Del Mistro – Department of Civil Engineering, University of Cape Town

Eric Bruun – Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Aalto University, Finland


Bus Rapid Transit projects are being actively promoted internationally. They require the replacement of many direct services by Feeder-Trunk-Distributor services. Often city officials champion these projects on the basis of their success in other countries, without due regard to the existing trip making conditions in their own city.

The objective of the paper is to provide guidance on where Feeder-Trunk-Distributor road based public transport services should replace existing Direct services


A model was developed to estimate the cost, travel time, energy consumption and CO2 emissions of Direct and Feeder-Trunk-Distributer road based public transport services for a wide variety of operating environments described in terms of peak hour public transport trip production density at the origin, peak hour public transport trip attraction density at the destination, route length, percentage of trips generated from the origin distributed to the destination, and the number of routes distributing public transport trips at the destination


Data on the performance of road based public transport modes have been collected over many years from many cities in South Africa as well as on the range in the parameters used to describe urban environment in which public transport operates.

Expected conclusions:

A statement of which combinations of operating conditions make Feeder-Trunk-Distributer service more advantageous, Direct service more advantageous, and where neither type of service is advantageous in respect of cost, average passenger travel time, energy consumed and CO2 emitted per passenger.