Priority bus egress from bus stops research

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The Challenge

Abley researched the introduction of a transport rule change requiring drivers to give way to buses exiting bus stops.  Included a literature reviews, examination of driver attitudes to a potential rule, an economic evaluation, and identification of safety concerns.

The Solution

Stakeholder consultation was generally favourable to a rule change.  Focus groups identified a number of benefits and no significant disbenefits, but raised concerns over effectiveness of a law change without education and enforcement.  Data was collected by video for 5 sites over period 07:00-11:00AM, and by bus vehicle rider survey (18 bus services, AM peak, Off-peak, PM peak).  Identified average delay to buses egressing from a stop and average number of stops where benefit can be realised.  Using statistical analysis, the network wide time savings to buses were calculated along with the network wide delay to other traffic.  No positive or negative affect on safety was identified.  Intangible benefits were identified.  The economic evaluation included LED signage on buses, bus decals and no signage along with the anticipated compliance rate of each.  Benefit cost ratios of between 4.0 and 4.3 were obtained.

The Outcome

There was no conclusive evidence to suggest that a change in legislation would result in better or worse road safety outcomes, based on New Zealand crash history records, literature review findings, stakeholder consultation or international case studies.  However, international literature clearly showed that compliance rates and the success of give way to bus schemes are positively correlated to the extent of signage and education campaigns implemented.  Subsequently, the assessment concluded that ‘give way to bus’ legislation provided a viable investment opportunity with resultant nationwide Benefit Cost Ratios (BCRs) using bus decals.  The significant up-front cost of investing in LED technology results in lower BCRs for the corresponding scenario however the decal and no signage options yield similar ranges of BCR.

The full research report 609 is available for download from the NZ Transport Agency website. 

Service Area: Transport Planning

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