Title

BENEFITS OF PILOT IMPLEMENTATION OF PUBLIC TRANSPORT SIGNAL PRIORITIES AND REAL-TIME PASSENGER INFORMATION

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2002

Subject Area

infrastructure - vehicle, infrastructure - bus/tram priority, infrastructure - bus/tram priority, planning - surveys, planning - signage/information, land use - impacts, economics - appraisal/evaluation, economics - benefits, technology - passenger information, mode - bus, mode - tram/light rail

Keywords

Vehicle exhaust, Trolley cars, Trams, Telematics, Surveys, Socioeconomic evaluation, Simulation, Ridership, Return on investment, Real time information, Performance, Patronage (Transit ridership), Passenger information systems, Intracity bus transportation, Interviewing, Implementation, Impacts, Helsinki (Finland), Fuel consumption, Exhaust gases, Exhaust emissions, Cost benefit analysis, Computer simulation, Bus transit, Bus priority, Benefits, Benefit cost analysis, Before and after studies, Automotive telematics, Automobile exhaust

Abstract

A public transport telematics system was launched in Helsinki, Finland, in 1999. The system provides several public transport telematics functions such as real-time passenger information, bus and tram priorities at traffic signals, and schedule monitoring. The impacts, socioeconomic benefits, and technical performance of the telematics applications were investigated. The methods included before-and-after field studies, an interview and survey, a simulation, and socioeconomic evaluation. The results indicate that delays at signals were reduced by more than 40%. The regularity and punctuality of the service were considerably improved. On both lines, the number of passengers increased from the level before the system was implemented. The studies indicated reductions of 1% to 5% in fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. The information systems were regarded very positively, and the systems were considered useful. In particular, the information displays on stops were considered necessary and were used often. Most effects were more substantial on the bus line than on the tramline because of the longer intervals between buses and the fact that the tramline already had signal priorities before the system was introduced. The benefit-cost ratio of the system was calculated to be 3.3. For the transport operator, the return on capital increased by 6% on the bus line and decreased by 1% on the tramline.