BRT → mobility → TOD

Welcome to Far East Mobility, a consulting firm working with cities to realize sustainable transport goals. We help to visualize and select policy and project options, and then to plan, design and implement successful measures which inspire replication in other cities.

Far East's multi-disciplinary team of staff and associated experts led the planning, design, and implementation of the two 'gold standard' BRT systems in Asia: the world's second-highest capacity BRT system in Guangzhou, as well as the award-winning Yichang BRT.

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Our sustainable transport focus areas

  1. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridors

    BRT done well offers the potential of metro-like levels of capacity, passenger service and speed at a fraction of the cost of metro systems. BRT also has a much faster implementation time frame and can rapidly provide a citywide reach, since BRT buses can enter and leave the BRT corridor. BRT done poorly provides none of these benefits. Planning, design, implementation and operation of high capacity BRT systems providing citywide benefits, starting with a BRT conceptual design, preliminary design or feasibility study, is a core focus area of Far East Mobility. Far East's consultants can provide crucial guidance to cities and agencies on BRT systems and corridors, from the earliest conceptual design stages through to preliminary design, and technical supervision and input during the engineering design, construction, and operation. This guidance includes practical advice on the steps cities and agencies should take at each stage of the project to ensure a successful outcome, as well as our help in navigating the various BRT project minefields. Learn more…
  2. Traffic management

    Traffic surveys, simulations, impact analysis, circulation and management are all issues requiring attention as part of BRT projects. Microsimulations can help to test and verify solutions as well as explain project impacts - especially major projects such as BRT systems - to decision-makers and stakeholders.
  3. Transit-oriented development (TOD)

    BRT systems are a major investment and cities should maximize returns by encouraging high quality station area development in line with international best practices. Special zones should be set up around BRT stations, regulating issues such as pedestrian & bicycle facilities, parking provision in new developments, on-street & setback parking, affordable housing and other approaches that can be 'trialled' first in BRT station areas before being rolled out citywide. Learn more…
  4. Parking & TDM

    Parking projects often include surveys and data collection, definition of zones, documenting parking best practices, setting standards for parking provision for new developments, input to tender documents, setback parking management, parking pricing, communications, technology, roadway design, enforcement, and other aspects.
  5. Non-motorized transport (NMT)

    The planning, design, implementation, and operation/management of pedestrian and bicycle facilities is important in any city, and is an area of intense attention by cities and agencies in almost all BRT projects. Measures that can be taken to improve bike and pedestrian facilities include bike sharing, greenways, and high quality urban bike networks. 'Complete streets' or road designs to enhance vibrancy and appeal, prioritizing cyclists & pedestrians, are an excellent way to improve BRT corridor access and promote station area development. Some of the issues relating to ensuring high quality NMT facilities with BRT are discussed in our Ji'an case study. In our experience, if excellent NMT facilities are to be implemented together with BRT, it cannot be done as an afterthought. NMT planning needs to be done in the early design stages so that it can be incorporated into designs, and needs to be supervised to ensure implementation in line with designs.
  6. Road safety

    Road safety is an important consideration in BRT planning and in sustainable transport planning generally. All transit passengers are pedestrians at the start and end of their trips, and road, intersection and transit system design all have major potential impacts on pedestrian and bicycle safety. One useful measure which can be carried out independently or as part of a wider transit or road project is a Road Safety Audit. Learn more…
  7. Site visits & training

    Nothing will convince a city's leaders of the benefits, as well as the potential pitfalls and preferred approaches to BRT, as a site visit to BRT systems such as Bogota, Cali, Brisbane, or Guangzhou. Technical personnel also benefit immensely from such visits. Far East Mobility can conduct site visit and training programs on BRT and sustainable transport, focusing on the Guangzhou and Yichang BRT systems. Learn more…
Interesting news & links

The Amazing Psychology of Japanese Train Stations
How Tokyo train operators manage 13 billion passenger-trips a year through the world’s most crowded railway stations. The method is part planning, part engineering, part psychology. Blue lamps at the ends of platforms deter suicide attempts. Melodic jingles alert passengers to departing trains, in place of alarmist whistles and buzzers. High-pitched noise generators, inaudible to the over-25s, disperse teenagers tempted to gather in station concourses.
Citylab, 22/05/2018

Electric Scooter Charger Culture Is Out of Control
Bird is a scooter-sharing company that launched in 2017 and has been dubbed the “Uber of scooters.” When night falls, what most riders don’t realize is that the scooters themselves are charged by a contract workforce. These people are known as “Bird hunters” or “chargers.”
The Atlantic, 20/05/2018

Chicago Parking Meter Lease Slow-Motion Train Wreck Only Has 65 More Years to Go
Chicago’s parking meter system raked in $134.2 million last year, putting private investors on pace to recoup their entire $1.16 billion investment by 2021 with 62 years to go in the lease, the latest annual audit shows. Chicago has converted what used to be $23.8 million in annual revenues for the city and turned it into a $21.7 million expense.
Urbanophile, 17/05/2018

We can’t forget about mass transit when we talk about the ‘future of transportation’
The best ideas for improving public transportation are simply not flashy. A bus rapid transit system (which is arguably one of the better ways a city can improve the flow of its citizens), is just not as scintillating an answer as a “fleet of self-driving cars,” or “flying cars,” or that blasted jetpack.
The Verge, 12/05/2018

China Seeks to Rein In Ambitious High-Speed Rail Projects
China's top national economic planner has issued guidelines specifying that land around high speed rail stations earmarked for development should not on average exceed 50 hectares, although for a small number of stations, that figure goes to up to 100 ha. The NDRC said that new high-speed railway lines should not lead to the partitioning of cities; stations should be located within, or as near as possible to, central urban areas for convenience of passengers; and buildings should not be ostentatious, grandiose projects. Unfortunately, the horse has bolted and these guidelines probably should have been provided a decade ago.
Caixin, 09/05/2018

Railways’ failure to meet public expectations
The whole system is a shambles. Half the trains don’t work, the others move at a crawl. Crashes are frequent, death-tolls are high, workers live miserably. “The rail between Sukkur and Quetta still uses the British-era signal system that employs kerosene lanterns on signal posts and a token, passed from one group of the signal staff to the next, to ensure that there are no gaps in communication.”
Herald, 30/04/2018

Electric Buses Are Hurting the Oil Industry
China had about 99 percent of the 385,000 electric buses on the roads worldwide in 2017, accounting for 17 percent of the country’s entire fleet. Every five weeks, Chinese cities add 9,500 of the zero-emissions transporters—the equivalent of London’s entire working fleet, according Bloomberg New Energy Finance. For every 1,000 battery-powered buses on the road, about 500 barrels a day of diesel fuel will be displaced from the market.
Bloomberg, 24/04/2018

The Real Reason Your Local Mall is Failing
"And we should also recognize where our wealth really comes from. It comes from our downtown and our core neighborhoods (those within walking distance of the downtown). It certainly doesn't come from people driving through those places. It doesn't come from people commuting in. It doesn't come from tourists or developers or the potential of land development out on the edge."
Strong Towns, 23/04/2018

Sydney light rail's finish date now 2020, a year later than planned
When the system eventually opens, late and subject to more than $1 billion in litigation and cost overruns, it will provide a service which is slower than the former bus shuttle connecting the same areas.
Sydney Morning Herald, 19/04/2018