PUBLICATION

MTI Report 08-01

Research Report Feasibility of One-Dedicated-Lane BRT/Light-Rail Systems and Their Expansion to Two-Dedicated-Lane Systems: A Focus on Geometric Configuration and Performance Planning

ABSTRACT

This report consists primarily of two parts, the first on feasibility and the next on space minimization. In the section on feasibility, we propose the concept of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) or light-rail system that effectively requires only one dedicated but reversible lane throughout the system to support two-way traffic in the median of a busy commute corridor with regular provision of left-turn lanes. Based on key ideas proposed in that section, the section on space minimization first addresses how to implement a two-dedicated-lane BRT or light-rail system with minimum right-of-way width and then proposes ways to expand a one-dedicated-lane system to two dedicated lanes. In a one-dedicated-lane system, traffic crossing is accommodated on the otherwise unused or underused median space resulting from provision of the left-turn lanes. Although not necessary, some left-turn lanes can be sacrificed for bus stops. Conceptual design options and geometric configuration sketches for the bus stop and crossing space are provided in the section on feasibility, which also discusses system performance in terms of travel speed, headway of operations, distance between two neighboring crossing spaces, and number of crossing spaces. To ensure practicality, we study implementation of such a system on an existing corridor. Such a system is also useful as an intermediate step toward a two-dedicated-lane system because of its potential for facilitating transit-oriented development. In typical existing or planned BRT or light-rail systems implemented with two dedicated traffic lanes, a space equivalent to four traffic lanes is dedicated for a bus stop. In the section on space minimization, we propose implementations requiring only three lanes at a bus stop, based on two key ideas proposed for a one-dedicated-lane system. That section also discusses ways to expand a one-dedicated-lane system to its corresponding two-dedicated-lane system.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

H.-S. Jacob Tsao, Ph.D.

Dr. H.-S. Jacob Tsao received his BS in Applied Mathematics from National Chiao–Tung University in Taiwan in 1976, his MS in Mathematical Statistics from The University of Texas at Dallas in 1980, and his PhD in Operations Research from The University of California, Berkeley in 1984. He worked as a software development engineer at Consilium, Inc. (currently an Applied Materials company) on computer-aided manufacturing for two years after his PhD studies. In the following six years, he worked for AT&T Bell Laboratories and Bell Communication Research as a systems engineer on large-scale software systems designed to automate circuit provisioning and capacity expansion planning for communication networks. He joined the Partners for Advanced Transit and Highways (PATH) Program of the Institute of Transportation Studies of University of California at Berkeley in 1992 and researched concept development and evaluation for intelligent transportation systems. He was a member of the research staff of National Center of Excellence for Aviation Operations Research (NEXTOR) between 1997 and 1999 within the same Institute.

Since 1999, he has been with San Jose State University, where he is Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering and Director of Interdisciplinary Master of Science Program in Engineering. In the summers of 2004 through 2006, he led two–week study tours of Taiwan and China, as part of the Global Technology Initiative sponsored by the College of Engineering. In the winter of 2008, he participated in a two–week study tour of India, as part of the same initiative. He has taught courses in operations research, quality assurance, reliability engineering, information engineering, experimental design, and statistics. He has many technical publications, including more than 30 refereed journal papers and two book–Entropy Optimization and Mathematical Programming (1997) and Testing and Quality Assurance for Component–based Software (2003). Details can be found at http://www.engr.sjsu.edu/jtsao.

Wenbin Wei

Dr. Wenbin Wei is a faculty member in the Department of Aviation and Technology at San Jose State University. Prof. Wei received his MS with a concentration in Computer Aided Engineering and Management from Carnegie Mellon University in 1995, and his PhD with a concentration in aviation management from UC Berkeley in 2000. He worked as a postdoctoral researcher at both the California PATH program and the NEXTOR aviation research center from 2000 to 2001. He was a research analyst in the department of Operation Research and Decision Support at American Airlines from 2001 to 2003.

He is currently a full-time assistant professor in the college of engineering and a research associate in the Mineta Transportation Institute in the college of Business at San Jose State University. Dr. Wei has also been a research associate at the San Jose State University Human Automation Integration Laboratory (HAIL) since 2005. Dr. Wei teaches a graduate course on airport planning and design for the Department of Civil Engineering; undergraduate courses on airport planning and management, and airline operation and management for the Department of Aviation and Technology; and two graduate courses, logistics for the supply chain and advanced supply chain engineering, for the Department of Industrial and System Engineering at SJSU. He also worked for two years as a research consultant in the Department of Transportation of Jiangsu province, China.

Dr. Wei has extensive experience in applying advanced air traffic control technologies and system analysis for airport surface operations, through research projects both at NEXTOR at UC Berkeley and in the SJSU HAIL, including analysis of the impact of weather on airport capacity, quantifying the benefit of airport capacity expansion, building metrics to measure airlines scheduling adaptation to airport expansion, workload analysis for the "big air " concept in the Joint Planning and Development Offices Next Generation Air Transportation System (NGATS) framework, and improvement of air traffic management in the terminal area through coordination of air traffic control in the air and aircraft movements on the ground.

Agus Pratama

Agus Pratama received his BS in Industrial Engineering from Parahyangan Catholic University of Indonesia in 2005 and his MS in Industrial and Systems Engineering from San Jose State University in 2007. He is currently pursuing his MS in Computer Engineering with a concentration on software systems.

TECHNICAL

Authors: H.-S. Jacob Tsao, Wenbin Wei, and Agus Pratama
Published: March 2009
Keywords: Bus Rapid Transit, Light Rail, Exclusive Bus Lane, Dynamically Reversible Lane, Busway, Deployment