Public Transit Planning: Travel Time Improvement By Eliminating Superfluous Bus Stops in the Current CUE Bus System and Evaluation of Improvement Based On Coverage, Emissions, and Transit Operational Costs




Shrestha, Ranjay

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Current bus transit systems in the U.S. are considered unattractive to the travelers due to the lack of efficiency (especially in travel time), failure to proved adequate services, and infringement on the flexibility in their commute. It is believed that one of the reasons for the bus systems in the U.S. for not being able to provide faster services are due to densely spaced bus stops. Improvement in bus transit system by dropping some ―extra‖ bus stops will yield in faster service, lower operating cost and reduction in transit based emission, but would also lower the ridership accessibility and coverage area. It is really important to understand the consequences of these costs and benefits associated with bus stop removal method to evaluate the tradeoffs. This research examines the current CUE bus system in Fairfax City, VA to determine the superfluous bus stops in its current route and justifies the consequences after those stops were removed. The method in this research to identify the extra bus stops is based on nearest facility algorithm with 800 m as the walking distance threshold between the bus stops and block-level based population center. Analyses of the social and economical impacts with the new route are based on the improvement on travel time after removing these bus stops. With the result achieved in this research, the current CUE bus route appears to have about 40% superfluous bus stops and eliminating them yield in transit time improvement and operational cost reduction by 23%. This transit time improvement triggered about 21% increment in overall ridership. Similarly transit based emissions such as: CO, VOC and NOx were also decreased by 34%, 18% and 10% respectively. Demographic analysis was carried out on the dropped residential bus stops to capture the impact on ridership and coverage. The new route in this research failed to capture 8.2% of the population center resulting in about 10% of total Fairfax City population without the transit access. In spite of few untouched areas in the analysis, the research was able to identify some superfluous bus stops in the current CUE bus route. Additionally, after validating various social and economical tradeoffs, removing these stops were beneficial.



Public transit, Bus operational cost, Bus stops, CUE bus, Emissions