Quantifying the role of a flexible transport service in reducing the accessibility gap in low density areas: A case-study in north-west Sydney

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, place - australasia, place - low density, operations - frequency


Flexible transport service, Public transport network design, Public transport accessibility


Bus services can be difficult to provide in low density areas on the urban fringe, with low residential density, dispersed development and high car use. Service planning guidelines often encourage coverage, but the result in low density areas is bus kilometres are spread thinly over a large area with poor frequencies. Flexible transport services offer an opportunity to redesign services to improve access and efficiency. The paper quantifies the role of flexible transport services in improving access to public transport within the existing subsidy budget. The Richmond–Windsor area of north-west Sydney is used as a case-study to present how a flexible transport service could be provided. The paper shows that the existing bus network could be redesigned to focus more on frequency by providing fixed trunk routes with a flexible transport service providing access to these trunk routes. Within the existing budget for bus service km and service hours, this provides a greater accessibility to public transport services and an opportunity to grow public transport patronage with higher frequency trunk route services.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


Research in Transportation Business & Management