BRTPlan’s Principals are innovators in developing smart service plans that can bring bus services much closer to where people live and work with minimal transfers and at minimal operating cost. A great service plan is often the difference between a profitable bus network with huge passenger travel time savings and a loss-making system that increases passenger travel time.
Unlike firms with experience primarily in rail system development, for whom service planning is too often an afterthought, at BRTPlan, service planning is at the core of BRT system design. While rail services are restricted to running up and down the rail tracks, BRT services can operate not only on BRT infrastructure but can also continue in mixed traffic to multiple destinations. BRT can also accommodate a variety of limited stop and express services, ensuring that BRT services will get passengers close to their destinations quickly. Unique in the industry, BRTPlan designs infrastructure around the needs of an optimal service plan, rather than designing services around the requirements and constraints of proposed infrastructure. Infrastructure built to overcome delay in specific locations for a specific set of services can save hundreds of millions of dollars.
As BRT projects have often been used as an opportunity to restructure the existing bus network, BRTPlan has also developed expertise in bus network redesign. Many transit systems haven’t changed bus routes in decades, despite significant changes in a city’s travel patterns. A growing number of cities are thinking about how they can improve bus services without increasing their operating costs. A great bus network redesign follows the same principles as BRT service planning.
BRTPlan’s Principals have codified the service planning tools they use to optimize bus networks and BRT services in the new “Service Planning” chapter of the 2016 BRT Planning Guide.