Social transit as mass transit in Australian suburban greenfield development

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Abstract

The operation of public transport service in suburban developments, particularly new greenfield developments, can face considerable challenges. Suburban developments are often served primarily through bus transit, which struggles to balance a mass transit function against a social transit (e.g., local service) function. As a result, many suburban neighborhoods are served by infrequent, indirect services that appeal only to a captive transit ridership. This study explored the impact of a new bus service on a new development on the fringe of Melbourne, Australia: Selandra Rise in Clyde North. Three years after the development opened, a bus service was introduced to connect the development to the nearest town center and train station. Unlike many of the surrounding services, this bus service was deliberately planned to serve a mass transit function with direct, frequent service and relatively poor penetration into the suburb but high frequency. Two surveys were conducted to explore the use and the impact of the new bus service: a survey of Selandra Rise residents (including those who did not use the bus) and an on-bus survey of riders. The surveys showed that the bus serves a hybrid function as both mass transit and social transit. The implications of these findings for the planning of transit to new housing developments are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-70
Number of pages9
JournalTransportation Research Record
Volume2543
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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