BRT: promise and peril
BRT done well offers the potential of metro-like levels of capacity, passenger service and speed at a fraction of the cost of metro systems. BRT also has a much faster implementation time frame and can rapidly provide a citywide reach, since BRT buses can enter and leave the BRT corridor. BRT done poorly provides none of these benefits. Planning, design, implementation and operation of high capacity BRT systems providing citywide benefits, starting with a preliminary or conceptual design, is a core focus area of Far East BRT.
Far East BRT's expertise
Far East BRT’s consultant team has expertise in all key aspects of BRT planning, design, implementation, supervision, and operation. These include: project set-up, BRT stations (configuration, dimensions, architecture, signage & identity, spacing), BRT roadways and intersections, technical supervision of implementation, demand analysis & modeling, operational design & fleet requirements, costings, communications & outreach, impact analysis, ITS elements, modal integration, station area development, regulation & institutions, traffic management during construction, and impact analysis.
Far East BRT’s team have planned, developed, implemented and/or provided technical supervision of BRT systems in cities worldwide, including a lead role on projects and plans in many major Asian cities.
Far East BRT has worked on the ongoing Ulaaanbaatar BRT planning and design throughout 2016. Some updates on the project are available at the following articles:Ulaanbaatar BRT plans and designs taking shape(November 2016) andSmart cards provide accurate, comprehensive data in Ulaanbaatar(May 2016).
Far East BRT has provided ongoing input to the Guiyang BRT planning, including corridor selection and BRT corridor design and planning, for more than a year. Although the project is still in planning stages, BRT corridors and designs with excellent potential have been identified and a preliminary design carried out. In February 2017 Guiyang opened an earlier-planned BRT corridor along a ring road. Far East BRT was not involved in the planning of this system but, as part of the ongoing BRT planning in Guiyang, is assisting the city and operators to help find ways to improve demand and operational performance in this system.
TheGuangzhou BRTopened in February 2010 after Far East BRT experts at the time working for ITDP-China and GMEDRI led the planning, design and implementation from the conceptual design in 2005 through detailed engineering design in 2008 and construction in 2009. The system averages 800,000 passengers per day, and together with Bogota's Transmilenio is the only BRT system worldwide to carry more than 25,000 passengers per hour in a single direction, which is higher than most metro and all light rail lines worldwide. Guangzhou's BRT pioneered very high capacity 'direct service' BRT in which BRT buses enter and leave the BRT corridor without passengers needing to transfer.
The Guangzhou BRT won the Sustainable Transport Award in 2011 and has won many other national and international awards. Far East BRT experts provided key inputs at all stages of the planning, design and implementation of the Guangzhou BRT, and led the project during the conceptual design, engineering design and construction phases, as well as preparing detailed proposals for optimization and improvement after the system commenced operation.
Far East BRT experts at the time working for ITDP-China in 2012 won an international bid by the Asian Development Bank to provide the BRT preliminary design in Yichang, the second largest city in Hubei Province after Wuhan, and the site of the Three Gorges Dam. With strong support and guidance from the ADB's project manager, Far East BRT experts prepared the preliminary corridor design, demand analysis, operations, station and road design, and other system features of theYichang BRT. Based on the BRT conceptual design prepared in 2012 and a key role played by Far East BRT experts during the engineering design and construction phases, Yichang in July 2015 opened Asia’s second Gold Standard BRT system. The city implemented two BRT corridors in 2015 with $150 million in ADB loan funding, from the city center southward for 13km with 22 stations (opened July) and northward for 10km and 15 stations (mostly open November 2015, with 3km opening in 2016).
Yichang was awarded the 2016 Sustainable Transport Award in a ceremony in January. Seehttp://fareastbrt.com/en/city/yichangfor photos and media articles on the lead-up to and opening of the Yichang BRT in 2015.
Far East BRT experts helped transform the Asian Development Bank’s transport project in Lanzhou from one focusing mainly on utility tunnels to one of Asia's highest capacity BRT corridors. TheLanzhou BRTis the first BRT system based on a split station concept with BRT buses in the same direction stopping on both sides of a platform. This innovative design offers roughly the same capacity as that of a traditional split BRT station, but with half the length and only one meter in extra width. In May 2015 the system was averaging 309,000 daily passengers, and in 2014 a major bike sharing system was successfully implemented in Lanzhou, including along the BRT corridor.
Far East BRT, under a contract with the Ji'an project management office and funded through the Asian Development Bank's project in the city, is assisting with and supervising the planning, design, implementation and operation of a BRT project connecting initially planned for a 31km BRT corridor connecting Ji'an with Ji'an County, and connecting the high speed railway station to the downtown area and old railway station. This is a multi-year project starting in early 2017. Far East BRT is also assisting with and supervising the planning, design, implementation and operation of greenways, non-motorized transport improvements, and traffic management measures including parking.
Other cities where Far East BRT experts have been intensively involved and played lead roles in include:
- Metro Manila BRT conceptual design (2015, in development - seemaps of Metro Manila bus routes)
- Dandong BRT (2016, in planning)
- Vientiane BRT (2014, approved by ADB Board in March 2015 for implementation)
- Nanning BRT
- Ulaanbaatar BRT (2011 and 2016, in planning/design for implementation starting 2017)
- Kuala Lumpur BRT (Federal Highway - Tun Sambanthan 2012 conceptual design, approved but not yet implemented).
Cities where Far East BRT has played a signficant role include:
- Peshawar BRT (2016, in planning, support provided to ITDP-Indonesia)
- Yangon BRT (2017, in early planning, with a small ADB-funded study providing preliminary recommendations on BRT and other urban transport improvements in Yangon).
BRT impact analysis
Analyzing the impact of BRT projects requires a range of surveys implemented before and after the BRT is implemented. Far East BRT experts led the preparation and implementation of such surveys in several cities, including Guangzhou, Lanzhou, and Yichang.