Title

System Plan for California's Bay Area Regional Express Bus Service

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2006

Subject Area

infrastructure - vehicle, infrastructure - bus/tram lane, planning - surveys, land use - planning, ridership - commuting, policy - fares, mode - bus, mode - mass transit, mode - carpool

Keywords

Transit, Through highways, Thoroughfares, Thorofares, Teamwork, Systems approach, Systems analysis, System planning, System analysis, Surveys, Strategies, Strategic planning, Stakeholders, San Francisco Bay Area, Regional transportation, Regional planning, Public transit, Priorities, Partnerships, Objectives, Motorways, Mass transit, Main roads, Local transit, Intrastate transportation, Intracity bus transportation, Intergovernmental partnerships, HOV lanes, High occupancy vehicle lanes, Goals, Freeways, Focus groups, Express buses, Cooperation, Controlled access highways, Consensus, Collaboration, Carpool lanes, Bus transit, Boulevards, Arterial streets, Arterial highways

Abstract

Express buses operating on freeways and arterials are an important part of many metropolitan area transit services. A regional express bus system plan for the San Francisco, California, Bay Area is presented; network, station and stop, operations, and user issues are addressed. Previous work had focused on high-occupancy vehicles on freeways; the current work expands the vision of the system to address the door-to-door trip and service on arterials. Gaps in the high-occupancy-vehicle network, priority treatment strategies, access modes and connections, station and stop design, park-and-ride lots, and public and private access services were analyzed, and other user and operator concerns were addressed. The plan was developed through a partnership that included the state transportation agency, the metropolitan planning organization, local transportation sales tax and congestion management agencies, and transit operators, with university researchers providing technical support and facilitation of meetings. On-board surveys and consumer focus groups were conducted along with stakeholder interviews, field studies, design evaluations, and simulation modeling. The plan not only produced valuable information for future improvements but also helped develop a high level of cooperation and consensus among the participating agencies. Both methods used and lessons learned from the Bay Area experience should be useful to other metropolitan areas and transit operators.