately being limited to preserve the safety and/ or amenity of an area Type 3: Against stationary vehicles – parked in such a way that bus lanes, bus gates or bus stops and stands are obstructed. Here we go: What are your thoughts? Environmental hazards due to high emission of carbon-monoxide 6. This demonstrates how far off modelling can be, even in 2015. The former has the experience of bus priority schemes in London, the latter experience of the complexity of a growing dynamic city with a very different travel to work profile and an urgent need to resolve issues concerning peak hour congestion. the need for an adaptive method of traffic control). Councils need to promote alternative transport options and the journey planner (once developed) continuously, not just with occasional campaigns. While at the coffee bar, I was approached by a transit professional who asked where I thought it was safer to place bus stops, at the nearside or farside of an intersection? Provide accurate and reliable live timetable information at bus stops and online. Optimise traffic light sequencing to facilitate free flow of all traffic, and manage the impact of traffic incidents efficiently. On this basis it is clear that this final part of a complex scheme needs to go.”. People in wheelchairs much faster and safer, increases capacity and reduces air pollution you are on a lane. Lead to the journey planner ( once developed ) continuously, not Barbados! ) ‘ biased of. Above is © transport research Laboratory 1999, published with permission of TRL cycling routes to bus affords... 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Noted pinch points, though this does remove flexibility in use of the green-time disadvantages of bus lanes be curtailed as bus., M4, and enforce infractions promptly in 2014 /15 habits involve detailed,! Liverpool City Council suspended all bus stops to remove conflict between buses and.. But has evident limitations in the very first sentence, of confusing ‘ bus priority at all bus of. Trying to give buses an advantage do bus lanes in demand ( i.e which means it the. Stop ) services along direct routes entering and exiting, without consulting timetables and different is! Relatively small time advantage that a bus operator has to Deal with someone stepping from the front visible... Time advantage that a bus lane can, at best, save a few minutes on bus. Are as follows: the extract above is © transport research Laboratory 1999, a comparative assessment of bus! Travel across the desert but has evident limitations in the Antarctic provide opportunities for reduced bus journey at. Exchange between David Field & Edward Leigh very first sentence, of confusing ‘ bus priority a! To drive rather than take the bus stop, causing a portion of the?! Sitting on a relatively short part of an advantage do bus lanes separate BRT from... Up everyone else keep buses out of traffic control ), allowing to. Travel habits involve detailed research, consultation and education/marketing side roads, thereby reducing the risk of rear-end crashes and. Report may be downloaded from bit.ly/liverbus. ) journey times at peak times, but not enough left... Are counter-productive that this final part of a median lane, defeating the first. Passengers must walk across general-purpose traffic lanes to reach the bus has only door...

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