Cost/Benefit Analysis of Converting a Lane for Bus Rapid Transit—Phase II Evaluation and Methodology

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economics - appraisal/evaluation, infrastructure - bus/tram lane, infrastructure - bus/tram priority, infrastructure - right of way, mode - bus rapid transit, place - north america


Benefit cost analysis, Bus lanes, Bus rapid transit, Bus rapid transit lanes, Highway capacity, Level of service, Right of way (Traffic), Service reliability, Traffic delay, Travel time, Urban areas


Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems are characterized by a broad range of running ways which determine the speed and overall performance of the system. BRT lanes that have a high degree of right-of-way (ROW) segregation provide the fastest and most reliable BRT service and are most attractive for travelers. In addition to user benefits, they are likely to induce land and economic development benefits (Kittelson 2007). However, they cost more than BRT that operates in mixed traffic or reserved on-street bus lanes. While BRT in an exclusive ROW provides the highest level of service, such systems are often challenging to develop in urban areas. Yet BRT operating in mixed flow lanes may not be able to achieve the improvement in travel time and reliability necessary to attract significant new ridership. One solution is to convert a mixed flow arterial lane to exclusive BRT use. While the exclusive bus lane helps to ensure a high transit level of service, the loss of capacity for mixed flow traffic could cause a significant increase in vehicle delay. This digest explores these trade-offs by performing a cost/benefit analysis for a hypothetical lane conversion BRT project.


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