BRT → mobility → TOD

We help to visualize and select policy and project options, and then to plan, design and implement successful measures.

Far East's multi-disciplinary team of staff and associated experts - including key experts from the Guangzhou Municipal Engineering Design and Research Institute (GMEDRI) - 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.

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Our sustainable transport focus areas and capability

  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 a 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 Concept Design, Pre-Feasibility Study and/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 Concept Design stages through to preliminary design, 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 and avoid the various potential BRT project minefields.

    Areas of Far East Mobility expertise include surveys and data collection, corridor selection, intersections, stations (location, dimensions, configuration, architecture, ITS integration, renderings, access), operational design and optimization, demand analysis, detailed cost estimation, institutions and regulation, ITS components, traffic impact analysis, modal integration, communications and outreach, technical supervision during engineering design and construction, inventory and strategy (and costings) for dealing with urban utilities in the corridor, capacity building in all of these areas, and other aspects.

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  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. In some cases a 'full BRT' approach may not be viable or desired, with traffic management approaches to bus priority preferred. Often, the same corridor will involve a combination of traffic management and 'full BRT' measures in different locations.

  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. Far East Mobility has developed TOD plans for several BRT corridors, including identifying zoning and regulatory impediments to best practice TOD implementation around mass transit station areas.

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  4. Parking & TDM

    Parking projects almost always include surveys and data collection and documentation of best practices, with analysis and recommendations on definition of zones, setting standards for parking provision for new developments, preparation of tender documents, setback parking management, parking pricing, communications, technology, roadway design, enforcement, and other aspects. Far East Mobility developed a detailed parking plan for central Yangon as part of a Bus Priority Feasibility Study in Yangon in 2018, and has worked on parking in several other cities, usually in relation to a BRT corridor project.

  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. All NMT improvement projects involve a wide range of implementation-oriented surveys and data collection; a process carried out by Far East Mobility in many cities.

  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.

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  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, Guangzhou, Yichang or Nanning. 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…
Selected Far East Mobility project or study cities.
Interesting news & links

The Hidden Winners in Neighborhood Gentrification
A welcome sanity check on anti-gentrification arguments.
Citylab, 16.07.2019

Americans Shouldn’t Have to Drive, but the Law Insists on It
"Inequities in traffic regulation are only the beginning. Land-use law, criminal law, torts, insurance, vehicle safety regulations, even the tax code—all these sources of law provide rewards to cooperate with what has become the dominant transport mode, and punishment for those who defy it."
The Atlantic, 09.07.2019

Berlin Brandenburg: The airport with half a million faults
Some very expensive lessons learned from Berlin's new airport. One simple problem, bizarrely enough, was the airport architect, Meinhard von Gerkan's dislike of shopping. The need for constant changes to the design even while construction was ongoing reflects a lack of adequate preliminary planning and design.
BBC, 29.06.2019

'No effective oversight': why the Opal and Mascot Towers cases may be the tip of a very large iceberg
"The design-and-construct model means a developer can get approval to start a project on the basis of partial concept drawings, a builder then tenders for construction and takes over the rest of the design work as construction takes place. Unlike the system which prevailed two or three decades ago, when an architect or clerk of works or engineer would see the whole process through from start to finish, in the design-and-construct model it can be a bit like pass the parcel."
Sydney Morning Herald, 22.06.2019

Airbnb likely removed 31,000 homes from Canada’s rental market, study finds
The McGill authors note that frequently rented homes “are still a small fraction of total housing” in any Canadian city. However, listings can be highly concentrated in some neighbourhoods. In parts of Montreal, for instance, one in five homes were listed on Airbnb.
Globe and Mail, 20.06.2019

Taking a city’s pulse with moveable sensors
A small number of taxis can circulate over a one-third of a city in a day, and a slightly larger number can reach half the city, but after that, a much bigger fleet is needed. "The practical side of the study is that city planners and policymakers, among others, now potentially have a more concrete idea about the investment needed for certain levels of mobile sensing, as well as the extent of the results they would likely obtain."
MIT News, 11.06.2019

Tokyo proves that housing shortages are a political choice
"The planning framework that underpins this supply is a simple zoning system that allows by-right development, rather than one that relies on granting planning permission for each individual site. There are only 12 zones, defined according to the maximum nuisance level they allow, ranging from sleepy residential to polluting industrial uses. The key is that pretty much anything can be built, provided it does not exceed the zone’s nuisance level – so in areas zoned for high street usages it is possible to convert a hotel into housing and vice versa, but this is not possible in residential only zones."
Citymetric, 31.05.2019

The Birth and Death of a Bike Company; What Happened to Speedx?
"In May 2017, SpeedX and Bluegogo were at the zenith of their industry – a company of more than 500 staff, valued at more than US$150M, with an attractive high-end road bike on the way, a fleet of 800,000 sharebikes, and 20 million registered users. Within six months, it was all gone."
VeloClub. Image from AP via AAP Ri Xi/Xiquinho Silva/SpeedX, 15.05.2019

Hanoi BRT project faces failure
Writing on the wall for the Hanoi BRT
VOV, 13.05.2019

STEC allots B7.79bn for Mor Chit project
Value capture - US$250 million (7.79 billion baht) paid by developer for a site next to Mo Chit Skytrain station owned by the Skytrain operator.
Bangkok Post, 12.04.2019

Ford CEO says the company 'overestimated' self-driving cars
"Following years of hype and billions of dollars in investment, some other companies are admitting that expectations for self-driving cars were perhaps too high."
Bloomberg, 11.04.2019

Barcelona’s superblocks are a new model for “post-car” urban living
Plans to drastically reduce the motor vehicle network in Barcelona.
Vox, 11.04.2019

The World’s Greatest Delivery Empire
Meituan vs Alibaba.
Bloomberg, 28.03.2019

Sadiq Khan pushes for tube-style services on London's railways
'Turn up and go' train service proposed for suburban lines in London. The same approach is used in high-frequency bus service applications. With high frequency, all-day service passengers don't need to time journeys according to transit timetables.
Guardian, 26.03.2019