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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Enhanced Transit Strategies: Bus Lanes with Intermittent Priority and ITS Technology Architectures for TOD Enhancement


Due to increases in congestion, transportation costs, and associated environmental impacts, a variety of new enhanced transit strategies are being investigated worldwide. The transit-oriented development (TOD) concept is a key area where several enhanced transit strategies can be implemented. TODs integrate transit, residential, retail and/or commercial entities into a compact, pedestrian-friendly community, thereby reducing private car usage and increasing transit use. This research report addresses two enhanced strategies within the TOD framework: 1) using Bus Lanes with Intermittent Priorities (BLIPs) to enhance bus transit; and 2) addressing how and what Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) technology can be used within TOD system architectures. With respect to 1), it has been shown that the implementation of BLIPs for bus rapid transit can greatly increase system efficiencies without compromising the level of service for other facility users. The basic analysis in this report shows that both conservative and liberal approaches have similar impacts to traffic and identical benefits. The macroscopic analysis illustrates that traffic disturbances caused by BLIP activation will not slow down subsequent buses, and that roads with medium traffic demand can easily support a BLIP implementation. The microscopic analysis provides some quantitative equations that can help decision makers determine whether a given intersection can be outfitted with a BLIP implementation within predefined parameters. A framework for cost-benefit analysis was provided for BLIP implementation. With respect to 2), it has been shown that transportation efficiency and effectiveness within a TOD can certainly be enhanced with the integration of ITS technology. This project report has identified technology bundles and architectures that have the greatest potential for increasing mobility. Further, it has demonstrated that ITS technologies implemented in a well-integrated fashion will promote transit efficiency and convenience and lead to transit usage beyond levels currently observed.

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