Operating characteristics and performance of a busway transit station

Jaiswal, Sumeet, Bunker, Jonathan and Ferreira, Luis (2007). Operating characteristics and performance of a busway transit station. In: Proceedings of the 30th Australasian Transport Research Forum. 30th Australasian Transport Research Forum (ATRF 2007), Melbourne, VIC, Australia, (1-12). 25-27 September 2007.

Author Jaiswal, Sumeet
Bunker, Jonathan
Ferreira, Luis
Title of paper Operating characteristics and performance of a busway transit station
Conference name 30th Australasian Transport Research Forum (ATRF 2007)
Conference location Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Conference dates 25-27 September 2007
Convener Planning and Transport Research Centre (PATREC)
Proceedings title Proceedings of the 30th Australasian Transport Research Forum
Place of Publication Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Publisher Australasian Centre for the Governance and Management of Urban Transport (GAMUT)
Publication Year 2007
Sub-type Fully published paper
ISBN not found
Start page 1
End page 12
Total pages 12
Language eng
Abstract/Summary Patronage to bus public transport is growing quickly in Brisbane due to the development of its busway network. The busway corridors are at different stages of completion. However, with the increased public support travel demand, busway stations are becoming more crowded during the peak hours. Heavy boarding of passengers at some busway station platforms reduces comfort levels for passengers and makes the walking and manoeuvring to the bus door difficult. This in turn increases passenger boarding service times and hence dwell times of buses. Increased dwell times decrease the capacity of the loading areas on the platform and increase the bus delay through the station. Variation in delays through stations in turn affects the running time of buses along the corridor, which reduces the reliability of arrival times, with the associated flow-on impacts to later buses and formation of bus bunching. This paper looks into the operational efficiency of a busway station during the weekday afternoon school peak period in terms of passenger service times and station platform capacity. Mater Hill Busway Station on the South East Busway corridor of Brisbane was used as a case study. This station is one of the major stations on the corridor serving a large number of institutional employees, students and patrons with a nearby hospital, high schools, academic institutions, businesses and high density residential development. Passenger and bus flow data on the outbound peak direction platform was collected by using video recording technique and attributes including arrival time of bus, dwell time, departure time, number of passengers boarding and alighting was collected by viewing the video footage on a desktop computer. The extracted data was analysed. The passenger service times, and efficiency of each loading area considering the amount of time the loading area was empty as well as blocked for the bus entry, were calculated. In turn, the capacity of the bus station platform was calculated based on the methodology of the US Transportation Board’s Transit Capacity and Quality of Service Manual (TRB, 2003) calibrated using the site data. Field passenger boarding service times were significantly higher than the Transit Capacity and Quality of Service Manual (TRB 2003) default value. Excessive passenger service times for loading area 3 arise due to “spent” dwell time as passengers walk from their waiting position to the end of the platform. The lead loading area and second loading area were found to reduce in efficiency respectively over the 100 percent efficiency of loading area 3. This study found that blocking of a loading area, particularly for the lead loading area, has significant impact on the station capacity. However, loading area efficiencies were found to be very similar to TCQSM default values for a busway station. The analysis shows that the station platform was operating at a degree of saturation of 56 percent which accorded with field observations. Higher field passenger boarding service times resulted in a substantial capacity over-estimate using the TCQSM.
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Queensland Transport and Brisbane City Council are working on providing dedicated busway corridors to increase public transport patronage by reducing the travel time and improving reliability and capacity. However, as the passenger numbers increase, bus delays at busway stations are increasing. If this problem of bus delays at busway stations is not addressed, it will become an impediment to the success of busways. It is therefore necessary to develop a methodology to quantify the operating efficiency of the existing busway stations and their future potential.

A busway is a dedicated high speed corridor for buses, as public transport vehicles, to remove the influence of road traffic conditions such as traffic congestion including delays at intersections. By increasing the journey speed and reliability of the buses, public transport mode share should improve. Busway stations on the system are the connectors between passengers and vehicles and if not properly operated, these connectors become the bottlenecks of the whole network.

Very little research relating the efficiency of passenger – bus interaction with delays at the busway stations has been published. The delay caused by passenger – bus interaction can cause delays to other buses using the platform.

Demand for public transport in Brisbane is increasing, mainly because of the introduction of busway network and increase in fuel price. Many high frequency buses are already running full during the peak hours, leaving passengers behind at many intermediate busway stations. The effect of this additional passenger delay is therefore necessary to be taken into account while evaluating the busway station.

In this paper, the problem statement is formulated which is followed by the proposed methodology. A pilot study carried out at Mater Hill Busway station on the South East Busway, Brisbane is presented to illustrate the methodology. The paper quantifies the operational efficiency of the busway station with respect to bus dwell times.
Subjects 1205 Urban and Regional Planning
120506 Transport Planning
120505 Regional Analysis and Development
Keyword Busway operations
Operating characteristics
Busway transit stations
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

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Created: Wed, 25 Nov 2009, 14:53:23 EST by Margaret Pereira on behalf of Faculty Of Engineering, Architecture & Info Tech