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A Demand-based Methodology for Planning the Bus Network of a Small-medium Sized Town

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Fabio Galatioto


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This work aims at developing a demand-based methodology for designing the bus network of a smallor medium town. The proposed modelling tool adopts a multi-agent objective function which evaluatesperformance in the context of different stakeholders: the surplus of travellers (car and bus users); the busservice provider’s revenues and operation costs. This approach was applied to an existing bus network,serving Trapani, which is a medium town in the south of Italy (Sicily), with 100000 inhabitants. The busbasedpublic transport system attracts only about 5% of commuter trips within Trapani (source: NationalInstitute of Statistics, 2005). This paper reports on an analysis of the application of the proposed multiagentmodelling tool to two planning scenarios: the first is short-term and characterized by a budgetconstraint (slight changes in the availability of drivers and vehicles) and the second long-term with newinvestments in new buses to improve services and increase patronage. In both cases, the impact of therecent car park charging policy launched by the local administration was considered.The decision variables for the optimisation procedure were route, service frequency and capacity ofeach bus line. A random utility model was employed to forecast the mode choices for trips within Trapaniand the travel demand-supply equilibrium was obtained using the DUE (deterministic user equilibrium)assignment algorithm, for private transport, and the hyperpath network loading algorithm, for publictransport.The optimisation procedure led to a more efficient bus network characterized by increase in busfrequencies and a better performance in terms of reduced travel time, especially for trips bound for the“old town” in the morning. In addition, a higher number of origin-destination pairs were served, at theexpense of the need to interchange between the inner more frequent and the outer less frequent services.This implied that the number of transfers from one bus line to another significantly increased.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Amoroso S, Migliore M, Catalano M, Galatioto F

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Transport - Trasporti Europei

Year: 2010

Issue: 44

Pages: 41-56

Print publication date: 01/04/2010

ISSN (print): 1825-3997

ISSN (electronic): 1825-3989

Publisher: Universita degli Studi di Trieste