Considerations about an outbound bus lane in an urban area
Keywords:Sustainable Urban Mobility, Public Transport, Bus Lane, Bus priority, passengers’ satisfaction
This paper examines the feasibility of inserting a new exclusive bus lane in the public transport network of an urban area. It gives data and a case study example that demonstrate how a bus lane can be evaluated especially how a bus lane of a relatively limited length and of a relatively low bus frequency is worth being implemented – normally - in the case of a one-way street connecting the city center with the suburbs. The approach followed, analyses the findings from a case study in the eastern part of Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece with a population of approximately one million inhabitants. The bus lane used as the case study is focused on an outbound direction along a one-way street that connects the city center with the eastern suburbs of the city. This bus lane operates during part of the day according to the traffic conditions and the demand needs along the road corridor where it is located. The analysis includes field measurements of traffic data along the bus lane as well as a questionnaire-based survey that was mainly focused to investigate the quality of the service as perceived by the passengers. The paper shows that such bus lane can be fully justified (though with a reduced number of buses per hour), in terms of the travel time savings that it provides, the uninterrupted bus flow operation that it provides (that minimises the time they spend on the bus) and other characteristics. Parking restrictions and other traffic regulations enforcement is, however, necessary to prevent violations by drivers of private cars and minimise any adverse effects on the bus lane’s operation.
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