Monash University, Institute of Transport Studies: World Transit Research (WTR)

    Do motorcycle-based ride-hailing apps threaten bus ridership? A hybrid choice modeling approach with latent variables

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    The emergence of motorcycle-based ride-hailing services provides more transportation options to users in developing countries like Indonesia. However, many people currently believe that the availability of these new options threatens the demand for public transportation. This study aims to understand the latent factors that influence passengers to prefer bus service over motorcycle-based ride-hailing. The study includes 19 variables and applies a hybrid choice model by employing 703 bus passenger responses in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Our analysis shows three latent variables that most significantly impact the selection of bus service over motorcycle-based ride-hailing: forced bus use, bus service quality, and favorable conditions for bus use. These three variables were influential enough to outweigh the potential time and cost savings of motorcycle ride-hailing. The results also indicate that the decision of which option to use is significantly influenced by users’ age and income. Lastly, results of our analysis show that future bus service demand will depend on how much buses can improve to meet users’ needs, if they are to win the competition over transportation options that can be booked online such as motorcycle ride-hailing

    Network–wide prediction of public transportation ridership using spatio–temporal link–level information

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    Public transportation is a key element to vivid city life. Understanding the dynamics and driving forces of public transportation ridership can be a very rewarding task. It is, however, a highly complex construct. In this research, we focus on a spatial viewpoint, which has seen little attention: the link level. It represents the trip of a vehicle between directly connected stations. Additionally, we put emphasis on the impact of exogenous events. In order to assess their spatio–temporal influences, a temporal resolution of 30 min complements the spatial link level. Ridership data for trams and buses is provided by Stadtwerke München (SWM), which is the operator of the public transportation network in Munich, Germany, including 82 bus and 17 tram lines. About 30% of trams and 50% of buses are equipped with automatic passenger counting sensors, which capture boarding and alighting at each individual station. The equipped vehicles are strategically placed by SWM to obtain a meaningful view on the whole system. The raw sensor data is cleaned and sanitized. The data we are using spans a 4–year period (2014–2017). Following a pre–processing step, ∼59.79% of the data is considered, which equates to ∼97 million observations. There are 693 tram links and 2944 bus links, which makes 3637 links in total. We distinguish the analysis in ridership prediction and inference. For prediction, we specify one model functional form and build this model for each link, using 5–fold cross–validation to avoid overfitting. We employ decision trees, combining them with bagging and boosting. We then perform inference, i.e. attempt to understand the relationship between the variables that emerged in the predictive models. Ridership is assessed for each link separately and visualized together in order to construct network views and maps. Conclusions are drawn, and recommendations for future research are formulated

    A regression model of the number of taxicabs in US cities

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    In cities that control the number of taxicabs by law or regulation, setting the number of cabs is one of the most important decisions made by taxicab regulators and elected officials. Licensing either too many or too few cabs can have serious deleterious effects on the availability and quality of service and the economic viability of the taxi business. Yet local officials often have difficulty quantifying the demand for taxi service or tracking changes in demand. Multiple regression modeling of the number of cabs in 118 U.S. cities identifies three primary demand factors: the number of workers commuting by subway, the number of households with no vehicles available, and the number of airport taxi trips. These results can be used to identify peer cities for further comparison and analysis and to guide regulators in measuring changes in local demand for cab service

    Bimodal Use of High-Speed Rail Lines

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    Over the past decades, bimodal operation of conventional rail lines—the use of a rail line to carry both passengers and goods—has been studied and put into practice in railway engineering and planning efforts. However, the growing construction of high-speed rail lines in Europe has sparked serious controversy about the possibility of introducing bimodal services on this type of track. This controversy encompasses not only technical issue but also acceptability and economic issues. So far, little has been published about it. Bimodal use of high-speed rail lines is now practically nonexistent in Europe, and national governments do not have the necessary information on the feasibility of the system. The first Spanish high-speed railway started to run in April 1992 between Madrid and Seville and, until now, has been used to transport only passengers. The future Spanish high-speed network will be centered in Madrid and will cover more than 2,000 km over the next 15 years. Its operation with bimodal criteria is starting to be discussed as a way to reap maximum benefit from the high investment costs. This paper presents and analyzes the results of the first study on the acceptability of and the potential demand for bimodal use of a Spanish high-speed rail line. The term “acceptability” is used to describe the prospective judgment of measures to be introduced in the future. The target group for the study was a sample of users of the corridor of this high-speed rail line. As part of the study, more than 3,000 valid questionnaires were collected, and more than 50 companies interviewed

    Evaluating Interior and Door Configurations of Rail Vehicles by Using Variable Loading Densities

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    As many U.S. metropolitan areas expect unprecedented growth in population and travel in the next 20 to 30 years, rail transit agencies are faced with the challenges of replacing their aging fleets and procuring new vehicles to keep up with ridership increases. As funds become increasingly scarce, many operators are exploring ways of increasing car capacity by considering interior configurations (to maximize loading efficiency) and door configurations (to minimize the effect of increased loads on station dwell times). Few studies address the design and evaluation of interior and door configurations as a system. Typically, seating configurations are designed separately from door configurations. Furthermore, interior configuration evaluations or maximum vehicle loading quoted by car manufacturers assume a uniform loading density applied throughout the car. Loading on transit vehicles, however, varies greatly within a car. This affects practical vehicle capacity and its impact controlling dwell time at the busiest door. The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, a heavy rail rapid transit system in California, recently conducted an evaluation of interior and door configurations based on a methodology that used variable loading densities and resulting impact on door loads for dwell time estimation. Variable loading density is more realistic in simulating actual passenger loading experience. This research shows that depending on the interior and door configuration, applying uniform loading density may misrepresent actual car capacity and door loads and thus waste valuable resources or underestimate actual needs

