ECN publication
Successfulness of Bus Rapid Transit systems in Asia
Kogdenko, N.
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Policy Studies 14-2-2011
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-O--11-013 Other
Number of pages: Full text:
91 Download PDF  

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) can be defined as “a bus-based mass transit system that delivers fast, comfortable, and cost-effective urban mobility”. It offers the opportunity to create a high-quality mass transit system at affordable costs, which is particularly important for developing countries, since the majority of the population in those countries is highly reliant on public transport. Nevertheless, the service of public transportation in those countries in general can be characterised as deteriorating, slow, unsafe and uncomfortable. There are many BRT systems implemented in various cities in the developing world. However, no scientific evaluation of these systems on their successfulness was performed so far. The main goal of this research was to gain insight in BRT system functioning in large Asian cities and identify how knowledge from these system operation can be applied on future BRT system planning/implementation processes with the intension to make BRT systems more successful. In order to perform an evaluation of the selected BRT systems on their successfulness, a new evaluation methodology was developed in this research, since no methodology applicable for such an evaluation existed. According to the developed methodology, a BRT system was considered successful when it showed a high contribution to the sustainable development of the selected city. This contribution was evaluated using nine indicators on three sustainability dimensions: environment, society and economics. This research consisted of four main blocks, respectively, ‘definition’, ‘description of the case studies’, ‘evaluation of each case study’ and ‘result analysis’. In the first block, behavioural theories for analysis of transport behaviour of people were studied. Next, a theoretical framework was selected and the new methodology for BRT system evaluation was developed. In the following blocks, based on the literature study, the selected BRT case studies were described and later evaluated by applying the new developed methodology. During the evaluation, the main factors which impeded/facilitated the success of each BRT system were determined. In the last block, results obtained within each case study were analysed. Each BRT case study in this research was conducted separately. The general findings of this research are the following. Integration of BRT systems in Jakarta, Delhi and Beijing was an important step towards more sustainable transport in those cities. In general, the new BRT systems improved the functioning of the transport system, ensuring a faster transfer of a majority of inhabitants and reducing the environmental impacts of the transport sector. Based on the results from BRT system evaluation, two out of three systems, i.e. TransJakarta and Beijing BRT were defined as successful. All three evaluated BRT systems improved traffic speed for bus transit, reduced travel time for bus commuters and increased road safety on BRT corridors. However, all these systems have a common problem, respectively, the lack of system capacity. A major barrier of this research was data availability on the selected BRT systems, leading to low certainty of the evaluation results. The main success factors of BRT systems were also determined, respectively, BRT support from government and international organisations, scrutinised planning stage of a new BRT system and the imple-mentation of BRT systems together with other policies. Last, but not least, the new developed methodology was valid to measure the success of BRT systems in Asia. It was applicable for the evaluation of the selected BRT cases and can be also applied in the future for the evaluation of other BRT systems.

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