The Integration Of Buses With A High Level Of Service In The Medium Cities Urban Context
Free (open access)
M. Losa, A. Pratelli & C. Riccardi
In the last decade the world has witnessed a large diffusion of the BHLS (Buses with a High Level of Service) systems. This growth was sparked off by the successful implementation of the first BHLS system in Curitiba (Brazil) in the 1970s, also named bus rapid transit (BRT), which was able to achieve reliable and efficient transport service at reduced costs. The main reason of BHLS’ spread is mostly due to its proper characteristics that allow to combine flexibility and low costs typical of bus based systems with reliability, efficiency, speed, frequency, comfort and safety offered by the more costly LRT (Light Rail Transit). These systems are generally characterized by modern environmentally friendly vehicles, reserved bus-ways and applications of intelligent transport systems (ITS) based technologies. All these characteristics are very important features of the so-called smart mobility. The aim of this paper is to describe the working process adopted to design a new BHLS line haul in Pisa (Italy) connecting Pisa Central Railway Station with the Hospital of Cisanello. The paper shows how the new BHLS line could be fairly suited to the Italian context, and in particular to a medium sized city like Pisa, characterized by narrow streets, high density of building and need of sharing large part of bus paths in mixed traffic. Furthermore, this paper evaluates the feasibility of a solution to solve the problem concerning the give-bus priority. Signalized roundabouts with controlled traffic light and giving priority to BHLS vehicles, that allow buses to cross the intersection without stopping delays, have been proposed. The results of such design analysis on one side confirm line haul feasibility, and on the other side show that the expected level of service of the proposed design solutions is fairly good. Finally, some brief considerations are also drawn on BHLS transit general features giving design insights in respect to mid-size urban area requirements.
BHLS, mid-size urban context, signalized roundabouts, priority to buses at traffic signals, smart mobility.