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Exploring the demand for bus transport : An exploration of the factors that determine the demand for bus transport and the development of a bus demand model

Smit, Marijn (2014) Exploring the demand for bus transport : An exploration of the factors that determine the demand for bus transport and the development of a bus demand model.

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Abstract:Introduction: The challenge for bus operators is to optimize the supply of bus transport to demand as cost effective as possible. This demand is however not static; it depends on the supply of bus transport, population characteristics, urban developments, etc. In order to optimize the supply of bus transport, detailed information is needed about the impact of bus transport, population and spatial characteristics on demand. This thesis explores the factors that determine the demand for bus transport and uses those factors to develop a model which is able to predict the number of boarders and alighters at a bus stop and assigns them to the bus network. Methodology: A four step model approach is followed to create bus demand models, including the stages trip generation, distribution and assignment. A literature study is performed to identify the factors that determine the demand for bus transport. Data from different sources are used to represent those factors. The data of these variables are collected for the catchment area of each bus stop in Breda. Veolia Transport supplied chipcard data of Breda and Tilburg which are used to create the trip generation models via regression analyses. Also the variation of the number of passengers over time is analyzed. For the distribution step, distribution functions are calibrated for weekdays (Monday to Friday), Saturdays and Sundays. Results: The factors that determine the demand for bus transport can be categorized in the categories population characteristics, spatial characteristics, bus service characteristics and trip specific characteristics, although many factors are related to multiple categories. The research showed that the demand for bus transport is mainly explained by the presence of the central station, the number of stops that can be reached from a stop without transfer, the floor area of offices and shops and the number of students at higher educational institutes. Six trip generation models are developed for Breda: boarders and alighters weekday (Monday to Friday), boarders and alighters Saturday and boarders and alighters Sunday. The models perform quite well for Breda, but worse for Tilburg. The calibrated top log-normal distribution function is well able to reproduce the observed trip length distribution of both Breda and Tilburg. The combination of the trip generation and distribution models result in an average difference of 16% with the observed number of passengers at the busiest line segments in Breda, while this is 34% in Tilburg. Conclusion: The demand for bus transport can mainly be explained by spatial factors, like the presence of the central train station, offices, shops and higher education institutes. These spatial factors represent facilities that attract a relatively large number of passengers. Since the models perform worse for Tilburg than for Breda, it can be concluded that bus demand models developed for one area cannot simply be applied to another area. This is emphasized by the high sensitivity of the models for the sample of bus stops which are used to create the models.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Clients:
Grontmij, De Bilt, the Netherlands
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:56 civil engineering
Programme:Civil Engineering and Management MSc (60026)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/65455
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