Posts in category English

Improving railway passengers experience: two perspectives

This paper describes two perspectives to improve the passenger experience. The passenger satisfaction pyramid is introduced, consisting of the base of the pyramid (dissatisfiers) focusing on time well saved and the top of the pyramid (satisfiers) aiming at time well spent. The challenge in planning and design of public transport services is to find the most efficient (set of) design choices. Depending on the context this might either mean focusing on the top or on the bottom of the pyramid. We found that influencing and enhancing the qualities of the satisfiers is far more important than traditional studies showed us. For stations, regression analyses show that dissatisfiers are responsible for explaining almost half of the total score of the station and satisfiers are responsible for the other half of the scores passengers give for the station. We still have to put a lot of energy in getting the basics right, starting in the planning phase, but then we are not allowed to lean back. We have to keep investing in qualities like ambience, comfort and experience which makes the customers truly happy at the end of the day.

Read our paper HERE and find the presentation HERE

Supervised learning: Predicting passenger load in public transport

For many Public Transport (PT) users, overcrowding in PT vehicles has a major decreasing effect on the comfort experience. However, most online routing applications still not take comfort regarding to crowdedness into account, but provide recommendations based on shortest distance, shortest travel-time, or number of interchanges.
Being able to include certain information on crowdedness, requires knowledge about the current and future level of passenger load. Increasing amount and complexity of data describing public transport services allows us to better explore the detection methods and analysis of different phenomena of PT operations. Some countries or operators provide the possibility to use Smart Card (SC) data for occupancy prediction. However, SC data is not available in real time, which makes it hard to incorporate it into real time recommendation models. In this work, we show that it is possible to predict the passenger load via supervised learning, eliminating the need for fare collection data beyond the set needed for training.

Find the CASPT presentation by Léonie Heydenrijk-Ottens HERE

Driver schedule efficiency vs. public transport robustness: A framework to quantify this trade-off based on passive data

More complex, efficient driver schedules reduce operator costs during undisrupted operations, but increase the disruption impact for passengers and operator once a disruption occurs. We develop an integrated framework to quantify the passenger and operator costs of disruptions explicitly as function of different driver schedule schemes. Since the trade-off between driver schedule efficiency and robustness can be quantified, this supports operators in their decision-making.

Read the CASPT paper by Menno Yap HERE and find the presentation HERE

Assessing disruption management strategies in rail-bound urban public transport from a passenger perspective

This paper provides a framework for generating and assessing alternatives
in case of disruptions in rail-bound urban public transport systems,. The proposed
framework considers the passenger perspective as well as the operator perspective,
for the often-used measures of detouring and short-turning. An application of the
framework demonstrates that currently used disruption management protocols often
do not lead to the optimal solution from the passenger perspective. Furthermore, the
optimal choice between alternatives from passenger perspective shows to be
dependent on the passenger flows.

Read the CASPT paper HERE and find the presentation HERE

Passenger Route Choice and Assignment Model for Combined Fixed and Flexible Public Transport Systems

The recent technological innovations have given rise to innovative mobility solutions. Public transport systems combining such services need novel models for the design of services. We develop a multimodal route choice and assignment model for combined use of line/schedule based public transport systems (fixed public transport) and demand responsive services (flexible public transport). The model takes into account the dynamic demand-supply interaction using an iterative learning model framework. Flexible public transport can be used to perform any part of the trip, ranging from a first/last mile service to an exclusive direct door-to-door connection. The developed model is implemented in an agent based simulation framework. The model is applied to the test network of Sioux Falls. Results, in terms of modal split, fleet utilization, and passenger waiting times are analysed for scenarios in which fixed and flexible public transport are offered as competing modes as well as potential complementing modes.

Find the CASPT presentation HERE

Insights into factors affecting the combined bicycle-transit mode

The combination of bicycle and transit is an upcoming, sustainable multimodality. The flexibility of the bicycle combined with the speed and comfort of good transit can be a highly competitive alternative to the car. This study shows that many factors influence the uptake and attractiveness of the bicycle-transit combination. An in-depth literature review resulted in over thirty unique factors: six transit related factors, twenty first-last mile factors and fifteen context related factors. All these factors might influence the demand for this ‘new’ mode positively or negatively. An exploratory choice modelling study showed that Dutch bicycle-train users in our sample are willing to pay €0.11 for a minute less bicycle time, €0.08 for a minute less train time, €0.11 for a minute of less time to park and €0.60 per avoided transfer. These kinds of insights give the bicycle and transit sector valuable information to be used in modelling multimodality and cost-benefit analyses, thereby supporting improved decision making and integrated design of bicycle and transit networks.

