High-Quality Public Transport and Promotion of Nonmotorized Transport—Compromise or Complement?

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - bus/tram lane, place - europe, mode - bus, mode - tram/light rail


public transit, non-motorised transport, sustainability, roadway design, bus, tram


Public transport is a very efficient way to handle large traffic flows in urban areas. At the same time, and especially in Europe, nonmotorized transport is being promoted as a further environmentally friendly and healthful way of urban mobility. This push includes the introduction and extension of separate lanes to increase safety and convenience of bikers and pedestrians. However, most cities have limited space for expanding streets and roads, and this limitation can lead to a conflict over the different uses. A clear understanding of the impacts of these changes on public transport is critical. A quick assessment model was developed to analyze the impact of changes to roadway design and policy that can affect public transport services. The model was developed to help public transport operator Verkehrsbetriebe Zürich in Zurich, Switzerland, assess changes quickly; these changes included the elimination of separate rights-of-way or the introduction of slow zones. The model will also help to explain the impacts of these changes to nontechnical audiences. The model uses a series of analytical calculations to analyze the main relationships between key public transport inputs and outputs. The model was validated with data from Zurich's tram and bus network. The case studies examined the influence of the reduction of separate rights-of-way, the expansion of 30 km/h zones, and the changes to stop distances on public transport operations.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Transportation Research Board, Washington, copyright remains with them. Published by Transportation Research Board Washington.