Sustainable public transportation: quantifying the benefits of sustainable Bus Rapid Transit systems

University essay from KTH/Industriell Management

Abstract: Transportation in densely populated areas is becoming increasingly problematic. Congestion, air pollution, accident-related fatalities and time wasted in traffic are only a few of issues associated urban transportation. Personal transportation is expected to increase by 63% total, where car traffic is expected to increase by 67% and railway traffic – by 80% during the period from 2006 to 2050. With that kind of dynamic, reaching the currently set sustainability goals is impossible. This raises the need for introducing sustainable public transportation solutions. Defining sustainability in the context of public transportation and taking into account the case-specific differences that affect the definition is an important step in this process. Quantification and the use of calculation tools for sustainability impact assessment are important for discussing the subject in concretized terms. Public transportation involves a multitude of stakeholders that each have their own responsibility areas. Since public transportation systems are ultimately a collective effort, every stakeholder has to partake in this endeavor on their corresponding level of responsibility. Socioeconomic criteria are an integral part of sustainability impact analysis, since it puts technical transport-related calculations into a broader context that goes beyond the transport sector. This is a qualitative applied study of Scania’s efforts in developing calculation models to facilitate leading the dialogue by providing quantitative evidence during the early stages of their solution sales process. In this report, the methodology for sustainability impact assessment, traffic planning and socioeconomic calculations are studied and applied on the case of Scania, where a holistic calculation tool is developed for the company. Bus Rapid Transit systems have been proven to be effective, sustainable solutions of public transportation in several regions. The vehicle fleet is an important component within the BRT system, which is why calculation tools for analysis of sustainability impacts of BRT systems have high strategic significance for Scania. By providing quantitative evidence of the benefits of sustainable public transportation, the company is going to be able to gain additional market shares while simultaneously promoting sustainable urban public transportation.

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