Posts in category Papers

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

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

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

Nieuwe lessen over de potentie van Fiets en OV

Het combineren van fiets en openbaar vervoer is een duurzame oplossing voor de (mobiliteits)uitdagingen in zowel stedelijke gebieden als daarbuiten. Er is een revival van de fiets gaande en ook hoogwaardig openbaar vervoer rukt op. De keten van fiets mét openbaar vervoer combineert de voordelen van beide systemen: De fiets zorgt voor fijnmazige ontsluitingen van herkomst en bestemmingen, is milieuvriendelijk en stimuleert een gezonde leefstijl. Voor wat betreft OV neemt de kwaliteit de laatste jaren sterk toe door de introductie van hoogwaardig OV (HOV): snelle, frequente en betrouwbare bus- tram- en metrolijnen met een hoog comfortniveau. Voorbeelden zijn R-Net, Randstadrail en Q-Link. De halteafstanden van deze systemen zijn relatief hoog, waardoor de fiets een belangrijke rol speelt in de gebiedsontsluiting.
Om het succes van de fiets en OV verder uit te bouwen is kennis nodig over hoe de mobilist zich nu en in de toekomst beweegt: Wat zijn de succesfactoren, welke voorwaarden spelen een rol en waarom worden bepaalde keuzes gemaakt, bijvoorbeeld. Dit paper laat de resultaten zien van vier TU Delft onderzoeken op dit gebied. Belangrijkste, nieuwe inzichten zijn bijvoorbeeld dat het invloedsgebied van HOV haltes tot 4x groter is ten opzichte van “gewoon’’ OV. Verder blijkt dat treinreizigers bereid zijn ca. 6 min. extra te fietsen naar een station waar ze een directe trein kunnen nemen naar hun bestemming (in plaats van met een overstap). Tot slot blijkt dat de huidige groep fiets-OV’ers in te delen is in 7 groepen, waarvan de middle-aged male professionals de grootste zijn en de gepensioneerden de kleinste. De resultaten zijn de basis voor verder onderzoek en toepassing om te komen tot een optimaal Fiets-OV netwerk.

Lees het hele CVS paper HIER
De presentatie is HIER beschikbaar

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

Performance assessment of fixed and flexible public transport in a multi agent simulation framework

The emergence of innovative mobility solutions that offer flexible transport services, is changing the way urban public transport systems will be designed. Such mobility solutions offer on demand transport services and hence can solve the problems inherent with traditional line based and schedule based public transport systems. It is essential to understand the dynamics of this new demand-supply market with co-existing and competing fixed and flexible public transport. However, the performance of the system comprising of users and transit services and the factors influencing them, have received limited attention in literature. In this paper a model is developed to analyse the system performance when the modes of fixed public transport and flexible public transport operate in competition. The model is implemented in the multi-agent simulation framework MATSim with dynamic assignment in which the users optimize their travel plan through iterative learning from the service experienced and altering their travel plan. The scenarios in which the flexible public transport offer private and shared services are considered. The system performance is analysed for varying fleet size of flexible public transport and ratio of cost of flexible to fixed public transport.

Find the paper HERE

Data-driven transfer inference for public transport journeys during disruptions

Disruptions in public transport have major impact on passengers and disproportional effects on passenger satisfaction. The availability of smart card data gives opportunities to better quantify disruption impacts on passengers’ experienced journey travel time and comfort. For this, accurate journey inference from raw transaction data is required. Several rule-based algorithms exist to infer whether a passenger alighting and subsequent boarding is categorized as transfer or final destination where an activity is performed. Although this logic can infer transfers during undisrupted public transport operations, these algorithms have limitations during disruptions: disruptions and subsequent operational rescheduling measures can force passengers to travel via routes which would be non-optimal or illogical during undisrupted operations. Therefore, applying existing algorithms can lead to biased journey inference and biased disruption impact quantification. We develop and apply a new transfer inference algorithm which infers journeys from raw smart card transactions in an accurate way during both disrupted and undisrupted operations. In this algorithm we incorporate the effects of denied boarding, transferring to a vehicle of the same line (due to operator rescheduling measures as short-turning), and the use of public transport services of another operator on another network level as intermediate journey stage during disruptions. This results in an algorithm with an improved transfer inference performance compared to existing algorithms.

Find the paper HERE

Urban Demand Responsive Transport in the Mobility as a Service ecosystem: its role and potential market share

Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is entering the transportation market. MaaS aims at the full
integration of the existing transportation services and it offers tailored mobility packages to
the user. In MaaS ecosystems, on-demand services play an important role as complement to
public transport due to their flexibility. However, to date, most attention has been placed on
individual on-demand services. This study focuses on Demand Responsive Transport (DRT):
collective on-demand services. Using an on-line survey, we analysed the characteristics of
the respondents who chose different modes of transport among their selected modes.
Results find a distinctive pattern in the willingness of users to use different modes, with
different levels in what could be considered as a multimodality ladder. The different rungs of
it would be: 1st car (if available), 2nd public transport, 3rd DRT and 4th taxi-like services.
This way, a person standing on the third rung would include car, public transport and DRT in
their consideration set, but not taxi. This finding suggests that, if implemented in the right
way, DRT services can attract a larger number of users than taxi-like services, especially in a
MaaS ecosystem where initial barriers to try this service can be lessened.

Find the paper presented by Maria Alonso Gonzalez at the Thredbo conference in Stockholm HERE

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