Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - australasia, mode - bus, ridership - growth, technology - geographic information systems, policy - congestion, policy - environment


bus network review, planning, inclusive, opportunity to grow bus markets, buy-in


Despite an overwhelming case for the redevelopment of historically based bus networks, reviews are difficult to implement because of limited funding, equity concerns, complex technical challenges, difficulty communicating technical issues to stakeholders and the potential displacement of existing users. This paper describes a bus network review process designed in Melbourne, Australia to address these issues. The process adopts evidence based planning and achieves a consensus of outcomes using an inclusive design process adopting advanced analysis tools to communicate technical issues effectively to a non-technical audience.
Previous research does not directly address the practical implementation of bus review processes and tends to either focus on short term bus planning approaches or consider theoretical applications with limited practical value.
The bus network review process developed is based on strategic studies aimed at opportunities to grow bus markets. The process is highly consultative to build stakeholder ‗buy-in‘ and adopts a two stage program (1. problem identification inputs and 2. draft network review inputs) using nominal group techniques to ensure inclusive participation and quantification of outputs. The review process uses a simple to understand hierarchy approach to review services including assessment of Access, Time Factors, Ease of Use, Safety and Awareness. Graphical techniques including GIS are adopted for clear and simple presentation of technical outputs.
The process has been powerful in building ‗buy-in‘ and has resulted in $A1.4B of investment in improved services with high ridership growth outcomes. Experience and impacts are outlined including areas for future research.