Urban space consumption of cars and buses: an analytical approach

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - urban, mode - bus, mode - car, infrastructure - bus/tram lane, planning - travel demand management, planning - methods, land use - planning


Urban space, analytical approach, transport modes


Space is one of the most valuable assets in urban environments. Currently, many cities devote a significant amount of space to private, less sustainable modes of transport. Several attempts have been made to recover urban space for other purposes, e.g. pedestrians, low-speed residential areas, public modes of transport, or bike lanes. In this paper, we propose a new analytical methodology that quantifies the amount of space that cars and buses consume, assuming they both run on dedicated lanes. Compared to previous approaches, the proposed methodology provides a more precise assignment of the space, as it only accounts for the minimal space needed. Numerical results demonstrate how both modes compare for cities with different sizes, demands, and bus capacities. Finally, we show how the proposed methodology is used to find the critical parameters that ensure that the bus system is spatially more efficient than the car mode.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Taylor&Francis, copyright remains with them.