Surveys and data collection

A survey program was carried out primarily during November and December 2013, with selected additional surveys during the first half of 2014. Surveys included the following:

Bus route mapping. All significant Vientiane urban bus routes were mapped, using GPS to follow the actual routes. A few routes that appeared in follow-up surveys in June 2014 were not included in the analysis, as with frequencies of less than one bus per hour, they are considered largely insignificant in terms of public trans­port demand.

Bus frequency counts. All current bus frequencies were recorded through multiple peak hour surveys (Figure 1-2). Since all of the bus routes use the central bus terminal, most frequency counts were carried out at the entrance and exit gates of the terminal.

Current bus passenger demand. Multiple peak hour boarding and alighting counts for each current bus route were carried out, focusing on the morning peak hour.

Bus speed surveys. Multiple bus speed surveys were carried out during the peak hour; mainly in the morning peak. The bus speed surveys were carried out at the same time as the boarding & alighting surveys.

Bus stop inventory. With all bus stops along potential corridors mapped, as well as many other roads. The bus stop mapping and inventory was found to be largely irrelevant and was discontinued, because (as explained below) neither bus drivers nor passengers pay attention to the current bus stops when using the bus system.

Photo survey of BRT and other corridors. The photos survey was georeferenced and linked to a website available to the project team.

Intersection turning movement counts. Both by survey teams and with video camera recordings. Video recordings were done at two intersections in April 2014 as a check on the veracity of the counts done at intersections, and the counts were found to be correct.

Traffic counts by mode and occupancy. Central area traffic survey, recording vehicle number plates pass­ing through Rue Setthathilath. This was done in order to estimate the proportion of traffic simply driving through the proposed transit mall section along Rue Setthathilath. It was found that 60% of the traffic is driving through this section without stopping or diverting.