Improving Efficiency and Reliability of Bus Rapid Transit

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is an innovative, high capacity, lower cost public transit solution that can significantly improve mobility. It is usually defined as an integrated system with a strong, transit-oriented identity, which consists of running ways (very often exclusive lanes), specially designed rail-like stations, high-capacity low-floor vehicles, improved services, and state-of-the-art Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). It provides similar quality of service as rail transit, at much lower construction and operational costs to the transit organization, and retains the flexibility of buses. BRT has the potential to significantly improve efficiency and reliability of public transit, which leads to an increase in the ridership. Certain operational strategies significantly help BRT in improving travel times, speeds and headway adherence, with the most beneficial seen from the implementation of Transit Signal Priority (TSP) and off-board fare collection. ITS technologies, such as Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking devices, Automated Passenger Counters (APC), Ticket Vending Machines (TVM), advanced detection systems, signal performance monitoring systems etc., are now widely used by transit and State Department of Transportation (DOT) agencies. These systems, by providing performance-related data, can be used to further improve the efficiency and reliability of these BRT systems. This research will focus on the evaluation and analysis of two operational strategies for improving the efficiency and reliability of BRT system: TSP and fare collection methods. The study will review different TSP systems (conventional detection vs. GPS, conditional active TSP considering ridership and schedule/headway adherence, and adaptive TSP considering a wide range of traffic and transit operations), and fare collection methods being used (prepaid, tickets sold by the driver, off-board TVMs, on-board TVMs), and quantitative analysis will be performed based on field and simulated data to evaluate the effectiveness of various strategies. The study will be on the basis of Utah Transit Authority (UTA) BRT system, however, the research result is quite transferable to other BRT in the metropolitan areas with similar system design and can serve as a reference for transit planners and engineers on the national level.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    University Transportation Centers Program
    1200 New Jersey Avenue
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Kline, Robin

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of Utah, Salt Lake City

    College of Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering
    Salt Lake City, UT  United States  84112-0561
  • Principal Investigators:

    Zlatkovic, Milan

    Xiaoyue Cathy, Liu

    Porter, Richard

  • Start Date: 20130930
  • Expected Completion Date: 20180731
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: MPC-469

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01532634
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Mountain-Plains Consortium
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT13-G-UTC38
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Aug 1 2014 1:14AM