Annex 1 An Overview of High-Capacity BRT System (HCBRT)

Routes and Terminals in High-Capacity BRT Systems

Building an interchange can allow the bus services to be segmented into trunk routes, feeder routes and inter-district routes, offering new travel options and thus capturing some of the “suppressed” demand. This concept is the basis for the development of an Integrated Urban Transport System, commonly the first step in designing and building an HCBRT system.

Integrated Terminals serve as the primary tool for rationalizing the entire bus system in a way that allows for the provision of transport to be quickly and accurately adjusted to the real demand in each part of the bus network. The frequency and regularity of bus services on each of the routes that serve Integrated Terminals may be increased considerably in many cases, particularly within urban centres where there is the greatest concentration of riders. The consolidation of centre-bound trips at Integrated Terminals can significantly improve the flow of buses in the central area, while reducing inconveniences often associated with boarding, alighting and waiting for buses.

Through optimising the use of the vehicles, both in terms of capacity and efficient scheduling, the overall costs of providing transport can be reduced, and likewise the total capital investment required in the fleet.

The concentration of various routes at Integrated Terminals also favours the use of a coordinated user information system, so that passengers – both everyday riders and those (such as tourists) who are new to or unfamiliar with the system – can easily and accurately plan their trips. Finally, the concentration and consolidation of passenger activity at Integrated Terminals strongly encourages the consolidation of commercial sub-centres at these locations. From these hubs, passengers can choose from various route options.

Trunk Routes: The trunk routes in an Integrated Urban Transport System share several common characteristics:

  • They operate at high frequencies (normally less than 6 minutes) along the main transport corridors, linking the city centre with major Integration Terminals.
  • They feature enhanced ITS traffic signaling, geometric and/or bus priority measures, and stations set at intervals compatible with increased operating speeds.

Apart from these shared characteristics, three other, slightly different types of trunk route may be used:

  • “Direct” trunk routes that follow a course leading generally in a direct path from one Integrated Terminal to another.
  • “Circular” trunk routes also follow a course from one Integrated Terminal to another, but unlike the direct trunk routes they serve outlying corridors, without entering the central business district.
  • “Radial” trunk routes that serve important transport and commercial corridors that lies outside the main busways.

Feeder Routes: Most of the bus routes that serve (or feed into) the Integration Terminals are formed by conventional routes on the outskirts of the city or system. Once at the Terminal, the feeder route passengers are offered access to the entire Integrated Urban Transport System, including the variety of trunk lines described above as well as all of the other feeder lines that converge there – without having to pay another fare. Feeder routes use conventional buses at intervals selected to both minimize passenger waiting times and passenger overcrowding.

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