TRB 2018

Looking forward to meeting many colleagues and friends at the Transportation Research Board (TRB) 97th Annual Meeting in Washington DC next week (January 7-11)!

The following studies which I have been involved in together with students and colleagues will be presented at TRB this year:

  1. The Potential of Demand Responsive Transport as a Complement to Public Transport: An Assessment Framework and an Empirical Evaluation. (Session 293, Monday 10:15 AM- 12:00 PM Convention Center, 147A) Alonso-Gonzalez M., Liu T., Cats O., van Oort N. and Hoogendoorn S.
  2. Individual, Travel and Bus Stop Characteristics Influencing Traverlers’ Safety Perceptions. (Session 556, Tuesday 10:15 AM- 12:00 PM Convention Center, 143B) Abenoza R.F., Ceccato V., Susilo Y. and Cats O.
  3. Constructing Spatiotemporal Load Profiles of Transit Vehicles with Multiple Data Sources. (Session 649, Tuesday 1:30 PM- 3:15 PM Convention Center, Hall E) Lou D., Bonnetain L., Cats O. and van Lint H.
  4. Strategic Planning and Prospects of Rail-bound Demand Responsive Transit. (Session 660, Tuesday 1:30 PM- 3:15 PM Convention Center, Hall E) Cats O. and Haverkamp J.
  5. Demand-anticipatory Flexible Public Transport Service. (Session 784, Tuesday 8:00 AM- 9:45 PM Convention Center, Hall E) van Engelen M., Cats O., Post H. and Aardal K.

In addition, will be presiding:

  • Poster session 650 on Transit Service Disruptions: Impacts and Mitigation Measures (Tuesday 1:30 PM- 3:15 PM, Convention Center, Hall E)
  • Poster session 651 on Economic and Optimization Models for Integrated Service Planning (Tuesday 1:30 PM- 3:15 PM, Convention Center, Hall E)

In conjunction with the TRB conference, Jaime Soza Parra and I meet with Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority on Jan 11 to present and discuss the preliminary results of our evaluation of their headway-control experiment.

Demand anticipatory operations

On-demand (known also as flexible or demand responsive) services rely on algorithms that determine which vehicle to assign to which passenger travel request. This becomes especially relevant as developments in vehicle automation and the shared economy call for new developments in routing flexible transport services.

Together with colleagues from Applied Mathematics and Transdev (Connexxion) in the Netherlands, we propose a new type of insertion algorithm: an online dynamic insertion algorithm with demand forecasts. Hence, this algorithm beyond responsiveness by incorporating demand anticipatory capabilities. The performance of this algorithm is tested in a simulation model for a case study network located in vicinity to Amsterdam.

See the full paper in Transportation Research Part E, by following this link.

When combining the new insertion algorithm with empty vehicle rerouting, 98% of passenger rejections are eliminated and travel and waiting times are reduced by up to 10 and 46% respectively, compared to traditional insertion algorithms. A sensitivity analysis tested performance robustness to variations in operational and demand conditions including different fleet compositions.



EWGT 2017 conference

Our public transport group presented two papers on EURO Working Group on Transportation Meeting (EWGT) conference that took place in Budapest this week.

The following papers were presented:

  1. Yap M., Cats O., van Oort N. and Hoogendoorn S. (2017). Data-driven Transfer Inference for Public Transport Journeys during Disruptions. EWGT2017 (20th Euro Working Group on Transportation), Budapest, Hungary.
  2. Narayan J., Cats O., van Oort N. and Hoogendoorn S. (2017). Performance Assessment of Fixed and Flexible Public Transport in a Multi Agent Simulation Framework. EWGT2017 (20th Euro Working Group on Transportation), Budapest, Hungary.

Experiencing public transport in China

Emerging economies and China in particular face tremendous challenges in transporting their rapidly growing urban populations. I am however very encouraged by what I have seen during this trip to Qingdao and Beijing. Not only that the existing system operates in very high standards in all respects (design, technology, information, crowd management, transfer facilities), but I have also learn that the Chinese government set very well-thought transport development objectives. One of the five national goals is to increase the modal share of public transport in major Chinese cities to 60% by 2020, indeed a novel and ambitious goal. However, significant resources and know-how knowledge will be needed in order to realize this goal. Congestion and capacity management in public transport systems, demand management strategies, transport policies and network resilience are among the most crucial issues that need to be tackled. I had the opportunity to give a lecture on “The role of public transport planning: Lessons from the European experience” in the national Transport Planning and Research Institute, Ministry of Transport, China. My exchange with the very competent staff at TPRI is an additional reason for optimism in how transport planners in China will shape their mega-cities in this critical point of their development.

In the photo:Qingdao Train station with the high-speed train to Beijing in the center (left) and a typical sight on Beijing metro system (right)

IMG_1612 (2)Qingdao (6) - Compressed




Lets kick-off!

Five months ago I had the privilege to join the Department of Transport and Planning in TU Delft. This weblog platform seems to be a nice way to record some milestones, promote self-motivation tool and hopefully even communicate with others (you, the reader!) that are interested in improving public transport systems and in research related to their planning and operations.