This research project studies the complexity of passenger behaviour in public transport, especially the passengers’ sensitivity to strategic modifications and to real-time disturbances of the public transport system. It also examines how the resulting understanding can be used to achieve a win-win result for the passengers and for the Public Transport Operators (PTOs), both in the planning stage and in disturbed real-time operations. This research project will be enabled by the availability of data from smart cards and mobile phone technologies, which provides ample opportunities to understand passenger behaviour in public transport in far more precision than previously possible.
For the planning stage, this project aims to understand the sensitivity of passengers towards changes in frequencies, capacities, and tariffs of the public transport system. This understanding may be used to seduce passengers to travel outside the peak hours or along less busy routes. As a consequence, for PTOs a more efficient allocation of rolling stock will be enabled. For disturbed real-time operations, this project aims to understand the reaction of the passengers to disturbances: do they wait until the disturbance is over, do they look for an alternative route through the public transport network, or do they look for alternative travel modes? This understanding will enable PTOs to mitigate the adverse effects of the disturbances for the passengers to some extent.
PhD Thesis: Evelien van der Hurk, Passengers, Information, and Disruptions, see http://repub.eur.nl/pub/78275
Papers: E. van der Hurk, L. Kroon, G. Maróti and P. Vervest, Deduction of passengers’ route choice from smart card data, IEEE Transactions on ITS, to appear.
E. van der Hurk, H. Koutsopoulos, N. Wilson, L. Kroon, and G. Maróti. Shuttle Planning for Link Closures in Urban Public Transport Networks, ERIM Technical Report (submitted to Transportation Science), 2014