Public Transport Priorities: Data from Operators
MACBRIAR I, QV Associates, UK
Over the years, a number of studies have identified the reliability of bus services as being of major importance to the passengers and potential passengers. The reliability of bus services is severely affected by traffic congestion; this causes late runni
Over the years, a number of studies have identified the reliability of bus services as being of major importance to the passengers and potential passengers. The reliability of bus services is severely affected by traffic congestion; this causes late running and initiates the feedback effect that results in bunching.
There is a lot of interest in the UK at present in establishing Quality Partnerships between local authorities and bus operators. In these, the local authority commits itself to improvements in infrastructure (typically providing bus-only lanes, better bus shelters, real-time information and so on) while the bus operator commits itself to investment in new vehicles, more-frequent services and the like. The provision of bus- only lanes should improve the reliability of the services by allowing for faster and more consistent running times and therefore tess opportunity for congestion to trigger bunching.
The question arises as to the extent to which the provision of the bus lanes improves the reliability of the bus services. This can be measured by roadside surveys, or from the data that is collected within electronic ticket machines (ETMs) or from automatic vehicle location (AVL) systems. London Transport Buses have used roadside surveys to collect their Quality of Service Indicators for some years.
This paper is concerned with the data from ETMs and AVL systems, with their accuracy, coverage, usefulness and inherent problems. It is not only relevant to the question of Quality Partnerships, but also in identifying where such arrangements would be of benefit, and in the general monitoring of service reliability.
Association for European Transport