Using ITS to Improve Bus Operations: Examples and Oppommities
HOUNSELL N B and CHENEY C N, University of Southampton, UK
Last Year's Government White Paper on Integrated Transport, followed by the "Workhorse to Thoroughbred" document published earlier this year, have emphasised the increasingly important role of eiticient bus-based public transport services in cities. The e
Last Year's Government White Paper on Integrated Transport, followed by the "Workhorse to Thoroughbred" document published earlier this year, have emphasised the increasingly important role of eiticient bus-based public transport services in cities. The emergence of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) over recent years is now offering substantial potential for improving bus services through a variety of ITS applications.
This paper reviews the main achievements of the applications to date, using examples from the UK and some from mainland Europe, and discusses future opportunities for further development. The review draws on the results of the first phase of a two and a half year EPSRC project concerned with developing guidelines for the use of ITS in improving bus operations. The project scope is outlined in Figure 1.
Five main application areas have been identified where ITS can make a significant contribution to improving bus operations. These applications, discussed individually in this paper, include:
1. Priority strategies for buses in advanced control systems, including selective detection, bus advance areas, queue relocation and congestion management;
2. Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) systems for passenger information, bus priority, and bus fleet management;
3. Automatic camera enforcement systems for violations affecting bus operations;
4. Automatic ticketing systems, and
5. Variable message signing.
This paper concentrates on examples and opportunities. For some applications, such as bus priority at trat~c signals, substantial progress has already been made and results from these schemes are provided as examples. In other applications, the contribution of ITS in improving bus operations is less well-established; the measurement and/or prediction of benefits from such applications is therefore seen as a key topic for discussion, and the paper offers some initial suggestions on this issue.
Association for European Transport