Thursday, August 08, 2013

Yglesias on BRT (Bus Rapid Transit)


Would dedicating a lane to buses really be anything like efficient? What do buses hold, like 50 people? How long does it take cars carrying a total of 50 people to pass through one point in a lane? Unless buses are coming by ever, like, 5 minutes, I don't see any gain in throughput...

But that's just raising a question, really. I don't know anything about this stuff.


Blogger Pete Mack said...

It depends on the street. There are streets in Seattle that are dedicated to bus traffic during rush hour. There's about 2 buses a minute, at full speed. (Yes, you might fit 100 or 50 cars on the street, but they would be stuck at traffic lights most of the time.)

There are highways with HOV2/HOV3, where much of the traffic consists of busses.

Of course, this only works in cities with enough commuting that buses make sense. That is ... those cities with a bad rush hour!

In short, you are making a common assumption: that thru-traffic increases with number of vehicles. It isn't: with enough cars, the traffic volume actually decreases. When you reach that point, adding 1 bus for 50 cars will actually improve the traffic by more than the 50 cars removed.

11:03 AM  

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