Transit Boardings Estimation and Simulation Tool (TBEST) Calibration for Guideway and BRT Modes

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Subject Area

mode - bus rapid transit, mode - tram/light rail, place - north america, ridership - forecasting


TBEST, transit ridership forecasting, bus rapid transit, light rail transit


This research initiative was motivated by a desire of the Florida Department of Transportation and the Transit Boardings Estimation and Simulation Tool (TBEST) project team to enhance the value of TBEST to the planning community by improving its capability to provide forecasts for light rail transit (LRT) and bus rapid transit (BRT) technologies. Specific strategies for calibration were explored and developed for BRT and LRT calibration. The BRT methodology relied on a scoring system to determine the scope of BRT features and scaling the ridership impact accordingly, based on the best available empirical data. The BRT adjustment factor would be a maximum of 30 percent for a very highly specified BRT with exclusive travelway along the full length.

The LRT strategy relied on comparison of TBEST results with both sketch planning LRT forecasts and regional model forecasts for Hillsborough County. These results suggested that the scope of system changes and competitiveness of rail was such that large adjustments in TBEST forecasts would be necessary to replicate LRT forecasts. In light of these results, the project team suggests recalibration with a forthcoming Federal Transit Administration sketch planning model and, in the interim, restricting technology adjustments to no more than 50 percent.


Performing Organisation: National Center for Transit Research, Center for Urban Transportation Research University of South Florida 4202 East Fowler Avenue, CUT100, Tampa, FL 33620 Sponsoring Organisation: Research and Innovative Technology Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, Mail Code RDT-30 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE, Room E33, Washington, DC 20590 Florida Department of Transportation, Research Center 605 Suwannee Street, MS 30, Tallahassee, FL 32399