Iran is among few Middle East countries which is fast improving its public transport system. The main focus of large cities is on the development of mass-transit systems to solve traffic jams and car-dependent urban environments which have increased manifold with rapid urbanization. Rail-based mass transit systems have been leading this much-desired transformation, with several cities embracing metro rail following the success of the Tehran metro. However, more recently, the growing need for integration of transport services for improved accessibility has given way to the modernisation of bus-based travel. Several Iran’s major cities already have operational bus rapid transit (BRT) systems with plans for further expansion. The success of these systems sets the stage for the future development of bus transit in the country.*
Isfahan, with a population of 1.8 million, is located in the heart of Iran. Three years ago the local government turned 7 regular bus routes into a joined single BRT path. The path moderately separated from main street, with the purpose of giving priority to the public transportation. We conducted a research to show the influence of BRT on the urban environment. For this reason the transportation network were modeled before and after BRT. Citizens’ opinions were also gathered with survey.
Environmental impact assessment of BRT showed the amount of environmental pollutants before and after the BRT has not significantly changed. Preparing a specific lane for BRT decreased average traffic speed, made the main road more crowded, thus peripheral streets have to bear more traffic loads. As a result, the overall fuel consumption and consequent greenhouse gas emissions have been remained relatively constant.
* BRT in Iran: Beneficiary of country’s transportation reforms, http://www.globalmasstransit.net/archive.php?id=7086