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    Niels van Oort

    Public transport researcher

    Light rail lessons learnt worldwide

    Light rail has several potential benefits, both from a mobility and urban quality perspective. However, not all light rail systems are a success and there is much debate about the costs. Niels van Oort, co-director of the Smart Public Transport Lab at TU Delft, investigated 61 cases worldwide and will share his findings on the wider benefits of light rail.

    Find the presentation of the Spårvägsforum 2019 in Uppsala HERE

    Passenger Travel Time Reliability for Multi-Modal Public Transport Journeys

    Urban transit networks typically consist of multiple modes and the journeys may involve a transfer within or across modes. Hence, the passenger experience of travel time reliability is based on the whole journey experience including the transfers. Although the impact of transfers on reliability has been highlighted in the literature, the existing indicators either focus on uni-modal transfers only or fail to include all components of travel time in reliability measurement. This study extends the existing ‘Reliability Buffer Time’ metric to journeys with multi-modal transfers and develops a methodology to calculate it using a combination of smartcard and automatic vehicle location data. The developed methodology is applied to a real-life case study for the Amsterdam transit network consisting of bus, metro and tram services. By using a consistent method for all journeys in the network, reliability can be compared between different modes or between multiple routes for the same origin-destination pair. The developed metric can be used to study the reliability impacts of policies affecting multiple modes. It can also be used as an input to behavioral models such as mode, route or departure time choice models.

    Find the TRB paper and presentation of Malvika Dixit HERE and HERE

    Understanding the difference in travel patterns between docked and dockless bike-sharing systems: a case study in Nanjing, china

    The co-existence of dockless and traditional docked bike-sharing systems presents new opportunities for sustainable transportation in cities all over the world, both serving door to door trips and access and egress to and from transit. To compare travel patterns of these two systems, we explored the GPS data of a dockless bike-sharing scheme and the smart card data of a docked bike-sharing scheme in the city of Nanjing, China over the same time period. In order to obtain information from different perspectives, such as user perception and opinions, an intercept survey on bike-sharing mode choice was conducted. A mode choice model was estimated to reveal the effects of personal information, user perception and experience on bike-sharing usage. Results show that dockless bike-sharing systems have a shorter average travel distance and travel time but a higher use frequency and hourly usage volume compared to docked bike-sharing systems. Trips of docked and dockless bike-sharing on workdays are more frequent than those on weekends, especially during the morning and evening rush hours from 7:00-9:00 and 17:00-19:00, respectively. As to the factors influencing travelers’ mode choice, results show that retirees, enterprise staff and users with E-bikes are less likely to use docked sharing-bikes than dockless bikes. In contrast, high-income travelers and people who are highly sensitive to discounts, internet technology and online payment service are more likely to use the dockless bike-sharing. Finally, policy implications are discussed for cities to improve the performance of docked and dockless bike-sharing systems.

    Find our poster HERE

    Operations of zero-emission buses: impacts of charging methods and mechanisms on costs and the level of service

    To limit global warming and strive for more liveable and sustainable cities, innovative zero-emission buses are on the rise all around the world. For now, only trolley, battery and fuel-cell electric vehicles can be classified as (on the pipe) zero-emission vehicles. Different charging methods, including different charging systems and power, are available to charge battery electric vehicles. However, scientific literature focused on the operation and charging scheduling of electric vehicles is scarce.
    In this study, a comparison of different applied charging methods for electric buses is obtained. A new ZE-bus station simulation method is developed to assess charging methods and charging regulations with regard to their impacts on costs and level of service.
    The shift to zero emission bus transport is meant for achieving more sustainable and liveable cities. However, this research concludes that this is involved with higher costs and passenger disturbances. The investment costs increase substantially. Benefits of electric operations, including vehicle propulsion cost savings up to 70 percent, are not able to compensate these high investments. (Slow) depot charging offers opportunities for operations on short distance lines. The depot location should be close to a bus station and additional fleet is required. In order to prevent fleet overcapacity, vehicles should be recharged with high charging power along the line, preferably at combined bus stations and terminals in order to prevent charging related delays. Dynamic/In-motion charging – still in its infancy stage yet – offers opportunities to prevent these delays due to combined charging and operation time.

    Find the TRB paper and poster of Max Wiercx HERE and HERE

    Robust Control for Regulating Frequent Bus Services: Supporting the Implementation of Headway-based Holding Strategies

    Reliability is a key determinant of the quality of a transit service. Control is needed in order to deal with the stochastic nature of high-frequency bus services and to improve service reliability. In this study, we focus on holding control, both schedule- and headway-based strategies. An assessment framework is developed to systematically assess the effect of different strategies on passengers, the operator and transport authority. This framework can be applied by operators and authorities in order to determine what holding strategy is most beneficial to regulate headways, and thus solve related problems. In this research knowledge is gained about what service characteristics affect the performance of holding strategies and the robustness of these strategies in disrupted situations, by using scenarios. The framework is applied to a case study of a high-frequency regional bus line in the Netherlands. Based on the simulation results, we identified the line characteristics that are important for the performance of schedule- and headway-based strategies and determined how robust different strategies are in case of disruptions. Headway-based control strategies better mitigate irregularity along the line, especially when there are disruptions. However, schedule-based control strategies are currently easier to implement, because it does not require large changes in practice, and the performance of both strategies is generally equal in regular, undisrupted situations. In this paper, insights into what the concerns are for operators with respect to technical adaptations, logistical changes and behavioral aspects when using a headway-based strategy are given.