    Artificial Neural Network Delay Model for Traffic Assignment Incorporating Intersection Delay Costs

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    Transportation planning models do not usually consider intersection delays explicitly in calculating path travel times. However, because intersection delays often make up a considerable portion of total travel time in urban areas, ignoring them will result in inaccuracy in model results. Incorporating intersection delays into a traffic assignment model presents several challenges. One is that future signal timing plans are unknown, and another is that introducing intersection delays into traffic assignment renders the necessary condition for convergence invalid. This paper proposes a pragmatic approach to considering intersection delays in traffic assignment by assuming that signal timing plans will be optimized for given traffic conditions and by demonstrating that a convergent solution can be obtained when intersection delays are explicitly accounted for. A large data set of traffic volume combinations representing the operation of an intersection and the corresponding intersection delays based on optimized signal timing are obtained from TRANSYT-7F. This data set is used to train an artificial neural network (ANN) model that provides delay estimates for given traffic conditions for certain types of intersection configurations. An iterative process of traffic assignment and delay estimation is carried out to obtain a stable assignment solution. The delay estimates from the ANN delay model are evaluated by the percentage root mean squared errors, which are less than 25.6%, with larger prediction errors typically associated with severely oversaturated conditions. An example is presented to show the use of the delay model in traffic assignment. The delay model allows the concurrent optimization of signal controls and traffic routing to obtain a local optimum network solution

    Development of Hybrid Energy-Absorbing Reusable Terminal for Roadside Safety Applications

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    The hybrid energy-absorbing reusable terminal (HEART) is a newly developed crash cushion or end terminal to be used in highway safety applications to mitigate injuries to occupants of errant vehicles. HEART is composed of corrugated plates of high-molecular weight, high-density polyethylene (HMW-HDPE) supported on steel diaphragms that slide on a fixed rail. Kinetic energy from errant vehicles is converted to other energy forms through folding and deformation of the HMW-HDPE material. Many previous designs utilized plastic or permanent deformation of plastics or steels to accomplish this goal. However, HEART is a combination of plastic and steel that forms a largely self-restoring and largely reusable crash cushion. Consequently, HEART has a major life-cycle cost advantage over conventional crash cushion designs. HEART was developed through extensive use of finite element analysis with LS-DYNA. The simulation approach adopted for the development of HEART, construction details, and a description and results of crash tests performed so far to evaluate its performance are presented. Also discussed is some of the follow-up work currently under way for approval of HEART by the Federal Highway Administration as an acceptable crash cushion for use on the National Highway System

    Changes in travel demand in Melbourne – is it time for a new paradigm?

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    Before 2004, travel behaviour and public transport patronage growth in Melbourne were predictable. Trip rates and mode shares were constant, and demand changes were closely linked to population growth. Since 2004, however, there has been a dramatic increase in patronage on sustainable modes of travel, most evident in the surge in public transport patronage. Understanding the reasons for such growth and how these trends in mode choice might be reflected in the future is critical in forecasting future patronage levels. Metlink and DOT have undertaken significant research to attempt to answer these questions, both before and during the Global Financial Crisis and in all Australian mainland state capital cities. This research reveals a number of key drivers, most notably a potential new market segment that has emerged that is driven by lifestyle choices around the environment and health & fitness issues, that makes them heavily pre-disposed to public transport and other sustainable transport modes. Other factors have also clearly been a key part of the story, and themselves are difficult to forecast future trends. The early conclusion from this research is that it might be time to proclaim a new paradigm of travel choices in Melbourne which has significant implications for future patronage forecasting

    Integration of light rail in the limited space of urban roads - a new approach: good results in Switzerland

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    A report of new traffic approaches in Switzerland has to resume some political and transport-historical paradigmas [1]: 1950-1980 Promotion of MIT * no adaptation of public transport to the development of settlements * rejection of underground railway projects Result: Public transport looses market-shares 1975-2000 Coexistence between MIT and PT: * sophisticated traffic management * innovative solutions for PT Result: The volume of privat traffic remains stable within the cities, but not in the regions and conurbation. This despite of the extension of suburban train systems and the reduction of public parking space. Since 1995 Promotion of PT and alternative mobility solutions: * car rental (per day and by hours) * extensive 30 km/h speed limit in residential areas * promotion of bicycles and pedestrians * renaissance of urban roads, rectifications * political pressure to reduce speed on urban roads * upgrading of tramway networks in cities and agglomerations * pdcing measures of all private and public parking spaces * rise in prices for MIT and P

    Using Equivalent Walking Distance to Assess Pedestrian Accessibility to Transit Stations in Singapore

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    The study aims to investigate factors that affect passengers’ choice of walking to rail transit and to develop a method of assessing walking conditions in the vicinity of mass rapid transit (MRT) stations in Singapore. The focus is on the analysis of surveys conducted around 11 MRT stations and the development of the concept of equivalent walking distance. Besides interview surveys with passengers at the stations, assessments of more than 200 walking routes were carried out in the field to investigate the actual walking distances and conditions, such as walkway quality, steps, slopes, presence of barriers, and delays at road crossings. About 60% of MRT passengers walked to the stations, and the average walking distance was 608 m. Men were more likely to walk than women. A submodal split model was estimated to investigate factors affecting passengers’ choice of walking or taking a feeder service to access an MRT station. Besides the actual distance, factors that significantly affected the access mode choice were number of road crossings, traffic conflicts, and number of ascending steps. The equivalent walking distance equation is proposed on the basis of the model coefficients; the equation reflects the relative effect of these factors on the generalized walking effort. Because equivalent walking distance represents the extra effort required to overcome obstacles, it can be used as an indicator of the quality of pedestrian facilities. Among the five walkway networks analyzed, the average equivalent walking distance was between 20% and 39% longer than the actual distance
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