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Bus Service Planning: Introduction

Public transit systems serve many useful functions in the modern world. When designed properly, public transit can provide an efficient and convenient alternative to private passenger vehicles. Reducing the use of private automobiles has several benefits, not the least of which are reduced congestion in transportation networks and fewer harmful chemical emissions.

The principle problem facing transit engineers is the development of transit systems that encourage patronage, provide dependable and efficient service, and are operable within the budgetary and political constraints that exist within their districts.

Bus service is the most common form of public transit. Its popularity is based on its flexibility, expandability, and low cost. Since the bus service planning process can be long and complex, it is often done with the help of computer software that can try millions of potential route structures, service schedules, and employee schedules.

This chapter will introduce most of the important concepts in bus service planning, but will fall short of being a comprehensive guide to the subject. Once you are in practice, your transportation district and transit authority will be able to provide you with procedures and guidelines that have been developed from years of experience in the area.

To begin exploring Bus Service Planning, click on one of the links to the left.