Read the full CASPT paper HERE and find the presentation HERE

Assessing and improving operational strategies for the benefit of passengers in rail-bound urban transport systems

Unplanned disruptions in transit can have consequent impacts on passengers. The more inconvenienced passengers are, the more likely operators will be negatively impacted. Yet so far, operators and researchers have addressed the rescheduling problem during disruptions mainly with a supply-side focus – timetable, crews and vehicles – and not with a passenger perspective. Urban rail transit particularly lacks insights in terms of passenger- focused rescheduling. Being able to assess the inconvenience experienced by passengers during disruptions compared with what they normally experience, and being able to compare how different rescheduling strategies affect them are therefore two major challenges.

The framework developed in this study precisely aims at tackling 8 these challenges. A case study of the metro of Rotterdam is used to test the framework developed in this paper. Alternative strategies are developed focusing on the incident phase (from the beginning of the incident until its cause is resolved). The application of the framework reveals that a regularity-focused rescheduling strategy would be beneficial for high-frequency service users. Realistically, yearly savings could amount to around €900,000 in terms of societal passenger costs for the operator in the Rotterdam area alone. However, the omnipresence of the punctuality paradigm, through which most operators plan and analyze operations, makes the implementation of passenger-focused strategies a challenging task for traffic controllers. The results of the study are valuable for transit operators worldwide and the framework can provide insights to decision-makers on the performance of different strategies, bringing to light trade-offs between supply and passenger sides during disruptions.

Read more of this research by Anne Durand: Paper TRB and Poster TRB

The Potential of Demand Responsive Transport as a Complement to Public Transport

Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) offers a collective flexible travel alternative that can potentially complement Fixed Transit (FT). The combination of an on-demand and line-based services holds the promise of improved mobility and increased service coverage. However, insofar it remains unknown whether DRT services deliver such much anticipated improvements.

This study presents an assessment framework to evaluate the performance of DRT and related changes in accessibility and performs an empirical analysis for a recently introduced DRT service in the Netherlands. The framework includes a performance benchmark between DRT and FT based on the computation of generalized journey times of the DRT rides and the FT alternatives, and it can help identify whether DRT is used as complement or substitute of FT.
The framework covers the spatial and temporal dimensions, and the explicit consideration of rejected trips is an integral part of the evaluation. Results suggest large accessibility improvements for DRT users, especially for some underserved origin-destination pairs.

Read more of this work of Maria J. Alonso Gonzalez: TRB Paper and TRB Presentation

Opportunities for the Combined Bicycle and Transit Mode

Around the world cities face negative effects generated by increasing mobility needs. To tackle these issues, mobility should be environmental and spatial friendly. Combining bicycle and public transport into a ‘bicycle + transit mode’ will create a synergy with the best of both worlds: superb door-to-door accessibility offered by the bicycle and a large spatial reach from transit modes. These complemented modes combined easily challenge private carsin terms of speed as well accessibility.

Research regarding the users and trip types of the bicycle and transit mode is largely missing. This is unfortunate, since understanding both user and trip characteristics is of the utmost importance to improve the share of the bicycle and transit mode. Policy-makers can make concrete decisions on infrastructure and service investments only when the gap between the aforementioned societal need and scientific knowledge is filled.

The main analysis in the study is based on data from the Netherlands. The Netherlands is one of the countries with a head start regarding the use of the bicycle + transit mode. A one-day trip diary survey, representative of the population of the Netherlands, with more than 250,000 respondents who made nearly 700,000 trips over the course of 6 years (2010-2015), is used to derive important trip and user characteristics of the bicycle + transit mode. Finally, latent class cluster analysis is applied to find prototypical users of this mode on the basis of their socio-demographic attributes.

It is, for example, found that the most important purposes of the bicycle and transit mode are work or education, typically involving relatively long distances. Bicycle and transit-potential for other transit network levels, such as metros and bus rapid transit can be found. Moreover, seven unique user groups – from middle-aged professionals to school children – are identified, and their different travel behaviour is discussed.

The wider benefits of high quality of public transport for cities

The full value of public transport is often underestimated. The 5E framework, consisting of effective mobility, efficient city, economy, environment and equity supports assessing and quantifying this value. This paper presents the framework and a wide selection of sources illustrating the wider benefits of high quality of public transport for cities.

Find our ETC conference paper HERE

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