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Operating Characteristics and Performance of a Busway Transit Station

Jaiswal, Sumeet, Bunker, Jonathan M., & Ferreira, Luis (2007) Operating Characteristics and Performance of a Busway Transit Station. In 30th Australasian Transport Research Fourm (ATRF), 25 - 27 September 2007, Melbourne, Australia.

Abstract

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.

Impact and interest:

2 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 9844
Item Type: Conference Paper
Additional URLs:
Keywords: busway, transit station, dwell time, capacity, loading area, efficiency
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENGINEERING (090000) > CIVIL ENGINEERING (090500) > Transport Engineering (090507)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 01 Oct 2007
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:31

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