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enters the dedicated busways. Integration with AVL doors on both sides of the vehicle to allow for proper allows tracking of buses and information on arrivals "docking" with the BRT station; passengers can to be displayed at key boarding locations. All of exit the feeder bus directly into the BRT station with- these functions are coordinated through EPTC's out having to leave the system and re-enter through control center. a turnstile. The electronic fare collection system in Porto With the opening of the third line in 2011, there Alegre has been well received. At present, more than will be more than 90 km of dedicated BRT lanes. 85% of fare transactions are processed electroni- Some portions of the right-of-way have been designed cally. However, there are some elements of the fare to have two lanes in each direction, which will collection system that function under an older set of allow express (skip-stop) operations when needed. operating practices, and these older practices seem Currently, there are 2.2 km of multiple-lane BRT to be in conflict with the newer system. Despite in operation. the high percentage of electronic fare transactions, Construction has revitalized certain areas, as buses are still staffed with both a driver and a con- evident by the crowds milling about the cafés and ductor. The conductor, in addition to his/her role in retail stores. Passenger safety has dramatically safety and security, collects cash fares and makes improved; not only has there been a steep decline in change onboard the bus--services that are needed traffic accidents, but there is almost no crime within for only a small percentage of riders. To recharge the controlled environment (inside the stations and their farecards, students have to take their money to onboard the BRT vehicles). The opening of the first a bank and get a voucher for the value of the money; line created 700 new jobs (which included replacing the voucher must then be taken to the sales office in some operator jobs from under the old scheme) with the center of the city where value is added to their much higher pay and benefits and better job security. farecard. In some cases, meals are offered to employees at contractor-controlled cafeterias on the operations and maintenance facility grounds. SERVICE OPTIMIZATION The stated goals in moving toward a BRT- Guayaquil, Ecuador anchored system were many, with increased system capacity and fewer transit vehicles on the road being The network of seven planned BRT lines is the most significant. Although the system is not yet intended to dramatically reduce the number of buses fully built, the initial lines have led to dramatic reduc- on the street and to provide faster service in a safer tions in traffic accidents and congestion, increased environment. The system relies upon smartcard ridership, improved passenger safety, and revital- technology, with rechargeable, contactless farecards ized neighborhoods. With the opening of the third used by all riders. The feeder routes have smartcard line in 2011, the three BRT lines will carry an esti- readers installed at the front door of each bus, but mated 600,000 passengers daily. cash is also accepted. Most BRT stations provide level platform board- ing and a closed boarding environment: passengers Santiago, Chile pay (with their smartcard) when they enter the sta- Although the initial implementation of the tion. In the downtown area, selected stations are Transantiago system was not smooth, once the bugs served by multiple routes, and passengers can easily were worked out the system served to provide more move from one line to another without exiting the sta- service with fewer buses and less travel time. Ser- tion or paying another fare. vice optimization improvements were made in both Traffic signal prioritization is employed to ensure the Transantiago and Metro systems. efficient flow in the BRT right of way. It is estimated The smartcard technology that was a key part of that the end-to-end travel time along each route has the new Transantiago system reduces bus dwelling been shortened by an average of 30 min each way. time by removing the sales transaction from the bus. The feeder buses are designed such that passen- It also allows for a much more sophisticated fare gers can access the system by boarding and touch- structure, in which fares can be more easily adjusted ing their farecard to the smartcard readers on board. to accommodate different times of day, different Once the feeder bus reaches a BRT station, it utilizes days, holidays, and so on. 14
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The more than 110 km of segregated busways, bus-only streets, and bus lanes that were introduced by Transantiago have resulted in faster service, which in turn has increased capacity and reduced operat- ing costs. The 148 prepaid-fare stations, at which passengers tap their farecards as they enter the station, rather than as they enter the bus, allow passengers to board through all doors on the bus. This significantly reduces the loading time at the station and allows more vehicles to serve the same stations in far less time. New bus stops have been added, bringing the systemwide total to more than 10,000. By contracting with a limited number of private Figure 6 Santiago Metro skip-stop train and crowd companies to provide bus service, Transantiago was control personnel. able to ensure that the vehicles would be newer and safer than the vehicles that had been in service under the prior system, that purchasing would be more transit and in some rail systems elsewhere, the Metro efficient, and that driver training and skills would system in Santiago was not designed to operate in be improved. Fewer private operators have led to such a way. By skipping some stops, a train can enhanced service