Work in Progress:
The goal is to build a database that will allow us to compare corridors worldwide, highlight best practices and feed our research models and questions. With this purpose we will survey corridors at two levels - shallow and deep - raising key indicators at each level.
A document that compiles all the indicators that will be included in the Observatory survey was developed by members from EMBARQ, PUC and The University of Sydney. Strategic, tactical and operational indicators were listed and analyzed in order to classify them into shallow or deep, depending on how available is the information. The way each variable should be compiled (description and units) was also detailed defined.
EMBARQ team compiled a list of bus systems, with some or all the supply side elements considered for BRT systems, namely bus lanes, stations, buses, information technology, service and branding. The list encompasses 120 cities with bus corridors. The corridors in these cities will be observed under the shallow set of indicators. More details on this data set are available in the Data from Cities - Case Studies section.
CTS Brasil , CTS Mexico and PUC completed in Nov-Dec 2010 a pilot study of shallow indicators in four cities/corridors that showed that data collection required direct engagement and very good relationship with the cities. The pilot also showed that some indicators were difficult or practically impossible to get. As a result, it was decided to divide the effort in basic (shallow) and medium level indicators. Basic indicators correspond to public information (or easy to collect) for the maximum number of cities (~120 cities, ~250 corridors). Medium indicators correspond to deeper information and we expect to collect data on ~40 cities, ~100 corridors, and will be useful for analytical comparisons.
A list of 16 cities has been suggested for “in depth” review; seven from Latin America, two from Asia, three from Europe, 1 from Africa, two from Australia and two from US and Canada.
We are also facing the challenge of defining what a BRT corridor is. After reviewing existing definitions we have developed the following preliminary definition for BRT: a system that (i) operates with wheels on road surface and has (ii) high operational speed, (iii) good frequency, and (iv) low headway, while including a unique (iv) marketing identity. We agreed on leaving the definition general enough to involve a large set of bus systems, but we will also develop a methodology to rate the systems based on their performance.