Evaluation of bus operations by microsimulation in a Sydney CBD corridor

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

economics - appraisal/evaluation, place - cbd, mode - bus


More than 600 buses enter the Sydney CBD from the Harbour Bridge during the peak periods, causing severe congestion and long delays for passengers in the York Street – Clarence Street corridors and around the Wynyard and Queen Victoria bus terminals. The demand is expected to increase significantly in the next five years raising serious doubts whether the corridor can accommodate this growth.

The Transport Data Centre (TDC), in cooperation with AECOM, undertook a study to analyse the bus operations in the corridor and to evaluate various alternative operational and traffic management scenarios in order to accommodate the expected growth in bus numbers. The AIMSUN microsimulation software package was used as the most appropriate modelling platform, using data from the Sydney Strategic Travel Model (STM) and the SCATS traffic signal control system. This paper presents an overview of the study, focusing on the difficulties encountered in modelling such high levels of bus congestion, and the innovative solutions used to overcome those difficulties and to present the findings. The paper presents the conclusions of the study and the recommendations on how to accommodate the future growth while maximising the public transport performance and minimising the economic and environmental impacts.