Macroscopic simulation approach of public transport on exclusive lanes

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - south america, infrastructure - bus/tram lane, infrastructure - right of way, mode - bus, infrastructure - busway, infrastructure - stop, infrastructure - traffic signals


CORBUS (CORrido ro BUSes), Santiago de Chile, travel time, stops, signals, busways, exclusive lanes


This paper presents a macroscopic simulation approach that describes the operation of vehicles on public transport exclusive lanes with enough detail to take into account all sources of delays: at road sections, traffic signals, and bus stops. This approach has been encapsulated in a simulation model called CORBUS (CORridor for BUSes). The model can simulate the operation of trams, guided buses, articulated buses or conventional buses running on a segregated way, such as a bus lane or a busway We use up-to-date traffic theories to describe these sources of delay and ad hoc models to decide the optimum stop spacing. Outputs of the model include the commercial (mean) speeds of public transport vehicles as well as their delays at each road element. The model has been validated against real data from a busway in Santiago de Chile showing an average commercial speed discrepancy of less than 1%. The impact of various traffic measures has been tested with the model, including the optimum stop spacing, the number of berths, the availability of overtaking facilities at stops, and signal timings; all of these factors consider the progression of public transport vehicles. As a result, we have found that commercial speeds can be improved by 9 to 20% if stops are optimally spaced. A further 2 to 7% increase in speed can be achieved if overtaking facilities are provided at stops. If traffic signals are set such that they take into account bus progression, an additional 3 to 5% increase in commercial speed can be attained. In summary, the model developed in this work is more accurate than simplified analytical models yet less complicated than microscopic simulations, in terms of ability to assess traffic measures toward improving public transport operations.


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