quality. move end to end through a line much faster and thus By coordinating service with Metro de Santiago, add capacity to the system. The key is that passen- Transantiago has encouraged riders to use both bus gers must know which trains to board to reach their and Metro to complete their journeys, and the inte- destination. As journey time became faster under grated farecards allow seamless passage through skip-stop operations, riders became more pleased the system. with the system. Transantiago monitors service 24 hours a day, Short-turns were implemented where infrastruc- 7 days a week, through its technical monitoring ture allowed. Metro system was designed so that center. The monitoring involves GPS feedback and a some trips on some lines could be ended short of the series of cameras throughout the city, with each radio last station, where capacity demand is the lowest; controller responsible for one business unit/bus oper- this would allow the train to re-enter service in the ating company (some having up to 1,000 buses.) The opposite direction more quickly. The result is higher content on the large screen in the monitoring center frequencies at stations near the geographical center is controlled by engineers and the radio room chief. points of the route, and lower frequencies at the The information displayed is related to the current ends. This technique increased capacity where it was operating condition. A night shift was added in the needed most, without requiring additional trains or monitoring center in late October 2009 in response service hours. to complaints that buses, which were supposed to Fares were increased during peak hours as a operate every 30 min, were operating every 90 min means of encouraging riders to travel in nonpeak at 3:00 a.m. hours. Smartcard technology meant that only a sim- When the launch problems with Transantiago ple reprogramming of the software was required to caused many riders to switch to the subway, Metro make this change. de Santiago had to quickly devise and implement All train maintenance activities were shifted to solutions for the need of added capacity in the face the overnight hours. To reduce the number of out- of an almost overnight doubling of demand. Metro, of-service rolling stock (cars that were not available while limited in its own capital capacities and rely- for service due to maintenance requirements), Metro ing upon a measured and systematic plan for growth revised the maintenance staff schedules to accom- adopted earlier, quickly applied several techniques modate all scheduled maintenance during overnight to increase train speed and thus increase capacity. hours and on the least busy operating days. This Skip-stop (express service) was introduced on effectively increased the number of vehicles avail- the busiest lines (Figure 6). While common in bus able for service on any given day. 15
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A new train control software system was initiated infrastructure needs and was not viewed positively that will reduce the time between trains to 80 sec in terms of efficiency and reliability. Metrovias (down from 100 sec). When the new train control sys- attempted to improve efficiency through staff reduc- tem is fully operational, this will increase the capac- tions, but was not successful due to tradeoffs that ity of the system by about 10%. were made to buy labor peace and accommodate legacy work rules and related issues. Several operational efficiency improvements Buenos Aires, Argentina were considered during the past 5 to 7 years, but Service optimization in Buenos Aires has been ultimately were not implemented. These included limited by financial constraints, labor union objections, peak/off-peak fares, electronic fare collection, and a lack of a long-term transit planning process. fare vending machines, and reductions in onboard Improvements to the subway system and the train staff. capital investment to pay for those improvements Peak/off-peak fares were considered as a means are the responsibility of the federal government, but of shifting some of the crowding seen during peak once the capital investment is made, the local gov- periods to off-peak periods, when more capacity ernment owns and maintains the system. As a result was available. The federal government decided not of a political decision to keep fares stable rather than to back this initiative because of concerns by station keeping pace with increased costs and inflation, pub- fare collectors about conflicts with passengers about lic subsidies now account for roughly 60% of the the proper fare to be collected. cost of operations. Metrovias has found that the administrative costs In 2000, electronic fare technology (smartcards) of the electronic farecards are higher per ride than was introduced. Subway cars were purchased from the fare collected. Fare coordination between com- Japan at about the same time in an effort to meet ris- muter rail, subway, and bus services does not exist, ing ridership demand. Although the cars had to be despite having been a goal for many years. modified with skirts to bridge the gap between the Fare vending machines were also purchased sev- platform and car (the Japanese cars were narrower eral years ago but were never used; public concerns than the cars traditionally used), the cars have proved about the machines' impact on employees, who might to be the most reliable and cost effective in the fleet be displaced by the automated system, blocked their (Figure 7). implementation. When its contract began in 1994, Metrovias The idea of reducing staff onboard the trains by assumed operation of a transit system that was stag- eliminating guards who are primarily responsible nant and not keeping up with demand and capital for opening and closing doors met with opposition from the labor union because