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15 SCHEDULING PROCEDURES FOR For those agencies operating a mix of HC and standard HIGHER CAPACITY BUSES buses on individual routes, two-thirds try to design the sched- ule of HC buses based on some assessment of demand by Forty-seven percent of the transit agencies reported some trip, whereas one-third do not take any special actions with scheduling procedure changes for their HC buses. One tran- respect to scheduling HC buses. sit agency reported that it did no interlining; therefore, there were no scheduling changes. A summary of comments on One respondent mentioned that it had tried in the past to scheduling changes and constraints is cited in Table 14. adjust headways on specific routes where a mix of HC and standard buses was being operated to reflect the ca- APPROACHES TO MIXED-FLEET OPERATIONS pacity of the bus scheduled for the trip, but abandoned this approach. Twenty-three percent of respondents dedicate their HC buses to specific routes, at least during peaks and base service, whereas 76% of the transit agencies reported that they have EXPERIENCE WITH HIGHER CAPACITY BUSES mixed operations with their HC and 40-ft fleets. However, some of the latter respondents indicated that a route is basi- Overwhelmingly (94%), transit agencies reported that cally dedicated to HC buses; however, capacity is supple- their HC buses met their expectations. The two transit mented by 40-ft buses in the peaks. One respondent indicated agencies that believed expectations were not met cited that it would like to dedicate 45-ft buses to the specific ex- vehicle deficiencies as the cause of their dissatisfaction. press commuter routes, but lack a sufficient fleet to do so and The specific vehicle deficiencies reported by the two re- therefore mix HC 45-ft and 40-ft coaches. Two systems used spondents were: their HC buses for a BRT or a limited stop service in a corri- dor, while running parallel local service in the same corridor Boarding on 45-ft coaches is extremely slow, and using standard buses. One respondent noted that the running The specific articulated buses purchased were equipped time had to be increased for the corridor's articulated bus be- with under-performing engines. cause of its slower acceleration. Table 15 summarizes experiences with the use of the var- One system used the HC buses for a complete route, while ious types of HC buses from the perspectives of the cus- using standard buses for a short-turn variation of the same tomers, the operators, and the agencies. Experience with HC route. buses is by and large positive from all perspectives. TABLE 14 SUMMARY OF SCHEDULING PRACTICES FOR HIGHER CAPACITY BUSES Operation Scheduling Practices for HC Buses Mixed Only change was that on some routes the number of buses was lowered when substituting with an articulated bus for a 40-ft bus. Some additional recovery time for a double-deck bus is provided that will be changed as needed after data are received from the first year of live operations. Many individual express trips and school trips are targeted during the planning stage to have an artic assignment. In many cases, three standard bus-type trips are collapsed into two artic-type trips. Each of these trips is assigned an artic bus type in the schedule database and the interline scheduling program module is used to connect as many of these trips together to form vehicle blocks. Goal is to maximize the use of articulated buses on as many high-volume trips as possible. Las Vegas Strip schedule was changed to a frequency-based headway service. Two supervisors coordinate the buses on the Las Vegas Strip. Constrained Interlining occurs only with articulated bus routes and trips. Running time is adjusted, if required. Highest patronage trips are assigned to an HC bus. Interlining with other routes was restricted owing to bus length as compared with bus stop lengths on other routes. Certain routes cannot accommodate articulated buses, so the scheduling parameters were adjusted to prohibit some interlining. Changes were made to interlining to ensure two bus types were not put on same route. Restricted Procedures were changed so that certain types of service could not have an HC bus assigned, thereby limiting interlining opportunities. Artic buses could not be interlined with other buses. 45-ft coaches are dedicated to commuter express service only. Source: Transit agency survey responses. Artic bus = articulated bus.