A historical overview of enhanced bus services in Australian cities: What has been tried, what has worked?

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - australasia, mode - bus, mode - bus rapid transit, mode - car, planning - history, planning - network design, planning - service level, operations - frequency, infrastructure - interchange/transfer


Bus, Buses with a high level of service, Passenger value chain, Travel time, Frequency, Connectivity


Enhanced bus services that aim to attract potential car users by offering qualities of services more closely aligned with those offered by the private car tend to emphasise frequency, connectivity, speed and travel time reliability. “Full” Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is one end of the spectrum of such services that requires substantial investment in dedicated infrastructure to provide fast services but examples of enhanced services that do not require such infrastructure are more common in Australia and Europe than full BRT. This paper uses historical evidence to provide an overview of the development of these services in Australia and documents the existing evidence for the success of these initiatives taking into account the trade-offs that naturally occur as a result of the inherent constraints of network design with limited financial resources. This paper uses the concept of the passenger supply chain to describe which service attributes were targeted by the implementation of the enhanced service. It adds to the bus service literature by looking at aspects of quality of service rather than how the vehicles traverse the physical infrastructure.


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


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