A Master of Science thesis in Civil Engineering by Amro Riyadh Abdulwahid entitled, "Impact of Exclusive Bus Lanes on Traffic Performance in Urban Areas," submitted in June 2015. Thesis advisor is Dr. Akmal Abdelfatah. Soft and hard copy available.
In recent years, increased traffic congestion and shortage of available funds to build new roads have created a challenging situation. One of the possible solutions to this challenge is to manage the transportation infrastructure to operate at its maximum capacity. Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, has recently started its public transportation system, which is still under development. With the anticipated growth rates within the urban areas of Sharjah, there is a need for an efficient public transportation system. One of the possible approaches to improve the bus transit system performance in Sharjah is exclusive bus lanes (XBLs). Implementing XBL has been recognized as an effective strategy in the field of urban traffic congestion mitigation. This thesis provides a parametric study to investigate the impact of XBLs on urban road network performance under different traffic conditions using micro-simulation software, VISSIM, which is utilized to simulate different traffic scenarios. This thesis considers different traffic parameters such as demand-to-capacity ratio D/C, traffic turning percentages (through and left), bus headway, and bus direction. Results show that the XBLs are effective at D/C ratio of 0.80 or more. They also indicated that as the percentage of vehicles taking left turns decreases, the improvement percentage of the buses' travel time, intersection delay, and average speed increase and vice versa. XBLs were effective for the buses turning left for D/C ratio of 1.15 of the main road. The bus headway of 10 minutes had the least improvement percentages of the buses intersection delay for all D/C ratios while the bus headway of 15 minutes had the best improvement percentage of the buses' intersection delay for D/C ratios of 0.95 or less. The bus mode share that achieves the most benefit of the XBL is in the range of (10% - 15%) and (27% - 29%) for D/C ratios of 0.95 and 1.15, respectively. Furthermore, the performance of vehicles in adjacent lanes sacrificed after the implementation of XBLs for all D/C ratios and the average deterioration percentages of vehicles' travel time, intersection delay, and average speed are -5%, -11%, and -5%, respectively.