Incorporating unreliability of transit in transport demand models: theoretical and practical approach

Nowadays, transport demand models do not explicitly evaluate the impacts of service reliability of transit. Service reliability of transit systems is adversely experienced by users, as it causes additional travel time and unsecure arrival times. Because of this, travelers are likely to perceive a higher utility from higher reliable transport systems. In order to mimic and measure the impacts of service reliability on a transit demand model a three-step approach is proposed using intelligent transport systems data. The approach consists of determining the probabilistic distribution of transit trip times, defining demand patterns and estimating the average impacts of unreliability per passenger. This approach was successfully tested on the model of the city of Utrecht in The Netherlands. By adding service reliability as a variable parameter of transit systems the results of the demand model improved showing that the absolute difference between the observed and the estimated demand decreased by 18%. In addition, the proposed approach allows measuring the effects of expected changes in level of service reliability on traveler behavior. Finally, the authors have identified future research topics required to improve the estimation of those effects

Read more: TRB 2014 Paper Van Oort

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