Provo Bus Rapid Transit Before and After Study
Reid Ewing, PhD
This research provides the FTA mandated ‘Before-and-After’ study for the New Starts grant for the Provo-Orem Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project. A joint projects commission funds the research with funds committed by the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), the Mountainland Association of Governments (MAG), and the Wasatch Front Regional Council (WFRC). Project personnel consist of Dr. Reid Ewing (PI) and Matt Miller (GRA). The research is intended to identify the effects of the Provo-Orem Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on traffic volumes, nearby land uses, parking demands, vehicle emissions, and traffic safety along the BRT route and in the larger study area. The addition of high capacity transit (BRT) to a major corridor is hypothesized to reduce traffic congestion on a major arterial by meeting both existing and future demand. The Provo-Orem BRT represents the advent of the first high capacity transit in Utah County in decades. After defining the project area and conducting a literature review, data on initial conditions will be collected, analyzed, and presented as a report. Data will be collected on traffic counts, transit ridership, crash rates, and vehicle emissions. Following a ‘gap year’ during which the fixed guideway infrastructure for the BRT will be constructed, the ‘after’ portion of the research will analyze changes in conditions before and after the BRT. After controlling for school enrollments at Brigham Young University and Utah Valley University, as well as additional traffic generated by new development, and parking supply, the changes between the initial conditions and conditions after the advent of BRT service will be analyzed. The same analyses will be performed for a second year and third year after the start of operations. The project began in early 2015, and is anticipated to wrap up at the end of 2019.