System selection, benefits, and financial feasibility of implementing an advanced public transportation system

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Transportation Research Record



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A procedure for selecting a suitable backbone radio communications system necessary for the implementation of advanced public transportation system technologies is presented. This procedure was used by the Regional Transportation Commission of Clark County, Nevada, in preparation of a radio communications master plan for the Las Vegas Citizens Area Transit system. The procedure recognizes the importance of taking into account not only the relative costs of the alternative candidate systems, but also other important factors such as the degree of system control by the transit agency, confidence in system development and technical practicality, potential for future expansion, and technical simplicity. Several alternative technologies for radio communications are reviewed and evaluated. Selection of the recommended system is based on the procedure that assigns relative weights to the important factors and gives each candidate system a score for each factor. The system with the highest total score is recommended for implementation. Potential system benefits are discussed and financial feasibility of the recommended system is evaluated by computing the annual rate of return on invested capital. Analysis shows that the system can pay for itself and also produce significant net savings in operation and capital costs. Although the analysis considered only potential savings in fleet size, an annual rate of return of over 21% on the invested capital has been shown to be achievable. Such savings can enable transit agencies to provide the same level of service at significantly reduced cost or expand the service without increasing operating costs.


Bus rapid transit; Local transit; Radio; Telecommunication systems; Urban transportation


Civil and Environmental Engineering | Civil Engineering | Communication Technology and New Media | Transportation




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