A Process Approach to Public Transport Design

A Process Approach to Public Transport Design


VEENEMAN W W, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands


In the Netherlands (V & W AND VROM, 1992) as elsewhere in the Western world


In the Netherlands (V & W AND VROM, 1992) as elsewhere in the Western world
(LEV?FRE AND OFFNER, 1990) public transport is regarded to be a promising
instrument to mitigate the adverse effects of rapidly growing mobility (BANISTER,
1994). This is especially considered valid for urban and metropolitan areas
(BERECHMAN, 1993). Here public transport's advantages form a firm condition to
keep modern city centres accessible. Public transport can cater for the very dense
transport flows, on a relatively limited quantities of the scarce urban land. In addition,
the environmental performance of public transport is considered to be higher than that
of the car, in the fields of safety, emissions and the possibility to control noise.

Despite governmental support, public transport has not been successful in its role of
reducing car traffic yet (JENKINS, 1987). Scientist engaged in public transport have
given different reasons for this phenomenon: spatial developments favour the car
system (JANSEN, 1985) , the dilemma of individual benefits and social costs of
transport (NIJKAMF, 1994), a public transport business showing little demand
orientation (BERECHMAN, 1993), and the quality of the competing car (NIJKAMP AND
PRIEMUS, 1994). Accordingly, they offer different solutions.

Traditionally, transport engineers have developed conceptual models that combine
spatial demand patterns with engineering characteristics of different public transport
technologies (EGETER E.A., 1989) This resulted in suggestions on a co-ordinated
hierarchical network of services, combining the strengths of different public transport
techniques (VUTCHIC, 1981). This approach still has fervent supporters in the German
language area of Europe.

In addition, economists have targeted the fact that public transport providers have
been inflexible and little susceptible to demand. They sought solutions in a redesign of
the regulatory regime (BERECHMAN, 1993). Companies should be responsible for the
product and should harvest the financial implications, both in positive as in a negative
sense. This approach now finds its main advocates in the Anglo-Saxon parts of

Other scientific fields have projected their theoretical frameworks on to the problems
of public transport to provide different types of solutionsi But, the two mentioned
above have to be regarded as the two most influential lines of thought in public
transport policy making today. Throughout Europe they can be recoghised in attempts
of various governments to restructure public transport (GREGOIR AND M.AUBOIS,


Association for European Transport