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    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

    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

    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

    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

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