|M.Sc Student||Schmidt Roey|
|Subject||Planning a complementary Bus Network for Closed BRT System|
|Department||Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering||Supervisor||Professor Shlomo Bekhor|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
One of the common solutions for increasing bus level of service is to dedicate exclusive right of ways, such as bus lanes or busways. There is a physical separation between the busway and the adjacent lanes, which enables higher bus speeds and frequencies.
However, a separated bus lane limits the capacity of the system, especially when it contains only one lane in each direction. As a result, the passenger capacity of the bus lane is mainly dependent on the vehicle capacity. Larger passenger capacity can be obtained by running larger vehicles such as light rail transit, but it requires a special infrastructure which is very expensive to construct and to maintain. A cheaper option to increase ridership is to increase the supply and attractiveness of bus lines which run in parallel to the bus lane.
In this research, we examine the effects of adding direct bus lines connecting residential areas to the city center. The additional lines run in parallel to the dedicated bus lane. The network used is the existing bus network of the "Krayot" and Haifa bay areas. We examined an addition of direct lines to this network. The design of these lines was based on old direct lines that operated in the area before the establishment of the dedicated bus rapid transit lines (“Metronit”).
We examined the impact of the direct lines by performing various transit assignment models in the TransCad software. The input for this model includes the AM peak demand matrix between origins and destinations, the base public transport network and information on travel times and frequencies. The output of the model contains information about passenger ridership at each line and aggregate travel statistics.
The results showed that the ridership potential could increase by about 15%, by adding direct lines to the existing network. The addition of direct bus lines to the network could be a solution for future growth in travel demand, instead of expensive solutions such as expanding dedicated routes and changing the vehicle technology. In addition, the shift of some passengers to use direct lines stems from the saving of average walking and transfer times in the network (the average travel times have not changed significantly).
The results indicate that reducing the frequencies of feeder lines has negligible impacts on the average travel times. This is because the direct lines can also function as feeder lines, both in terms of routes and in terms of frequencies.
Due to data limitations, this research examined the effects of adding direct lines only from the "Krayot" area to Haifa, during AM peak morning and assuming that the demand matrix is fixed. However, there is a need to examine other directions, other day periods and elastic demand, in order to examine the true attractiveness of the direct lines. Despite these limitations, the present study could function as a guideline for planning direct lines in other areas if the goal is to increase the ridership potential on the main route connecting residential areas to the city center.