The Problem

Road traffic emissions are a major threat to air quality in urban areas. Standards for car emissions and Government policy have produced cleaner individual vehicles, but the general increase in traffic on our roads has offset this. This pollution is most evident in cities with narrow streets and congestion problems.

The introduction of quality bus corridors was a first step in making Dublin’s public transport service attractive for moving around the city. Quality Bus Corridors are an initiative to give dedicated road space and traffic signal priority to buses in Dublin, reducing journey times, improving service consistency and making the bus a more attractive mode of travel which in turn takes other vehicles off the roads and improves the city’s overall air quality.

“Well-used public transport can accommodate up to 20 times as many passengers as can private cars on the same road space” (UITP).

The Solution

This project, for Transport Infrastructure Ireland, has seen Nicander deliver a new database to store the performance data of the Quality Bus Corridors operated by Dublin Bus. The database is used as a basis for a suite of reports, providing a previously unobtainable insight into the performance of bus corridors across the City. This has proven extremely valuable for the Authority informing future decision–making and allowing detailed data analysis to be undertaken.

An SQL Server Integration Package has been provided which runs on a monthly basis (or can be run at any time manually) to import the bus corridor data supplied by Dublin Bus automatically removing the risk of human error when entering the data.

Some of the uses for the Quality Bus corridor reports are:

    • A Comparison Report which plots the overall average speed of vehicles in the corridor against the time of day. It shows that data in graph form for given months so that variations in the performance of a corridor can be seen at a glance.
    • A Journey Performance Report which shows both the average speed and average drive time of each section of a given corridor (corridors are broken into individual sections) which allows the client to quickly highlight poorly performing sections of a corridor for a given date range. This report can also be focused down to specific time periods (i.e. morning rush hour / evening rush hour)
    • A Journey Time Report that plots a line for each section of a corridor plotting its drive time against the time of day. This allows the identification of which times of the day individual sections of the corridor perform the worst and most efficiently
    • An Average Speed Report a similar report to that above but plotting speed in place of journey time
    • A Map Report which, when given a bus stop ID and a time range, will plot the positions of the three vehicles that appears most often. This allows the client to pinpoint individual vehicles that are performing poorly at that specific point of the route