    Find the TRB paper and presentation of Ellen van der Werff HERE and HERE

    UITP INDIA SEMINAR ON URBAN RAIL NETWORK – BUILDING SUSTAINABLE CITIES

    Transport infrastructure is one of the most important factors for a country’s progress. To keep this faster pace, for moving people, urban rail projects are playing a crucial role not only as a transportation solution but as a means to transform cities. 52.8% of India’s population would be living in cities and towns by mid-century compared to 32.8% in 2015, i.e. more than 750 million inhabitants.
    Urban rail networks are expanding in Indian cities, as these are becoming key lifeline for the cities. Currently, 490 km of metro lines are operational in 10 different cities in the country. More than 600 km of metro rail projects are under construction in various cities. Further, It is expected that more than 350 km of new construction will be started in the next few years as more and more cities are planning for expansion or new constructions of metro rail. The average budget outlay of Govt. of India is likely to increase to about INR 250 billion annually, apart from the investments envisaged by the state governments, private partners and Urban Local Bodies (ULBs). Government of India has sanctioned at least INR 306.53 billion to Metro projects across the country between the periods of 2012-16.

    Find my contributions here: Transit data and Transit system choice and lightrail

    Automatische voertuigen; kans of een bedreiging voor het OV in Nederland?

    Automatische voertuigen staan volop in de belangstelling en de techniek ontwikkelt zich snel. De mogelijkheden lijken rooskleurig; het verminderen van het aantal ongevallen, het bieden van vervoer voor iedereen en het verminderen van de uitstoot. In het beginstadium leek de focus met name te liggen op het ontwikkelen van automatische privé voertuigen, maar inmiddels staat ook automatisch OV volop in de belangstelling.

    In Nederland zijn allerlei pilots ontwikkeld met automatische voertuigen/shuttles. Om een beeld te krijgen van de actuele ontwikkelingen, de plannen en de resterende onderzoeksvragen, is onderzoek uitgevoerd op basis van gesprekken met de OV-autoriteiten van Nederland. Tijdens deze gesprekken is gesproken over de kansen en bedreigingen van het Nederlandse OV en hoe zij denken dat automatische voertuigen daaropin kunnen spelen. Tevens is gesproken over de haalbaarheid, visies, risico’s en zijn kennishiaten achterhaald. Ten slotte zijn ook alle (potentiële) pilot locaties in kaart gebracht.

    Lees het CVS paper met Reanne Boersma en Arthur Scheltes hier: PAPER en PRESENTATIE

    Duurzame ontwikkeling van steden: Lessen uit 61 light rail projecten

    Stedelijke openbaar vervoer, zoals light rail, draait om veel meer dan alleen ‘vervoer’, ‘vervoerswaarde’, of ‘snelheid’. In deze paper wordt gepoogd light rail (en ook hoogwaardige bus) in een omvattend, maatschappelijk perspectief te plaatsen, teneinde de bredere baten voor steden te kunnen achterhalen.

    Lees meer in het CVS paper met Rob van der Bijl: paper en presentatie

    E-bussen laden zorgt voor nieuw spanningsveld op busstations

    Om de bijdrage van transport aan de opwarming van de aarde te minimaliseren en de leefbaarheid in onze woonomgeving te verbeteren groeit de wereldwijde vloot zero-emissiebussen snel. Zero emissiebussen dragen bij aan een duurzame en leefbare woonomgeving. Uit dit onderzoek blijkt echter dat inzet van zero emissiebussen ook gepaard gaat met hogere kosten en meer onbetrouwbaarheid van de dienstregeling voor de reiziger. De investeringskosten zijn hoger dan bij ‘oude vertrouwde dieselbussen’. Exploitatie met elektrische bussen is tot 70% goedkoper dan dieselbussen, maar deze winst is niet genoeg om de toename in investeringskosten te neutraliseren. Tot op heden is de capaciteit van batterijen onvoldoende om bussen van begin tot einde dienst zonder tussentijds laden in te zetten. Tussentijds laden in de garage kost echter tijd en extra voertuigbewegingen en is daarom onwenselijk. Om die reden is het aan te raden batterijen te laden op busstations.

    Lees meer in het CVS paper met Max Wiercx en Raymond Huisman: Paper en Presentatie

    Masterclass Toekomst van het OV Ministerie I en W

    In de Masterclass van het Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Waterstaat buigen Henk Meurs (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen) en Niels van Oort (Technische Universiteit Delft) zich over ontwikkelingen in het openbaar vervoer. ‘Het is aan ons, wetenschappers, om de ontwikkelingen, effecten en kansen in het OV in kaart te brengen. IenW kan met pilots een aantal lessen leren om MaaS te stimuleren. IenW-ers moeten niet onderschatten welke voorbeeldrol ze vervullen.’

    Bekijk het interview en de presentatie

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