of a perception of decreased security on the trains and hence was not implemented. Approximately 15,000 buses operate on the streets of Buenos Aires, with the majority operating under permits issued by the federal government. Some 3,000 operate under provincial control, with 2,000 under local control. Since 1987, the number of companies that have been granted operating permits has been sig- nificantly reduced, and those companies have oper- ated with greater scrutiny and oversight from the government. New requirements have been put in place in which vehicle types and required features have served to improve service and even accessibility. In 1987, only one of the operating companies had more than 350 buses. Today, there are five companies of this size or greater. The number of operating compa- nies providing service has been reduced from 120 in Figure 7 Metrovias Line B "second-hand cars." 1987 to fewer than 60 today. 16
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Public buses operate on some 300 independent lanes are consequently being made to improve the routes with significant overlap, but overall spatial flow of BRT buses through the downtown area. coverage is quite good. To aid passengers in navi- Under the former bus system, tickets and cash gating the system, bus destination signs are quite large were accepted as fare payment. Now, with the new and easily read from a distance. Bus stops share poles electronic farebox system, every person entering the with parking signs and list the route numbers and system must use a smartcard to board a bus, regard- destinations for buses serving the stop. Equipment less of whether a fare is required or not. This allows has improved, and a regulation that no vehicle of more information on actual usage to be collected, which in than 10 years of age can be operated has recently been turn enables planners to evaluate travel patterns and implemented. About 15% of the operating fleet design more efficient service. employs a low-floor design. It is expected that smartcard technology will be Even with the challenges of a public to private fully integrated into the entire system within a few transition and given the limitations placed upon years. Passengers boarding buses at stops through- Metrovias management by labor rules that serve to out the city will have to use a farecard to access reduce efficiency, strides have been made in improv- the system. Onboard smartcard readers, as well as ing service and increasing efficiency. Most of the smartcard-accessed pre-paid stations at certain busy efficiencies are related to the planning and service stops, will be used to monitor and control access. delivery choices that have been made by Metrovias, There are 5,500 bus stops in the system; some on as well as in infrastructure development. Service reli- raised platforms served by BRT lines and some on ability has improved dramatically since Metrovias sidewalks. Some of these bus stops have consider- began operations. able amounts of information for users, including maps of the network, maps of individual routes, and bus schedules. Those stops that do not yet offer this Porto Alegre, Brazil information will be upgraded to include it. Current service optimization projects in Porto In Porto Alegre, the transit system utilizes a Alegre include installation of an integrated fare sys- unique service optimization technique called como- tem; revitalization of specific areas; improved user nor, which is a convoy type service that provides information at bus terminals and stops, such as maps improved bus service delivery. This technique con- and pocket guides; and more centralized control sists of six buses lined up at the transit station or bus and monitoring. Porto Alegre is installing priority stop into three groups of two buses, with each group lanes for public transit in the city center and con- headed to the same destination. For example, two necting with transit corridors already in place. For buses form group A, two buses form group B, and two the BRT lines, elevated platforms are being con- buses form group C. All six buses are released at the structed in the center of the street to improve board- same time and they follow each other in a convoy. ing time. They are also trying to locate bus stops Passengers waiting at bus stops know the order of near area trade centers and services. In addition, an buses arriving and form lines that will increase improved network of bikeways is slated to promote boarding speed and reduce the time the bus has to alternate mobility options. be stopped for passenger boarding and alighting. To improve traffic flow, cameras are being GPS technology is also being used now to more installed to help manage traffic at intersections. At this efficiently schedule and monitor bus service, and point, 95% of the cameras are tied into the system. The traffic signal prioritization (TSP) is being imple- traffic management system operates 24 hours a day, mented. This process is made easier with the involve- 7 days a week. Another traffic flow tool is signal tim- ment of EPTC, which manages and regulates the ing, which can be adjusted to reduce congestion. All city's entire transportation system, including traffic buses are equipped with a transponder (AVL sys- flow and control. tem) that works with 40 antennas located throughout EPTC's strategy for achieving a sustainable trans- the city to determine if transit vehicles are operating portation system is to make walking a priority mode, on time. provide incentives for auto users and motorcycle More than 65% of the BRT lines operate through riders to shift to alternative modes of transportation, the downtown and are a major contributor to the and use information technology (IT) and transporta- downtown area's vitality. Improvements to the BRT tion demand management (TDM) strategies to make 17