“Study on the public transport operation effectiveness under diverse road and traffic conditions: Lessons for sustainability?”, Wafaa Saleh and Robert Ziolkowski
Purpose: Under deteriorating conditions of travelling in urban areas, especially city centres, prioritisation of public transport is one of the main ways of its enhancing. In developed countries sophisticated control traffic systems are being implemented while in developing countries such solutions due to implementation cost are very rare. The paper aims to assess public transport operational effectiveness under diverse operational schemes present in two cities. The assessment is based on average journey times and speeds during peak and off peak hours.
Design/methodology/approach: The methodology includes measurements and estimates of bus rides through in-field measurements in Edinburgh, England and in Bialystok, Poland. In-field evaluations have been conducted using average speed and travel times. The data were collected by utilising a portable GPS data logger that allowed monitoring and recording bus position along tested streets in 1 sec intervals. Traffic optimisation in Edinburgh is provided by separated bus lanes and control urban traffic system while in Bialystok the only prioritisation is supported by bus lanes. The research areas in Edinburgh and in Bialystok covered streets in city centres and adjacent districts.
Findings: The findings show large operational potential in developing separated bus lanes in city centres of developing countries when due to cost they cannot afford implementing advanced ITS solutions. The introduction of bus lanes should be proceeded even at the expense of individual users. It has been found that well developed road network in city centre with separated bus lanes can provide operating speed at comparable levels to speed of buses operating along lower volume corridors.
Originality/value: The comparison of bus lanes working under different traffic management conditions was carried out. Conducted analyses showed great potential of proper planning strategy of road network development towards the improvement of public transport performance.
Keywords: Separated bus lanes; Public transport priority; ITS; City centre; Urban traffic control system