Principles of Bus Service Planning

“Bus Route Planning is not a Science, it’s an Art”

Claims similar to the above are made about a number of processes – we at AHA are perhaps not qualified to claim that it applies to planning for buses any more than anything else, but a case can certainly be made.

While various software modules are available to assist with bus planning, the human brain, together with an understanding of the geography of the area in question and the needs of users,  is always the best tool – it’s an area where we are experts.

A number of documents are publically available giving guidance on bus planning – a selection are listed here. Our own take on the main issues (principally with urban areas in mind) is set out below. Much of it applies to planning any form of public transit, not just buses. Note that this document does not claim to cover all the issues; particular coverage is given to the issue of bus stop spacing and its effect on accessibility.  … more …
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1.    Introduction

2.    What are the Objectives?

3.    What Information is needed?

4.    The Key Issues

5.    Frequency and Simplicity vs Coverage

6.    Spacing of Bus Stops

Route Spacing
Bus Stop Spacing
Geometry of walking network, and effect on distance to stops
Effects on coverage of route and stop spacing

7.    Extent of Interchange (Transfer)

8.    Cross-city operation of bus services

9.    Transit Planning References