Medium-capacity Transit Systems: Some Reflections About Making The Right Choice
Free (open access)
269 - 280
M. Novales, A. Orro, E. Conles & J. Anta
Medium-capacity transit systems (MCTS) cover the wide range existing between low-capacity systems (usually operating in streets with mixed traffic, with regular bus and tramways as the main solutions) and high-capacity systems (with exclusive right-of-way, as subway or suburban railways). MCTS are characterized by the use of a reserved right-of-way, which is longitudinally physically separated by curbs, barriers, grade separation and the like from other traffic, but with grade crossings for vehicles and pedestrians, including regular street intersections. The more common examples of MCTS are light rail transit (LRT) and bus with a high level of service (BHLS). Nowadays, BHLS has proven to be able to get the same performance as LRT in the most of the fundamental subjects, leading, in general, to lower capital costs. Nevertheless, there still is a certain tendency to think about LRT as a \“better” system than BHLS. This tendency is based on the fact that BHLS is still associated to regular buses operation, and that people, even technicians, are not aware of the improvements in performance that can be achieved changing the operation philosophy of bus transit systems. In this paper, a comparison between LRT and BHLS will be made highlighting their main differences and similarities, and noting which of the assumed advantages of LRT are real and which others can be achieved by BHLS with a cared operation, taking the light rail concept to bus transit systems by the idea \“think on LRT, give the service with buses”. Keywords: medium-capacity transit system, light rail, bus with high level of service, mode choice, transport planning.
medium-capacity transit system, light rail, bus with high level of service, mode choice, transport planning.