Year 2 Progress Report to VREF

09 / 21 / 2011

The Centre supports the appropriate deployment of BRT, identifying and educating on the conditions necessary for BRT success at the strategic, tactical and operational decision levels. We focus not only on BRT projects and systems, but also on BRT’s interactions with other elements of the urban system, capitalizing on the potentials for BRT to help in the transformation towards more sustainable and attractive cities. Our approach and activities since inception include:
– The BRT Observatory to establish a broad understanding of the global state of BRT – including major operating and physical characteristics – via data collection, analysis and communication. We have developed a three-tiered data structure: basic (100+ cities, 300+ corridors), for representing the “state of the world”; middle (50-60 cities, ~100 corridors), for econometric and other quantitative analyses; and detailed (7-8 cities), for deeper institutional analysis and potential pilot partnerships.
– Strategic Analysis to provide empirically grounded guidance on elements critical to BRT policy and performance success. In close collaboration with the Observatory, we have developed a survey instrument to collect data to estimate models of productive efficiency. We have also developed the analytical framework for the tool which will simulate the complexity of policy design for BRT implementation and identified potential calibration cases. Finally, for improving understanding of the role of negotiations with key stakeholder groups we have carried out initial fieldwork and analysis in two Latin American cities.
– Tactical Analysis to guide key system planning, design and development decisions such as intermodal integration, contractual concerns, and technological transitions. Our current effort has been in improving our understanding of passenger knowledge, choices and satisfaction. We have developed a behavioral model and are currently designing a survey instrument to estimate the model, examining route transfer experiences.
– Operational Analysis to ensure well-designed system functioning and control, including lane management, signaling and vehicle coordination. We have been developing real-time bus service control tools to manage bus bunching. The tool is capable of handling a mix of vehicle types and studying a range of control policies. The results already inform vehicle holding approaches for reducing delays and improving comfort and reliability.
– Educational and Outreach Activities to transfer the Center’s knowledge to current and future system developers. We have organized and participated in numerous public events, with industry and political leaders, academics and advocates. We have also developed an initially educational and training needs assessment, to understand current global academic offerings and academic-industry relations.