New Report Offers Recommendations for Improving BRT in Şanlıurfa, Turkey
Şanlıurfa, Turkey has a population of nearly two million—which may seem small compared to mega cities, like Beijing—but is still greatly suffering from congestion. As the city’s population rises, the capacity of Şanlıurfa’s public transport has been burdened, causing residents to turn to personal vehicles. To combat congestion and meet the needs of citizens, city officials created a bus rapid transit (BRT) system that is integrated with existing bus lines. In response to crashes along the BRT corridor, our team in Turkey recently conducted research on the roll-out of the BRT program and provided recommendations for improving safety and accessibility.
Analyzing the Cause of Crashes on Şanlıurfa’s BRT Corridor
In April of 2015, Şanlıurfa officially launched a 5 kilometer BRT corridor. However, within its first month of operation, the new BRT system in the city led to 4 crashes that heavily injured pedestrians, raising questions about how it was designed and implemented. Moreover, with plans to build 12 more kilometers of corridors and install a total of 15 BRT stations, the Municipality of Şanlıurfa approached our team in April to conduct road safety and accessibility studies of the BRT system.
Experts from our team in Turkey visited the city in May 2015 to collect data and produce an audit for the 5 km BRT corridor. After collecting information, the Turkey team identified problems in road safety and accessibility and provided recommendations for improvement. The graphic below explains the team’s three primary recommendations for improvement:
Recommendations Provide a Path Forward for Şanlıurfa
Beyond these suggestions, the team also defined next steps for the officials in Şanlıurfa. For example, the team recommended additional training for BRT drivers and traffic safety training for law enforcement officers working with the Şanlıurfa Provincial Security Directorate. Moreover, with 12 more kilometers of corridors on the way, our team suggested that road safety auditors conduct a road safety study on the feeder bus services. In this additional study, road safety auditors should take a holistic approach to road safety, evaluating the experience of each road user—including pedestrians, cyclists and drivers—and make adjustments to the project based on their findings. Doing so will ensure that expansions of the BRT meet safety and accessibility standards, and avoid potential traffic crashes. Finally, the team identified Mexico City’s BRT Line 4 as a “good practice example” for local officials to follow, sharing their knowledge.
Read the full Şanliurfa BRT Road Safety and Accessibility Project report here.
About EMBARQ at WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities
EMBARQ, Sustainable Urban Mobility by WRI, catalyzes and helps implement environmentally, socially, and financially sustainable urban mobility solutions to improve quality of life in cities.