This is draft guidance, and we welcome your feedback

A list of terms and their definitions used in the Public Transport Design Guidance.



Acoustic vehicle alerting systems

A device which is designed to emit sound to alert pedestrians and cyclists of the presence of electric vehicles.

Alternating current (AC)

The type of electricity supply provided by the national grid.

Battery electric bus

A bus which powered solely by batteries and charged by an external electricity source.


 Beginning-of-life (of battery).


A model of car rental where people join an organisation and can conveniently rent cars for short periods of time, often by the hour or day. This type of service can support a reduced need to own a private car.


The vicinity around a public transport stop or station where most of the boarding passengers come from. A local customer base for public transport. This term is typically applied for origin catchments but could also be used for destination catchments to describe the vicinity departing passengers can reach (See also ‘effective catchment(external link)’)

Dead running

When a bus repositions to the start of the next trip or back to depot whilst being out of service.

Depot charging

When the battery electric bus is charged at the depot when not in use.

Direct current (DC)

The type of electricity supply provided by batteries.

Distributed Energy Resource Management Systems (DERMS)

Systems to support the dynamic management of energy loads on electrical systems.


 Depth-of-discharge (of battery), %.

Driver changeover

 When drivers switch at breaks or during the end of a shift but the bus stays on the road.

Driver changeover

When one public transport driver ends a piece of work and another driver takes over. In some cases this can happen mid-route during a service operation (so passengers onboard will observe the changeover) while often this takes place after a service reaches its terminus.

Drivers shift

The series of trips, breaks and dead runs which a driver makes during a day.

Effective catchment

A catchment based on routes that are actually available, factoring in obstructions and severance(external link), rather than ‘as the crow flies’ only.

Electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE)

 a collective term for the plug, cable and charger.


 End-of-life (of battery).

Gross vehicle weight

 The weight of the bus including the driver and maximum allowable passengers.


The amount of time between public transport vehicle arrivals at a stop or station.


The use of electromagnetic fields to transfer electricity to the bus without physical contact with the charger.


The extent to which battery electric buses and chargers from different manufacturers can be mixed and matched.

Kilovolt amperes (KVA)

A unit of power measurement equal to 1000 volt-amperes.


The time in between trips which can act as a buffer so that late running on the first trip does not impact on the second trip.

Maximum axle mass

The total weight transmitted by the several wheels attached to that axle to the surface on which the vehicle rests.

Megavolt-amperes (MVA)

A unit of power equal to one million volt-amperes.


A range of small, lightweight vehicles operating at speeds typically below 25 km/h and driven by users personally. Micromobility devices include bicycles, Ebikes, electric scooters, electric skateboards, shared bicycles, and electric pedal assisted (pedelec) bicycles (see image below).
small, lightweight vehicles operating at speeds typically below 25 km/h and driven by users personally
Cycling and micromobility users of all ages (Image credit: Transport for NSW Cycleway Design Toolbox)

Operationally efficiency

The proportion of in-service time compared to out of service time, the higher the proportion of in-service time the more efficient the public transport system is.

Opportunity charging

When the battery electric bus is charged on the road during a layover, meal break or dwell at bus stops.


A mechanism which provides a connection between a battery electric bus and an overhead charger.


The distance which a battery electric vehicle can travel before needing to be recharged.


Requirement for Urban Buses


When a direct route, or ‘desire line’ is obstructed by physical or operational elements such as cul-de-sacs, railway lines, unfavourable signal timings, topography, land access issues, motorways etc impacting people’s connections, often with longer, or even untenable, journeys to connect with public transport or places.


State-of-charge (of battery), %.


State-of-health (of battery), %.

Split shift

When a driver has trips in the morning and afternoon but is off duty in the middle of the day.

State of charge

A measure of the amount of energy available in a battery pack at a specific point in time expressed as a percentage.

Step-free (routes)

Level surfaces, lifts and ramps so that one does not have to use stairs or escalators, and can avoid the step and gap onto trains, buses and ferries.


The term for when bus routes are designed to run from one side of a town or city to the other without terminating, waiting and recommencing in the centre.

Unladen vehicle weight

The weight of the bus without the driver or any passengers.

Vehicle changeover

When a bus is returned to the depot and a different bus is used for the remainder of the shift.

Vehicle Dimensions and Mass Rule  (VDAM)

VDAM sets the maximum weights for all vehicles with the purpose being to manage wear on the road surface and to ensure the safety of road users. 


Refers to the ways in which people orient themselves and navigate from one place to another. Wayfinding information systems can include a broad range of cues such as signs, visual clues, maps, colour coding, tactile elements, audible communication, or other aspect which help guide people and enhance their understanding of a place.