Posted in October 2019

Impact assessment of new North/South metro line in Amsterdam

Large infrastructural projects are usually evaluated ex-ante before the decision to build the project is taken. However, after construction and opening of such project a thorough ex-post analysis is rare. In this paper we present an overview of such an evaluation study conducted in Amsterdam, capital of The Netherlands, including some first results. Research themes in the study are public transport, mobility and accessibility, public space and liveability and spatial economics. In this paper we focus on effects on public transport.

The new north-south metro line in Amsterdam became operational in summer 2018. This was accompanied by changes to the existing bus and tram network to provide feeder services to the new line, as well as to remove duplicate routes. Apart from adding significant capacity to the public transport network, the new line and the accompanying changes to the network are expected to improve travel times, reliability, accessibility and comfort levels (at least on average; not for all individual travellers).
The changes in such service quality attributes is expected to lead to a change in travel behaviour in terms of public transport route choice, mode choice (between public transport and private modes or within public transport), destination choice, departure time choice or addition of new trips (induced demand).
The objective of this study is to identify the main effects of the new metro line on existing and new passengers. We pay attention to the following aspects:
– Passenger volumes.
– Travel times, where the following distinction can be made:
o in-vehicle time;
o waiting time at the first stop;
o transfer walking time;
o transfer waiting time.
– Number of transfers.
– Network flows / crowding in vehicles.
– Reliability: travel time variance on the journey level.
– Accessibility: number of inhabitants and jobs reachable within a travel time budget.

Data sources for the study are GTFS timetable data (open source), Smart card data (both from within the city of Amsterdam as for the regional feeder bus services) and Automated Vehicle Location data. To measure perceived quality of the PT network, a survey is conducted among inhabitants of Amsterdam. In this survey approximately 3.800 respondents were asked about the travel time perceptions of their last PT trip, both before and after opening of the metro line. Finally, for a sample of travellers the entire trip is followed by a GPS tracking app.

Bicycle and Transit: a Powerful Combination

Cities are facing mobility related problems such as traffic congestion and air pollution. The combination of bicycle and transit offers a sustainable alternative to individual motorized transport. It combines the benefits of both modes, namely speed, flexibility and accessibility. This paper merges several results of our recent studies in this combined mode. The bicycle and transit mode is at first reviewed from a governance point of view. After this top-down approach a shift to the actual bicycle and transit users is made. The objective of this paper is to understand the characteristics of the bicycle-transit combination. Understanding the bicycle-transit chain makes it possible to improve the design of the chain by adapting policies which enhances (further) growth of this sustainable transport mode.

Regarding the governance point of view: two metropolitan areas in the world where both bicycle and transit systems are highly developed are compared. The metropolitan region of Copenhagen and the Dutch Randstad conurbation. In the Netherlands the governance structure of spatial planning and transit planning has gradually been shifted from local and national level to provincial level. Furthermore, many provinces are a key stakeholder when developing so called bicycle highways. The combination of responsibilities for (i) spatial planning, (ii) transit, and (iii) bicycle planning has proven to be extremely successful when making the most out of the bicycle-transit combination. It is seen that the results of the integration of transit and spatial planning highly encourages citizens to use the bicycle and transit mode.
In addition to our policy-related analysis, the actual bicycle and transit user has been examined. It is seen that the current users of the combined mode are mainly middle-aged, male, full-time employees. Catchment areas of transit stops depends on multiple factors. One of these factors is quality of the transit supply. In comparison to low level services, high level services attract users from twice as far. While over 40% of the Dutch train traveller uses the bike to get from home to the station, modal shift might be possible regarding egress trips and from and to high level bus, tram and metro services. Dockless bikes are helpful regarding egress transport. In the city of Delft, approximately 15% of the MoBike dockless bike trips are related to the train stations.
Finally, it is concluded that the combination of bicycle and transit is a successful and sustainable transport combination. Both from a governance and user perspective, there are major opportunities regarding the egress side of the bicycle transit chain. Furthermore, the transition of low level transit to high level transit makes the bicycle-transit combination more attractive, transit authorities are therefore highly encouraged to facilitate bicycle parking and shared bicycle facilities at their transit stops.

Check the ETC presentation with Raymond Huisman HERE

Autonomous vehicles meet Public Transport: the future of automated vehicles in public transport

The technology of automated vehicles is developing rapidly and the vehicles offer a lot of benefits. They claim to be safer, more environmentally friendly and they can provide transport for everyone, including people who currently don’t have access to transportation. The focus seemed to be on the development of automated private vehicles, but the focus seems to shift from private transportation to automated public transportation.

The Netherlands has been pro-active in testing automated vehicles on public roads. This paper gives an overview of the projects and pilots with automated vehicles as public transport in the Netherlands as well as the remaining research questions. Also, preliminary results of passenger related studies regarding expected ridership and perception are discussed in this paper. Information was gathered by performing desk research and conducting interviews with twelve public transport authorities. During these interviews we spoke about threats and opportunities as well as feasibility, visions and knowledge gaps. Subsequently we spoke about what the future of public transport would look like and how we can anticipate on these upcoming technologies. Lastly we asked about (future) pilot locations with automated vehicles. These locations are included on a map of the Netherlands.

In many places in the Netherlands there is or has already been experiments with automated vehicles (3 – 4). These pilots, experiments or demonstrations are often focused on the technical aspects. However, the challenges regarding the deployment of an automated vehicle extends beyond the technical level. The interviewed parties indicate that it is important to focus, with the upcoming pilots, more on the traveler and the position of the vehicle within the existing public transport network. The interviewed parties stress that it is important to think about the long-term implementation.

The current public transport contracts as we know them, will likely change with the arrival of automated vehicles. Concessions are already becoming more flexible and space is created to experiment with new concepts such as automated vehicles. During a concession, it is possible to experiment alongside the established service and a transition path can be mapped out. Tendering an automated shuttle has not (yet) taken place in the Netherlands (5). The public transport authorities are clear about the future: automated vehicles in public transport do not come with a ‘big bang’ but will gradually find their way.

Check the ETC presentation of Reanne Boersma, Arthur Scheltes and Niels van Oort HERE

Smart PT Lab @ European Transport Conference in Dublin

The Smart Public Transport Lab will be present at the European Transport Conference that will take place from 9th-11th October in Dublin, Ireland. Smart PT Lab members and partners will present the following studies:

• Impact assessment of new North/South metro line in Amsterdam
• AV meets PT: the future of automated vehicles in public transport
• Determinants of public transport use toward intermodal hubs, including emerging modes
• Equity-related impacts of coarser and high frequent public transport networks
• Bicycle and transit: a powerful combination
• Operations of E-buses: a challenging trade-off in finding optimal charging locations
• Controlling high-frequency bus services by implementing headway-based holding strategies

With, amongst others, Fatemeh Torabi Kachousangi, Roy van Kuijk, Reanne Boersma, Ties Brands, Malvika Dixit and Niels van Oort.
You may find the sessions by browsing the conference program at ETC program

Let us know if you are interested in more information in any of these studies. Looking forward to meet you at ETC2019!

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