Development of a planning support system for public transport rationalization in Kigali, Rwanda

Barmentlo, Henk (2012) Development of a planning support system for public transport rationalization in Kigali, Rwanda.

Abstract:This research tries to support the planning of public transport systems in a developing city, by proposing a GIS-based Planning Support System (PSS) to arrange and visualize data available for planning purposes. The PSS can help analysing various planning scenarios together with multiple stakeholders, to aid rational planning of the public transport system. The focus of this research lies on the transition of the current, often informal, state of public transport system to a formalised, planned and effective public transport system. The public transport system of Kigali (Rwanda) is used as a case study for the PSS development. The main research objective of this study is to develop a Planning Support System for the rationalization of public transport planning in Kigali, Rwanda. To reach this objective, the concept of public transport rationalization is described in detail, followed by an analysis of the possibilities for rationalization of public transport planning in Kigali, Rwanda. A prototype PSS system is developed to aid this rationalization, and some recommendations for the further use of this system in rational planning are provided in a draft rationalization plan. The concept of rationalization is divided in this research in three main definitions:  Rationalization-for-formalization describes the practice of turning an informal transport system into a formal system, by increasing regulations and requirements for operators and interfering in the system planning.  Rationalization-for-efficiency is a way of restructuring the system while making use of existing resources, by allocating them towards parts of the system where they provide higher financial or social returns.  Rationalization-for-decision-making mainly describes a rational way of planning and decision making. Rational decision making is ideally not only based on experience and tacit knowledge, but also on reliable datasets, measurable results and clear planning targets. These three definitions are used to advise the Rwandan government to rationalize their public transport system and its planning. To support governmental institutions in making these decisions in a rational way, a PSS is proposed that can help cooperation with multiple stakeholders. A PSS is a software system that gives planners the opportunity to visualize their proposals on a map and to assess them with indicators and scenario analysis tools. These proposals often have a spatial nature, but transport planning can also be supported by the use of a specific PSS. The results of analysis in the PSS are mainly valid on a global system scale and should be validated on a local scale with the use of traditional transport demand and route choice models. A PSS can point out areas of interest for this further analysis and can be used to present the final results of such detailed analysis. The indicators representing the adequacy of the system for passengers are based on the attributes Affordability, Availability, Accessibility and Acceptability. For each of these attributes, an indicator is chosen that is presented as a normalized score. All scores are summed in a general evaluation index, which can be used to define areas of interest for the improvement of public transport. Operators and government are served with indicators representing the size of the vehicle park, the total employment in the sector, the fare price and the total investment costs. This set of indicators can provide basic planning support, but can of course be supplemented by further research and availability of data.Besides the development of the PSS, which can help planners and policy makers in Rwanda rationalize their own actions, this report has presented some recommendations for rationalization:  Regulation of vehicle movements by introducing maximum waiting times and regulating the amount of vehicles per route  Restructuring of the vehicle park by reallocating vehicles through the network and gradually replacing minibuses with larger vehicles  Institutional reforms, especially by introducing an overarching public transport authority that can structure and connect planning and policy making.  Encouragement of cooperation of operators for fare collection and distribution, which enables the adequate operation of financially less profitable routes  Introduction of data-driven decision making in public transport as the standard practice in public transport policy making The use of a PSS for public transport rationalization is a rather new research field, which has a lot of possibilities. This exploring research can therefore be used in further studies on the properties of rationalization of public transport in developing countries and the use of PSS to support this practice. As the characteristics of the Kigali public transport system are similar to other urban transport systems in Sub-Saharan Africa, this would be an area of interest for further use of the outcomes of this study.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Ministry of Infrastructure Rwanda
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:55 traffic technology, transport technology
Programme:Civil Engineering and Management MSc (60026)
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