2.2.5 Public Transport Facilities
To support the provision of public transport and address the competing demands for road space, an integrated approach to the improvement of all aspects of the public transport system is required. Road based public transport has a significant role to play and may require the provision of specific facilities and priority measures for buses and trams in order to provide an appropriate level of service to on-road public transport.
Depending on the strategic significance to public transport of a particular road, intersection or interchange it may be advantageous to incorporate a range of facilities and priority measures to assist public transport services on the freeway or the intersecting road at an interchange such as:
- bus lanes on the freeway, ramps or intersecting road
- tram lanes on the intersecting road
- a busway or tram reservation
- high occupancy vehicle lanes on the freeway, ramps or intersecting road, defined as transit lanes in Australia under the Australian Road Rules
- traffic signal priority measures (refer to Guide to Traffic Management Part 9: Traffic Operations (Austroads 2009c))
- queue-jump lanes (refer to Guide to Road Design Part 4: Intersections and Crossings – General (Austroads 2009a))
- bus or tram stops within the interchange (refer to AGTM Part 6 (Austroads 2013a)).
- a modal interchange within or adjacent to the interchange to serve bus or rail services (refer to Guide to Traffic Management Part 11: Parking (Austroads 2008b))
- ramp metering with or without bypass lanes.
Freeway access ramps for buses
It is not always feasible, nor beneficial, to allocate an extended bus-only lane on a major highway or freeway, especially where bus flows are not large or where the freeway flows are relatively uncongested. However, bus access to the freeway itself may be significantly delayed by traffic congestion on mixed-traffic freeway entry ramps, regardless of whether ramp-metering devices are in operation to regulate entry flows to the freeway. This may be overcome through the construction of a bus-only ramp, or a bus lane on the freeway access ramp, allowing buses to bypass traffic queues.
Linking city centre bus lanes to freeway entry/exit ramps can also provide significant bus travel time improvements.
Where a busway is provided within a freeway median or adjacent to a freeway it will often be necessary to integrate separate busway ramp terminals into or adjacent to interchanges (Figure 2.1).
In appropriate circumstances it may be strategically desirable to accommodate a heavy rail service within the median of a freeway. This will result in the need for railway stations and modal interchanges some of which may be located within an interchange. Patrons of the modal interchange are likely to arrive as pedestrians from adjacent development or interchange from buses, for example. The safe and efficient movement of pedestrians, including people who have disabilities, is paramount in such cases.
Source: Western Australia Public Transport Authority (2004).