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Why do cities invest in bus priority measures?: Policy, polity, and politics in Stockholm and Copenhagen
Lunds Universitet.
Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, Society, environment and transport, Mobility, actors and planning processes.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1346-8094
2019 (English)In: Transport Policy, ISSN 0967-070X, E-ISSN 1879-310XArticle in journal (Refereed) In press
Abstract [en]

Given the current attention on transport system related challenges concerning climate emissions, air pollution and congestion in cities, there are great aspirations to increase the volume and share of passengers using public transport. Among other things, this demands that services should be improved. One type of improvement is to increase the speed of buses and improve regularity. Doing so will make bus services more attractive, which in turn may help to increase public transport. In congested areas, speed and regularity may be improved through the implementation of measures such as bus lanes, signal priority at traffic lights, a reduction in the number of bus stops, and the re-designing of crossroads, etc., measures that are often framed within the term “bus priority measures”.

Especially in connection with the introduction of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), several scientific studies have been carried out regarding factors that promote or prevent investments in measures that prioritise bus service. However, these studies, are often focused on the planning and implementation of measures in the Global South, especially in Latin America and Asia (Lindau et al., 2014, Muñoz and Geschwinder, 2008, Munoz and Paget-Seekins, 2016; Nikitas and Karlsson, 2015, Rizvi and Sclar, 2014). In contrast, the literature that describes conditions for the implementation of priority measures in Scandinavian countries is more limited (Finn et al., 2011 is an exception). Additionally, while the aforementioned studies focus on the implementation of bus priority measures in the context of large-scale BRT projects, there is to the best of our knowledge not any studies on the implementation of priority measures in “conventional” bus services.

In the Scandinavian context the responsibility for implementing priority measures is shared between different actors. In the context of procured public transport the regional public transport authorities (PTA's) and commercial operators are important actors. If bus services operate on roads where the state is infrastructure holder, the national road administrations are also involved (the Swedish Transport Administration, and the Danish Road Directorate). However, the municipal level plays a key role, because they manage the infrastructure for large parts of the urban road network, where the majority of bus travel occurs. Based on this, the purpose of this study is to investigate what causes the Scandinavian capitals, Stockholm in Sweden and Copenhagen in Denmark to prioritise investments in bus priority measures in their road networks. Given the lack of previous research on implementing bus priority measures in the Scandinavian context, we apply a broad, exploratory approach, which means that we are open to explanations both concerning why the cities invest, but also to the challenges associated with implementing bus priority measures. So, the research question is: Which factors promote or prevent municipal investments in bus priority measures?

In the following sections, we first present some concepts that have been used to structure the project's empirical data, we further present an international literature review as well as the project's methods (chapter 2). Thereafter, two case studies of Stockholm and Copenhagen are described and analysed (chapter 3). In light of the international literature, findings in the cases are discussed (chapter 4), and finally we present the project's conclusions (chapter 5).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier Ltd , 2019.
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:vti:diva-14357DOI: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2019.10.013Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85074405506OAI: oai:DiVA.org:vti-14357DiVA, id: diva2:1385430
Available from: 2020-01-14 Created: 2020-01-14 Last updated: 2020-01-14Bibliographically approved

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Hedegaard Sørensen, Claus

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