Simulation based evaluation of flexible transit

Abstract: Transport authorities are faced with the challenge of making effective use of existing transportation infrastructure under increasing needs of transport accessibility, sustainability, and safety. The ongoing growth and adoption of shared mobility options, the anticipation of automated vehicles, and the increased availability of real-time data brought on with the developments of Intelligent Transport Systems, have all inspired many innovations in public transit design. The integration of these technologies in existing public transit holds great potential for operational planning and control, but is also notoriously difficult to evaluate. In the included papers, flexible operational policies that make use of real-time data and connected vehicles are developed and assessed through the extension of an existing public transit simulation framework, BusMezzo.Paper I explores the incorporation of flexibility in fixed urban transit via real-time short-turning, a fleet management strategy not often studied in a real-time context. In this paper, a decision rule for when and where a short-turn should occur based on predicted passenger costs is developed and evaluated in a case study of a bidirectional urban bus line in Stockholm, Sweden.Paper II focuses on the design and analysis of an automated feeder service. In this paper an extension of BusMezzo with a module for simulating a variety of flexible transit operations is presented. Estimated reductions in on-board crew costs with vehicle automation motivate a case study of two vehicle fleets where a fully demand-responsive operational policy is compared against fixed route and schedule operations.