In addition, automated fare collection wasn’t included in the initial implementation as well because it wasn’t something the people in Ahmedabad were familiar with and they wanted to have that personal interaction to introduce the service. However, as the system grows that is starting to change and they have begun to put in fare collection machines.
“The incremental approach of making sure that it can gain acceptance through the first phase of its operation is very interesting,” says Bench.
The system uses dedicated lanes, however the system does not include flyovers, so buses still stop at light-controlled intersections. In addition to stop lights, military veterans are employed to direct traffic through intersections and ensure that bus lanes are being respected, explains Bench.
In addition to adding the dedicated BRT lanes to the corridor, the project also improved the automobile lanes, bike lanes and pedestrian sidewalks as well. They added two dedicated lanes for bus rapid transit, one in each direction, plus two to three lanes for highway travel in each direction, plus a dedicated bicycle lane and a clearly defined sidewalk.
“What they did was go through and made one single corridor that would address the needs of bus rapid transit and of all the automobile drivers and the bike users, all at the same time. I guess, in a way that’s another approach I think they were able to use to ensure that there would be adequate public support, to say not only just an effort to take right-of-way and convert it from regular car operators and convert it to public transportation, but also it’s an effort to make sure those who are choosing to drive and have a reason to drive are going to have a more pleasant experience and a more congestion-free experience along those corridors ... so it was a way for everybody to win all at the same time.”
South East Busway Extension, Queensland Transport — Brisbane, Australia
Bus rapid transit came to Brisbane, Australia in the early 2000s; however, it has experienced such growth that expansion has become necessary. The existing South East Busway between Brisbane and the suburb of Eight Mile Plains carries more than 150,000 passengers a day. As part of Queensland’s long-term public transport strategy, the busway will be extended 2.9 miles (4.6 kilometers) to Springwood to meet the needs of Brisbane’s growing south side communities.
“Brisbane is almost a victim of its own success. Many parts of it are over capacity. They’re looking at expanding the system. There are also major stations where they’re now over-whelmed because they are big transfer points where all the busway networks meet that they need to expand the infrastructure to allow a greater capacity,” explains Henke.
The system needs to be expanded both in its infrastructure and the area it covers. “Expand the performance of the existing infrastructure with things like queue jumps and other expansions to actually improve the performance of the existing infrastructure, but also expanding the network, expanding the busway beyond where it is now, considering additionaltunneling or other improvements to expand capacity,” Henke says. “So it’s both from just the one southeastern busway but also the entire network of busways that Brisbane has built over the years, as well as expanding stations to allow for more vehicles to enter the system, etc.”
Parsons Brinckerhoff is working with Queensland Transport on the expansion and completed options assessment and preliminary engineering design for more than half the length of the proposed busway. A staging and implementation plan was completed for the full length of the extension. The study included capital cost estimating, environmental investigations, and traffic analysis and modeling. Parsons Brinckerhoff also performed preliminary design for a 2,300-foot (700-meter) viaduct, and elevated Springwood station that would serve as a transport hub to support and encourage the development of the nearby Springwood town center.
According to Parsons Brinckerhoff, “at the start of the busway, future corridor-based bus services will access the alignment through an innovative spiral ramp design to gain access to the elevated station platform. Careful planning and design was required to ensure that the busway station was integrated with the adjacent town center, local feeder buses, pedestrians and cyclists.”