Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Limited-Stop Buses

Los Angeles has a network of limited-stop buses. Instead of stopping every couple of blocks, they stop every half mile or so. This speeds things up significantly.

For this post I looked at Wilshire Blvd., which has regular (bus 20) and limited-stop service (bus 720). The trip is the 11.8 miles from Westwood to Downtown LA. I looked at heavy and low traffic conditions (6:30pm and 10:00pm respectively) using the bus schedules available online.

During heavy traffic:
Bus 20 makes the trip in 75 minutes (9.4 MPH average speed)
Bus 720 makes the trip in 56 minutes (12.6 MPH)

During light traffic:
Bus 20 makes the trip in 53 minutes (13.4 MPH)
Bus 720 makes the trip in 38 minutes (18.6 MPH)

The rapid bus increases the speed more relative to the regular bus during light traffic (39%) than during heavy traffic (34%). Limited-stop buses don't get as much attention as rail, but they're out there making things better at a low cost. I definitely appreciate them.

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