SmartBus
Our cities deserve smart transport solutions
 
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SmartBus varies from Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) such as the R-Net bus 300 (former Zuidtangent) serving the region of Amsterdam (Netherlands), Transmilenio in Bogotá (Colombia), Busway Line 4 in Nantes (France), or small pragmatically renewed urban bus systems in a series of towns all over Europe, particularly some German towns.
A clear advantage of SmartBus is the rather easy phasing of the project. It is not necessary to finish facilities and dedicated infrastructure at once. For instance, buses are able to penetrate the city centre opportunistically on regular road. R-Net BRT in the Dutch city of Haarlem is an example of this. O-bus (Aidelaide, Australia) and Transitway (Ottawa, Canada) are non-European examples. Our SmartBus' principle activities:

. Changing culture, clearing the way for better bus ideas & schemes
. Creating awareness for possible projects and pragmatic improvements
. Designing particular projects and addressing technical and practical issues
. Assessing bus solution potentials in cities worldwide
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In our (ongoing) research into BRT systems (in co-operation with University of Technology Delft, Netherlands, and Ghent University, Belgium) we underlined the effectiveness of these systems, though, with some footnotes. For instance, one our cases like Bogotá (Colombia) shows that the amount of BRT vehicles needed is much higher than the number of light rail vehicles in a similar situation. This means that the number of staff needed (above all drivers) is much higher in the LRT case, which is only financially achievable in low-wage countries. Other ‘costs’ are significant loss of comfort, overcrowding, social unsafety, irregular service patterns, unreliability of services, and ultimately saturation of the system. Our paper on this subject will be published in due time.

Our pilot project research for the Japanese city of Fukuoka (2011-2013) offered a new consistent principle to serve as guideline in the redesign of the bus network: On the busiest sections, multiple lines should be bundled into a single trunk line. The trunk line should then be complemented by a series of feeders services, connected to trunk line service by advanced interchange facilities that allow for easy cross-platform transfers. This improved and extended network must be used to stimulate all future urban (re)development and as a framework for transit-oriented (re)development at a limited number of urban nodes within the network. Download the full presentation (Fukuoka, 2012)…

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Phileas (NL)_Zuidtangent (NL)_T Bus (NL)_Lugano (IT)_Bologna (IT)_Max (DE)_Aalborg (DK)

Our first generation of case studies were published on this site during 2006 - in co-operation with Axel Kuehn (Karlsruhe, Gemany). The development of many of these schemes proved the problematic durability of some bus schemes. For instance, all bus quality brands in the three Dutch projects are abondoned since (situation 2019). Moreover, the case of Phileas (Eindhoven, Netherlands) witnessed the complete failure of presumed revolutionary vehicle technology.

Still disadvantages of buses remain. Evidently a bus is still a bus, whether 'smart' or 'rapid transit'. Buses are not conceived to be very 'sexy' and the 'rail bonus' is not valid. Moreover: the capacity of buses is limited compared to light rail. In some cases high bus-pressure on vulnerable public realm of (historic) centres represents a serious disadvantage of BRT (e.g. centre of Bogotá), let alone conventional bus. And, no through services are feasible on regional railway corridors. Our research into this challenging subject will be continued…!

See also this software approache: StadtBusland (DE) And even more examples... And our study tour offers...


 

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