Title

CROSS-TOWN BUS ROUTES AS A SOLUTION FOR DECENTRALIZED TRAVEL: A COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS FOR MONTERREY, MEXICO

Authors

M B. El-Hifnawi

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2002

Subject Area

operations - capacity, operations - traffic, planning - route design, land use - planning, ridership - drivers, ridership - growth, economics - profitability, economics - profitability, place - cbd, place - low density, mode - bus, mode - subway/metro

Keywords

Welfare economics, Travel patterns, Transportation planning, Transit riders, Traffic speed, Traffic capacity, Suburbs, Rush hour, Ridership, Radial travel, Profitability, Productivity, Production rate, Population growth, Peak hour traffic, Patronage (Transit ridership), Monterrey (Mexico), Metropolitan areas, Highway capacity, Downtowns, Decentralization, Cost benefit analysis, Conurbations, City centers, Central business districts, Case studies, Bus routes, Bus operators, Bus drivers, Benefit cost analysis, Automobile drivers

Abstract

In many metropolitan regions, employment has become less concentrated in central business districts (CBD) and instead is dispersed throughout the region. The resulting decentralized travel patterns have led transit authorities to complement traditional radial networks, where all transit routes radiate from the CBD, with cross-town transit routes from one suburb to another. In all cross town-routes, neither end of the bus line originates in the CBD. Peripheral cross-town routes totally bypass the CBD. This article uses an urban transportation planning model to simulate the productivity gains or losses in the transit system in Monterrey, Mexico following the introduction of new cross-town routes. The financial productivity and economic viability of the transit lines are analyzed by measuring the welfare gains and losses to bus riders, automobile users and bus operators. Monterrey is typical of many developing cities because of its high rate of growth in population and automobile ownership and limited road capacity. Analysis of morning peak-hour travel indicates that the introduction of cross-town routes resulted in time and monetary savings for their users. Redeploying buses from radial routes to cross-town ones reduced congestion and resulted in slightly higher travel speeds, which also benefited automobile users. Bus operators forego the revenues on eliminated transfers without any corresponding reduction in operating costs. Radial route users also suffer due to reduced frequencies of buses on the radial routes. In cases where bus companies are not earning economic rents, a redistribution of the gains may be required for the sustainability of the new service. Results suggest that there are large variations in productivity and profitability among the cross-town routes. Routes operating close to the periphery of the city and far from the CBD have the highest levels of ridership and productivity.

Comments

Transportation Research Part A Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/09658564