BRT → mobility → TOD

Welcome to Far East Mobility, a consulting firm working with cities to realize sustainable transport goals. We help to visualize and select policy and project options, and then to plan, design and implement successful measures which inspire replication in other cities.

Far East's multi-disciplinary team of staff and associated experts led the planning, design, and implementation of the two 'gold standard' BRT systems in Asia: the world's second-highest capacity BRT system in Guangzhou, as well as the award-winning Yichang BRT.

Recent articles

Our sustainable transport focus areas

  1. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridors

    BRT done well offers the potential of metro-like levels of capacity, passenger service and speed at a fraction of the cost of metro systems. BRT also has a much faster implementation time frame and can rapidly provide a citywide reach, since BRT buses can enter and leave the BRT corridor. BRT done poorly provides none of these benefits. Planning, design, implementation and operation of high capacity BRT systems providing citywide benefits, starting with a BRT conceptual design, preliminary design or feasibility study, is a core focus area of Far East Mobility. Far East's consultants can provide crucial guidance to cities and agencies on BRT systems and corridors, from the earliest conceptual design stages through to preliminary design, and technical supervision and input during the engineering design, construction, and operation. This guidance includes practical advice on the steps cities and agencies should take at each stage of the project to ensure a successful outcome, as well as our help in navigating the various BRT project minefields. Learn more…
  2. Traffic management

    Traffic surveys, simulations, impact analysis, circulation and management are all issues requiring attention as part of BRT projects. Microsimulations can help to test and verify solutions as well as explain project impacts - especially major projects such as BRT systems - to decision-makers and stakeholders.
  3. Transit-oriented development (TOD)

    BRT systems are a major investment and cities should maximize returns by encouraging high quality station area development in line with international best practices. Special zones should be set up around BRT stations, regulating issues such as pedestrian & bicycle facilities, parking provision in new developments, on-street & setback parking, affordable housing and other approaches that can be 'trialled' first in BRT station areas before being rolled out citywide. Learn more…
  4. Parking & TDM

    Parking projects often include surveys and data collection, definition of zones, documenting parking best practices, setting standards for parking provision for new developments, input to tender documents, setback parking management, parking pricing, communications, technology, roadway design, enforcement, and other aspects.
  5. Non-motorized transport (NMT)

    The planning, design, implementation, and operation/management of pedestrian and bicycle facilities is important in any city, and is an area of intense attention by cities and agencies in almost all BRT projects. Measures that can be taken to improve bike and pedestrian facilities include bike sharing, greenways, and high quality urban bike networks. 'Complete streets' or road designs to enhance vibrancy and appeal, prioritizing cyclists & pedestrians, are an excellent way to improve BRT corridor access and promote station area development. Some of the issues relating to ensuring high quality NMT facilities with BRT are discussed in our Ji'an case study. In our experience, if excellent NMT facilities are to be implemented together with BRT, it cannot be done as an afterthought. NMT planning needs to be done in the early design stages so that it can be incorporated into designs, and needs to be supervised to ensure implementation in line with designs.
  6. Road safety

    Road safety is an important consideration in BRT planning and in sustainable transport planning generally. All transit passengers are pedestrians at the start and end of their trips, and road, intersection and transit system design all have major potential impacts on pedestrian and bicycle safety. One useful measure which can be carried out independently or as part of a wider transit or road project is a Road Safety Audit. Learn more…
  7. Site visits & training

    Nothing will convince a city's leaders of the benefits, as well as the potential pitfalls and preferred approaches to BRT, as a site visit to BRT systems such as Bogota, Cali, Brisbane, or Guangzhou. Technical personnel also benefit immensely from such visits. Far East Mobility can conduct site visit and training programs on BRT and sustainable transport, focusing on the Guangzhou and Yichang BRT systems. Learn more…
Interesting news & links

See No Evil
An article explaining the robustness of supply chains. 'Tributaries' rather than 'chains'. ... "In some sense all gold is the same, so you just buy the cheapest gold you can get. But if you look at it in another way, it matters how it was mined and transported. And then all of the sudden, every piece of gold is a little bit different."
Miriam Posner, Logic Magazine, 11/08/2018

A Once-Maligned Concrete Megastructure in Seoul is Revitalized—Sans Gentrification
A focus on infill and re-use is example for some of the largely abandoned areas in cities like Ji'an, China. "Now, thanks to the Remaking Sewoon Project, which Seoul mayor Park Won-soon spearheaded in 2015, Sewoon Sangga is poised as an adaptive- reuse success story in the city’s post–2008 recession efforts to improve walkability, connect communities, and nurture creative growth."
Metropolis, 08/08/2018

Secret document warns vision for Sydney's light rail ignored realities
A 'Lessons for Light Rail' report says the project for a light rail from Sydney's CBD to the eastern suburbs should have had a more detailed design process with a longer evaluation and negotiation period. The report notes that "Visions were promoted before understanding the real constraints of the project - the underground utilities and drainage."
SMH, 05/08/2018

Two Dockless Bikeshare Companies Have Left D.C., One Citing Tight Regulations
Mobike is leaving Washington DC citing a 400-bike cap that killed any chance of efficient or meangingful operations. Washington joins the long list of cities that rather than embracing dockless bike sharing and the potential to double or triple the proportion of trips made by bicycle, has instead focused on over-regulation and obstruction.
WAMU, 25/07/2018

China made solar panels cheap. Now it’s doing the same for electric buses.
"Battery electric buses are still a nascent technology; they haven’t hit the steep upward slope of the S-curve yet. For city and county authorities, the decision between BEBs and diesel or natural gas buses is still agonizingly difficult, involving considerations about infrastructure, interoperability, lock-in, and lifecycle analysis that are new to many of them. So the market needs a kick in the pants to really get moving. And it looks like China is providing it."
Vox, 24/07/2018

Uber's e-bikes are cannibalizing rides from Uber's cars
The greatest shift away from cars occurred each weekday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., when traffic congestion is at its worst. Uber and Jump anticipated that, figuring that passengers would seek alternatives to slogging through gridlock in a car.
CNN, 19/07/2018

Apartment buildings are illegal to build in 73.5% of San Francisco
"Apartment building" is defined to be a building with 3 or more homes. It is illegal to build a building with more than 5 homes in 87% of San Francisco. Many apartment buildings already exist in the red and orange areas but would be illegal to build today.
vadimg (data SF Gov, code Github), 19/07/2018

How Helsinki Arrived at the Future of Urban Travel First
[Another installment in the 'future of urban transport' genre.] Instead of using one app for rides and local government apps for public transport, Whim offers a single app with a single fee. Users get to pick the most efficient way to get between any two places. “We’re trying to solve the big question in transportation: What do we need to offer to compete with car ownership?”
Bloomberg, 15/07/2018

American Cities Are Drowning in Car Storage
'It’s not an exaggeration to say American cities have been built for cars more than people. [...] “Car storage has become the primary land use in many city areas.” In Des Moines, for example, there are 18 times as many parking spaces per acre as households — 1.6 million parking spaces and about 81,000 homes. In Philadelphia, there are 3.7 times more parking spaces than households. Of the five cities, only New York has more households than parking spaces, and New York still has 1.85 million parking spaces.'
Streetsblog, 12/07/2018