López Lambas, Maria Eugenia and Valdés Serrano, Cristina
Squaring the circle: The BHLS concept.
In: "European Transport Conference, ETC 2010", 11/10/2010 - 13/10/2010, Glasgow, Escocia.
The transport systems known as Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) was launched in Curitiba, Brazil, in 1974 as a means of offering efficient and effective bus travel within the fast expanding city. This experience, together with other big examples like in Ottawa (since 1983) or in Quito (since 1994), have proven to be an efficient and effective solution to mass transport.
Throughout Europe similar experiences have started to be developed, but responding to a different concept of quality of service.
Bus systems such as the “trunk network”, in Sweden, the Metrobus, in Germany, or the BHNS (Bus à Haut Niveau de Service), broach the quality of service from a wider perspective than the BRT, as it considers aspects such as image, confort...,apart from speed, frequency or reliability.
These new systems - BHLS (Buses with a High Quality of Service) - allow to combine quality of service of tramways with the lower costs and higher flexibility of bus systems, and offers very interesting solutions in terms of accessibility, a wide range of service levels, that allows the system to be adapted to the different urban contexts (size, population, density…)
In the economic situation we are now living, the lack of funds provides BHLS an important role in public transport. Less costs with the same quality of service seems to be a very attractive option.
The aim of this article is to compare the different European experiences of tramways and BHLS, specially from the economic point of view, considering the costs, benefits and advantages of each of them.