ISSN: 2717-4417

Document Type : Research Paper


University of Torbath Heydarieh


The rapid increase of motorized transport in cities, especially in metropolises, has caused severe environmental problems such as pollution, traffic congestion, time waste and accidents, and has affected sustainable development of urban transport. Mashhad city, with 3,218,000 inhabitants, hosts many pilgrims from different parts of Iran over the year. Transportation is one of the most important concerns for this metropolis. One of the solutions to this problem is development of Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) systems in this city to facilitate public transport. Given the importance of BRT projects in developing Mashhad and strategic importance of sustainability of future projects, the question is that what indices measure the economic, social and ecological aspects of BRT projects. This study seeks to answer this question from the perspective of urban transportation experts. The aim of this study is to develop an ex-post evaluation framework for Mashhad BRT system by using assessing methods and weighting effective factors in evaluating transport systems. This framework includes economic, social and environmental performance of the system and therefore involves all aspects of sustainable development that is expected to be considered in the future development of Mashhad transport system.
Study indicators were selected by reviewing the literature on BRT system in recent years and based on sustainable development criteria. After determining effective factors in evaluating the performance of BRT system, Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) was used to prioritize criteria based on questionnaires and interviews with experts in the field of transportation and urban management.
After creating a decision tree in EXPERT CHOICE software and entering information collected from the questionnaires, pair comparison of consistency rates was conducted for each matrix in order to ensure the reliability of the questionnaire. The inconsistency rate for all indices was found to be less than 0.1, a value that insures the consistency of selected criteria. Based on the findings, the User Benefits criterion – involving comfort, consumer saving, travel time saving, vehicle operating costs, reduction of social exclusion, and transport diversity indicators –  has the highest priority of 0.426. The Externalities and Environmental criterion (weighted 0.377) ranked second. Among various indicators of these criteria, Safety (weighted 0.437) and Air Pollution (weighted 0.305) were determined to have the highest priority in evaluating the performance of BRT system in Mashhad. The sub-criteria of employment, including both direct and indirect employment in the construction process, has the highest relative weight (0.454) among different sub-criteria of the “indirect effects” due to the increasing the demand for stores, restaurants, etc. After determining the relative weights of the criteria and sub-criteria, the final weight of each of the different indices of BRT system assessment was calculated. The inconsistency rate was obtained to be 0.07, suggesting compatibility and reliability of answers. From the experts’ point of view, “cost savings” is the most important sub-criteria in evaluating the performance of BRT system. Accordingly, reduction of vehicle and fuel costs may reorient the related funds to other consumption areas that may contribute to the realization of sustainable urban development in the long term.


Main Subjects

Abdi, M.H., Farughi, F., Rahimi Kak Jub, A. (2013). Measuring the efficiency of the public transportation system in Yazd, Journal of Applied Researchs in Geographical Sciences, 13 (30), 229-250. [In Persian]
Beyti, H., Panahi, S., Salimi, M. (2014). The analysis of BRT system and the measurement of social and economical impacts on surrounding areas of Tabriz metropolis. Journal of Geography & Planning, 18 (49), 19-53. [In Persian]
 Faraji Malayi, A., Azimi, A., Pourahmad, A. (2011). Sustainable urban transport dimensions with emphasis on BRT. 11th International Conference on Traffic and Transportation Engineering, Tehran, Iran. [In Persian]
Karbasi, A.R., Khashayi Pur, M., Salehi, F., Rashidi, R. (2011). The role of BRT in reduction of social costs associated with air pollution and fuel consumption, Sharif Journal Civil Engineeringn 3, 33-40. [In Persian]
Department of Studies and Planning of Mashhad Transportation & Traffic Organization. (2016). Mashhad transportation statistics, Mashhad, Mashhad Municipality. [In Persian]
Noruzi Avargani, A. (2014). Performance evaluation and measurement the satisfaction of BRT system in Isfahan. Journal of Spatial Planning. 4 (1), 143-168. [In Persian]
Omran Zadeh, B., Gharakhlou, M., Pur Ahmad, A. (2010). Evaluation and analysis of the efficiency of the BRT system and its general satisfaction in Tehran metropolis. Human Geography Research Quarterly, 73, 19-38. [In Persian]
Saghaee, M., Sadeghi, M., Aghili, N. (2104). Evaluation of the bus rapid transit (BRT) system performance in Isfahan metropolis from citizen’s point of view. Geographical Planning of Space Quarterly Journal, 11, 19-40. [In Persian]
Salavati, A.R., Aghaha, T. (2013). Increased safety and efficiency in bus rapid system, the case of Line one of Isfahan’s BRT system. 12th International Conference on Traffic and Transportation Engineering, Tehran, Iran. [In Persian]
Salehi, F., Karbasi, A.R., Khashayi Pur, M. (2012). The effectiveness of line 10 of bus rapid system to reduce air pollution and social costs. 11th International Conference on Traffic and Transportation Engineering, Tehran, Iran. [In Persian]
Sedigh Bavar, M., Hadighe Javani, M. (2011). Evaluation and analysis of the performance of the bus rapid transit (BRT) system in metropolitan areas by AIMSUN software. 11th International Conference on Traffic and Transportation Engineering, Tehran, Iran. [In Persian]
Soltani, A. (2011). Essays on urban transportation with an emphasis on sustainable approach. Shiraz: Shiraz University. [In Persian]
Pur Ahmad, A., Omran Zadeh, B. (2012). Evaluation and presentation of strategies for developing the BRT system in Tehran metropolis using the SWOT model. Journal of Management System, 3 (11), 17-36. [In Persian]
Ostadi-Jafari, M., Heidari Meyabadi, H.R. (2011). Utilization of indicator-based model to evaluate sustainable transportation. 11th International Conference on Traffic and Transportation Engineering, Tehran, Iran. [In Persian]
Moharam Nejad, N., Ahmadi, M. (2008). Sustainable development in urban transportation. 3rd Regional Conference on Traffic Management, Tehran, Iran. [In Persian]