Assessing the Transit Agency Business Case for Partial and Full Automation of Bus Services

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, economics - operating costs, economics - appraisal/evaluation


Bus, automation, cost analysis


This paper analyzes the cost-effectiveness of vehicle automation investments for public transit bus services. The calculations are developed for a set of illustrative use cases, using information from market surveys of available technologies and findings from demonstration projects and simulations. Overall, the results indicate that advanced driver assistance systems generally have a strong business case, in that they can provide operational savings that exceed their costs when considered over the life cycle of the bus. For full automation, the situation is more complex: there is the potential for very large labor cost savings, but considerable uncertainty about whether unstaffed scenarios are compatible with the continued need to perform nondriving tasks such as customer assistance and fare collection.


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