R R. Maxwell

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - vehicle, infrastructure - bus/tram priority, infrastructure - bus/tram lane, infrastructure - interchange/transfer, land use - planning, ridership - commuting, mode - bus, mode - rail, mode - mass transit, mode - carpool, mode - pedestrian


Walking distance, Transit, Timed transfer, Switzerland, San Francisco Bay Area, Regional planning, Rail transit, Pulsed-hub network, Public transit, Priority lanes, Mass transit, Local transit, Hubs, HOV lanes, High occupancy vehicle lanes, Express buses, Diamond lanes, Case studies, Carpool lanes


Applicability of the cost-effective strategy used in Switzerland that successfully integrates all public transport for the entire country into a multihub timed-transfer system (pulsed-hub network) is investigated using the greater San Francisco Bay Area as an illustrative case study. For the existing and proposed Bay Area rail service routes, the study investigates the optimal repeating (clock-face) base headway for the pulsed-hub network, hub spacing, and locations (ideally adjacent to dense and diverse land uses providing destinations within walking distance, preferably a downtown), and hub station design to minimize transfer walk times. A pulsed-hub network schedule, because of the repeating schedule, can be shown as a schedule map that represents typically a 1-h schedule module. The schedule map, showing the routing and travel times between hubs and the pulse timings by means of a clock face at each hub, becomes a tool to develop the multihub system and to communicate with all stakeholders, including policy makers and the public. The illustrative pulsed-hub network uses existing and proposed rail services and express buses on high-occupancy vehicle lanes. These include the two publicly owned regional rail systems, Bay Area Rapid Transit and the Peninsula Commute Service (Caltrain); the intercity Amtrak-operated Capitol Corridor trains between San Jose, Oakland, and Sacramento (assuming that reliable passenger service can be maintained by freight railway by providing schedule windows for both passenger and freight trains); the proposed Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit and Dumbarton Rail Bridge routes; and the proposed California high-speed trains, currently in environmental review.