Optimising the Design and Implementation of Public Transport Priority Initiatives
This project is a major international research program exploring ways to improve measures to improve the performance of bus and tram services operating in traffic using priority interventions such as exclusive lanes or active signal priority. It is funded by the Australian Research Council as part of its Industry Linkage program (LP100100159) and is a collaborative study led by Professor Currie of Monash University and the industry partners in Victoria, PTV and VicRoads and international expert Professor Nick Hounsell at the University of Southampton (UK).
The project has a number of work stages including:
- exploring data collected at priority treatments in both Victoria and internationally to assess operational performance and outcomes;
- the collation of ‘test bed’ information to model and simulate the operational performance of priority initiatives in great detail such that the influences of features of individual road design measures might be better understood;
- exploring planning processes for priority design and implementation including the strategic context for evaluation of projects; and
- exploring the wider road safety impacts of priority measures.
A range of major breakthroughs have resulted from the research, including:
- A new model explaining the wider secondary benefits resulting from priority measures has been developed including a synthesis of ridership and mode shift effects resulting from priority schemes. This has demonstrated that many schemes are financially profitable from the resulting transit fleet resource savings that can be made from travel time savings. For example, in Melbourne it has been established that a saving of 30 seconds in run time can save up to 6 trams on the tram network, a saving which is worth some $48M in reduced capital costs. This research has been published as Currie G and Sarvi M (2012) ‘A New Model for the Secondary Benefits of Transit Priority’ TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH RECORD No. 2276, Journal of the Transportation Research Board pp 63-71
- An approach to visualising changes in the operating performance of priority initiatives on a network basis has been developed using aggregate network wide imaging of travel time and reliability performance at individual stops by morphing images between time frames to clarify complex patterns of performance. This research has been published as Currie G, Mesbah M and Sarvi M (2013) ‘New Insights on Transit Network Performance Using Innovative GIS Animation’ Transportation Research Board 92nd Annual Meeting, 2013 Washington DC USA.
- An exploration of the effects of tram platform stop measures and other aspects such as ticketing and step configurations was undertaken to compare the Melbourne tram and Toronto streetcar networks. This research measured substantive operational benefits from platform stops and honour based (or proof of payment) ticketing systems. This research has been published as Currie, G, Delbosc A and Reynolds J (2012) ‘Modelling Dwell Time on Melbourne and Toronto Streetcars’ TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH RECORD No. 2275, 22–29. This paper was selected as the winner of the William B Millar best paper prize at the 91st Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in Washington DC; the largest transport conference in the world.
- A major finding that bus priority measures have a substantive impact on improving road safety for all traffic on roads. A complex and reliable evaluation of the Melbourne SmartBus bus priority treatments established that there was a 30% net reduction in Fatal and Serious Accidents on road sections with bus priority treatments. Overall all accident types have reduced by a net 14%. This research has been published as Goh K, Currie G, Sarvi M and Logan D (2013) ‘Road Safety Benefits from Bus Priority? – An Empirical Study’ TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH RECORD, No. 2352, Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington,D.C., 2013, pp. 41-49.
The research is progressing into exploring the road safety effects caused by priority measures on Melbourne’s tram network. Research is also continuing to explore the influences of features of tram network design on stop dwell time.
- Date November 16, 2015
- Tags Bus, Bus/Tram Lane, Bus/Tram Priority, Canada, Graham Currie, Infrastructure, Melbourne, Mode, Nick Hounsell, Public Transport Victoria, Toronto, Tram/Light Rail, Transportation Research Board, United Kingdom, VicRoads, Victoria