California Partners for Advanced Transportation Technology
SmartBRT: A Tool for Simulating, Visualizing, and Evaluating Bus Rapid Transit Systems
- Author(s): VanderWerf, Joel
- et al.
Evaluation of BRT systems
SmartBRT is for designed for modeling and simulating hypothetical transit systems,
especially those making use of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) technologies and policies.
SmartBRT can be used to evaluate new technologies and policies that haven't been fully
explored in deployed systems.
SmartBRT does not output emissions or cost data. SmartBRT does not calculate the longterm
effects of BRT deployment, such as changes in mode choice.
To aid in evaluation, SmartBRT provides features for data gathering and statistics. The
model report has a complete list of variables that can be measured and aggregated.
Evaluation of Transit systems
SmartBRT can also be used to evaluate traditional transit system designs. Paramics and
other traffic simulation tools have some ability to do this kind of work. However,
SmartBRT has an advantage even in cases without any BRT elements: in situations where
input data is sparse, there is a corresponding reduction in the effort to specify the system.
For instance, if all signal phase structures are hypothetically the same, the same
description does not need to be repeated for each signal.
Simulation outputs can be used to produce 3D animations. The animated world can be
edited to show recognizable landmarks based on digital photographs. However, Paramics
was not designed to model vehicle movement with high precision, and so vehicle
movement in the animation may not always be realistic.
Applicability of Paramics
We determined that Paramics has some serious limitations for use in simulating BRT.
These limitations are discussed in Paramics limitations and problems, section 3.4 of the