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Passenger Bridge Between Moving Buses

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Passenger Bridge Between Moving Buses

Old 10-05-19, 06:29 AM
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tandempower
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Passenger Bridge Between Moving Buses

The ability to transfer passengers between moving buses without stopping holds the potential to revolutionize transit.

Passengers would save time spent waiting for transfers by simply walking across a small bridge between docked buses (without stopping the buses!).


Buses could be retrofit with such docking bridges using their existing wheelchair ramp systems. While extended, the docking bridge would extend into the next lane, and once passenger-transfer is complete, the ramps would retract back with the door as it closes.

Such passenger transfers could be done wherever the right lane or shoulder is wide-enough to allow the docking bridge to extend out without endangering cyclists or pedestrians.

Docking would be facilitated by adaptive cruise control that enables buses to follow at close distance for the duration of the docking maneuvre without gaining or losing distance.

Such docking-bridge passenger transfers could reduce travel times for both long-distance as well as local travel. It would also enable more competition among different carriers, as multiple local passenger pickup vehicles could take turns linking with longer-route vehicles on stretches of highway within municipal areas with several highway entrance/exit ramps.

Fuel cells could also be transferred using such docking bridges, which would allow class B vehicles of all kinds to drive longer without stopping to refuel. If drivers could also trade places using adaptive cruise control and lane-centering technologies, it would only be necessary to stop vehicles for service and otherwise not.

To measure how much time bus-bridge docking systems could save passengers. just think of how much time it takes to get to a Greyhound station and how many transfers it takes to connect many destinations. Think about how much time is spend waiting for transfers to make it all the way across a large municipal area like Orlando.

Also consider the potential bridge-docking systems could hold for sorting packages and transferring them between vehicles while en route. Shipping times could be reduced while creating jobs moving parcels between vehicles while they are making distance on the highway instead of sitting parked in a loading area.

Adaptive cruise control and lane-centering don't just hold potential for comfort, convenience, and safety in small vehicles. They are also the key to unlocking the vast spectrum of gains to be realized by docking buses and other class B vehicles without stopping and sitting still to transfer passengers, packages, and even fuel!
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Old 10-05-19, 11:11 AM
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If one bus has a tire blowout while the two are hooked together at highway speed, there's likely to be a catastrophic outcome.

You'd still have to get people to give up their cars and air travel and flock to choosing bus travel over those methods of transportion. Perhaps if the USA became impoverished as a whole, then lower cost bus travel would come to the forefront. Yet rail would probably take over long distance travel displacing long distance bus routes.
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Old 10-05-19, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post

To measure how much time bus-bridge docking systems could save passengers. . . . Think about how much time is spend waiting for transfers to make it all the way across a large municipal area like Orlando.
I think trying a bus-bridge docking system on city streets ain't gonna happen. Traffic congestion, traffic lights, freight trucks, rail road crossings, bicyclists on the road . . .
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Old 10-06-19, 09:27 AM
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Our Bart system has timed transfers that work exceptionally well. No reason they can't figure out some way to do that, I would think. Safer, too.
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Old 10-09-19, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by tandempower View Post
The ability to transfer passengers between moving buses without stopping holds the potential to revolutionize transit.

Passengers would save time spent waiting for transfers by simply walking across a small bridge between docked buses (without stopping the buses!).

...I don't get it ? If the bus is there to walk onto from a moving passenger bridge, why wouldn't it be there at the same time to just walk up the steps into it ? How does this save people riding buses time ?

I'm glad to see you back, though.
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Old 10-09-19, 09:39 PM
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Most of the buses in the USA only have doors on the right hand side of the bus. Light rail may have doors on both sides, but buses only on the right.

So, if you're planning on using existing buses, are you expecting the receiving bus to be driving backwards at 50 MPH while doing the transfer? Doing flying 180 degree turns at freeway speeds?

Computer assist could likely help match speeds, but I'm with @FiftySix, anything that could cause one bus to slow, swerve, stop, etc, could spell disaster. Even if the two buses were perfectly linked, that would be downright scary to be on the bridge and have a crash or something in front and have both buses lock up their brakes.

Have you ever walked between train cars? I always find the junction between cars to be slightly uncomfortable, and those are with two cars on steel tracks, and having a close coupling. I can't imagine trying to do that coming out the side of buses. Although, I suppose one could design a rigid link. Computer controlled docking/control + a secure rigid link capable or taking say a single bus with a 70 MPH crash into a solid barrier. But, that would get passengers everywhere beat up.

As @linberl suggests, part of an effective bus system is simply planning for buses or trains to meet to drop off/pick up passengers as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Good subways have trains, say every 15 minutes, so any wait should be about half that, or perhaps 7 minutes.
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Old 10-10-19, 04:35 AM
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Speaking as someone who actually uses buses on a regular basis and has done for a couple decades now ...

The thing that would increase the speed of buses and thus might potentially make them a more attractive choice are dedicated bus lanes.
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Old 10-10-19, 10:32 AM
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We have a few dedicated bus lanes.

Several in downtown Portland that really make sense, with buses zipping in and out pretty much constantly.

And, now a growing number of dedicated lanes in Eugene/Springfield. I'm not sure they make a lot of sense. I suppose they speed the buses up slightly, but they take up a lot of real estate for buses that come past every half hour or so. In some cases, bike lanes would be a better alternative.

Most of the places they're putting in the dedicated bus lanes here in Eugene/Springfield have pretty much free-flowing traffic, at least most of the day.

Even if a bus parks in the traffic lane, cars can generally safely get around it.

Mostly surface light rail is a unique solution of "dedicated" lanes (although not always completely vehicle free lanes), that are becoming increasingly popular in Portland. They move a lot of people rather quickly.

In Portland, they even built a dedicated bus/light rail/bicycle/pedestrian bridge (no cars or trucks).
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Old 10-10-19, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
We have a few dedicated bus lanes.

Several in downtown Portland that really make sense, with buses zipping in and out pretty much constantly.
Same here. Downtown only, but not on the streets with light rail. Both are run by Metro.
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Old 10-12-19, 02:56 AM
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Diamond lanes ... bus/bicycle lanes.
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