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1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
The success of sustainable urban transportation is based on selecting the optimal design and service aspects of a transit system that best meet and balance the needs of both operators and customers. A typical urban public transit planning process is concerned with providing a good level of service at a reasonable cost to the transit operator and to the users. A good level of service is provided by a transit system that is easily accessible in time (e.g., low waiting times) and space (e.g., low access distances), is reliable, requires a minimal number of transfers for a trip, and provides an affordable, safe, fast and comfortable journey with minimal environmental impact. A variety of transit technologies are available for public transit, ranging from several bus modes to tram, light rail transit (LRT), commuter rail and metropolitan rail (metro) systems. There are few strict definitions of each transit mode. Within each transit mode, the design and service aspects may vary to produce the optimal solution for specific urban environments and service requirements. Bus rapid transit (BRT) is a bus mode that is being increasingly used across the world. When greater speed or capacity is desired, there are numerous strategies that may be applied to influence passenger throughput and travel speeds. Articulated buses with multiple doors can be introduced, if additional capacity is required for essentially the same labor cost and bus dwell times need to be reduced to increase the mean speed. Bus dwell times can be further reduced by having electronic fare collection systems. The mean speed can be further increased by running the buses in bus-only lanes on regular roads. The most basic characteristic of BRT is that it is a bus service operated on the basis of limited stops. When BRT is operating on separate rights of way, the system is called a busway. Though busways operate on an all-stop mode (as opposed to limited stops), the spacing of the stops is much larger than that of local buses. While not essential, modern BRT systems typically incorporate the use of information and communications technology, such as bus tracking through GPS (Global Positioning System), smart cards, traffic signal priority and electronic bus arrival time displays on board buses and at bus stands.
On the other hand the traffic on the roads of Indian cities is highly heterogeneous comprising vehicles of wide ranging static and dynamic characteristics; the different types of vehicles present in the traffic can be broadly grouped into eight different categories as follows:
1. motorized two wheelers, which include motor cycles, scooters and mopeds,
2. Motorized three-wheelers, which include Auto-rickshaws – three wheeled motorized transit vehicles to carry a maximum of three passengers and tempos – three wheeled motorized vehicles to carry small quantities of goods,
3. Cars including jeeps and small vans,
4. Light commercial vehicles comprising large passenger vans and small four wheeled goods vehicles,
7. Bicycles and
8. Tricycles, which include cycle-rickshaws- three wheeled pedal type transit vehicles to carry a maximum of two passengers and three wheeled pedal type vehicles to carry small amount of goods over short distance. By virtue of the wide ranging static and dynamic characteristics, the vehicles occupy any lateral position on the road depending on the availability of road space at a given instant of time without any lane discipline and it is nearly impossible to impose lane discipline under such conditions. Under the said heterogeneous traffic flow conditions, the buses, being relatively larger vehicles, find it difficult to maneuver through the mixed traffic and are subjected to frequent acceleration and deceleration leading to lower speed and discomfort to both the driver and passengers. This also results in enormous delay and uncertainty to bus passengers and consequently, the level of service of buses gets reduced considerably making bus a less attractive mode of transport. The road traffic in Indian cities has grown at a very steep rate in the recent past making the available transport infrastructure inadequate. As augmentation of urban transport infrastructure is expensive, there is a need to find alternative solutions to the problem. One way is to devise methods for optimal utilization of the available infrastructure (road space) in such a way that the carrying capacity of the roadway, in terms of number of persons transported, is enhanced. This may be achieved by providing priority for buses, which will facilitate faster movement of more people in less number of vehicles resulting in reduced congestion and air pollution.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The introduction of a BRT or LRT system is based on the physical characteristics of a corridor, the current and estimated future passenger demand, and the financial capacity of the community at specific points in time. BRT may be selected as the desired transit mode to serve a corridor or it may be utilized as part of a corridor development strategy with higher order transit modes considered for the future. If the characteristics of LRT and BRT are well understood and the future demand for travel can be estimated with reasonable accuracy, the decisions regarding the technology to be used can be made in a rational manner. Thus, it is important to review each of these two modes in some detail.
1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main of the research work is to determine the impact of assessment of BRT buses measures on heterogeneous traffic flow using computer simulation. Other specific objectives of the study are:
1. to measure the heterogeneous traffic of BRT buses in Lagos state
2. to carry out a modification and validation of the newly developed model to examine the heterogeneous traffic model for BRT buses
3. to apply the validated simulation model to the BRT buses for the measurement of heterogeneous traffic
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTONS
The study came up with research questions so as to ascertain the above objectives of the study. The research questions for the study are:
1. How can the heterogeneous traffic of BRT buses in Lagos state be measured?
2. What is the modification and validation for the newly developed model to examine the heterogeneous traffic model for BRT buses?
3. How can the validated simulation model to the BRT buses for the measurement of heterogeneous traffic be achieved?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The study on the impact of assessment of BRT buses measures on heterogeneous traffic flow using computer simulation will be of immense benefit to the entire computer science department in Nigeria, the transport sector and serve as a repository of information to other researchers that desire to carry out similar research on the impact of assessment of BRT buses measures on heterogeneous traffic flow using computer simulation. The study finally will contribute to the body of the existing literature on BRT buses measures on heterogeneous traffic flow using computer simulation.
1.6 SCOPE OF STUDY
The study on the impact of assessment of BRT buses measures on heterogeneous traffic flow using computer simulation will be limited to the transportation sector in Nigeria with focus on the BRT buses.
1.7 ORGANISATION OF THE STUDY
The chapter one of the research work will consist of introduction, background of the study, the aim and objectives of the study, the research questions, significance of study and the scope of the study. The chapter two of the study will consist of the literature review. The chapter three of the research work will consist of model generation and modification. The chapter four of the research work will consist of the model application, interpretation and discussion of result.
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