Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

On the Optimization of the Bus Network Design: An Analytical Approach Based on a Bi-modal Macroscopic Fundamental Diagram

Version 1 : Received: 25 June 2020 / Approved: 26 June 2020 / Online: 26 June 2020 (12:26:27 CEST)

How to cite: Dakic, I.; Leclercq, L.; Menendez, M. On the Optimization of the Bus Network Design: An Analytical Approach Based on a Bi-modal Macroscopic Fundamental Diagram. Preprints 2020, 2020060312 Dakic, I.; Leclercq, L.; Menendez, M. On the Optimization of the Bus Network Design: An Analytical Approach Based on a Bi-modal Macroscopic Fundamental Diagram. Preprints 2020, 2020060312

Abstract

Public transport systems are considered to be a crucial aspect of a sustainable urban development, as they allow more passengers to efficiently travel across an urban area at low environmental and economic costs. Multiple factors can influence the public transport level of service. All take roots in the network structure and the operating regime, i.e. how bus lines are arranged atop the street network and how the service frequency is adjusted to meet urban mobility patterns. This is known as the bus network design problem and has been the subject of several studies. The problem is so challenging that most studies until now resort to strong assumptions such as a static description of the peak hour demand, homogeneous user behavior, and equal trip lengths. Potential effects of different types of user behavior and trip lengths patterns on the user and/or operator cost function have not been investigated whatsoever. Moreover, the existing studies have not considered the effects of the bus network structure on private car users, the level of interactions between the two modes, and the passenger mode choice that depends on the traffic conditions. This paper aims to close this gap and provide a general framework considering multiple trip length patterns, two types of user behavior, and the effects that the bus network structure might have on the traffic performance and passenger mode choice. For modeling different trip length patterns, the proposed approach combines all origin-destination pairs with the same trip length and uses the trip length distribution as an intermediate level of abstraction. As such, it allows to solve the optimal bus network design problem in an analytical way, while considering a more realistic setting including network congestion, mixed traffic, and different mode choice decisions depending on trip lengths and walking preferences. Numerical analysis reveals that both, the user behavior and the trip length patterns, have significant effects on the operator and user cost function. Results show that the probability of choosing any given mode is not constant across the user trip lengths, but follows certain distribution. This distribution is not unique, but varies across the trip length patterns, indicating the importance of modeling the mode choice at the trip length level. Finally, the analysis demonstrates the significance of addressing simplifications made in previous studies.

Subject Areas

Bus network design; Trip length distribution; Bi-modal MFD; Space allocation; Bus operations

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