Modelling and Appraisal in Congested Transport Networks

Abstract: Appraisal methodologies for congestion mitigation projects are relatively less well developed compared to methodologies for projects reducing free flow travel times. For instance, static assignment models are incapable of representing the build-up and dissipation of traffic queues, or capturing the experienced crowding caused by uneven on-board passenger loads. Despite the availability of dynamic traffic assignment, only few model systems have been developed for cost-benefit analysis of real applications. The six included papers present approaches and tools for analysing traffic and transit projects where congestion relief is the main target.In the transit case studies, we use an agent-based simulation model to analyse congestion and crowding effects and to conduct cost-benefit analyses. In the case study of a metro extension in Stockholm, we demonstrate that congestion and crowding effects constitute more than a third of the total benefits and that a conventional static model underestimates these effects vastly. In another case study, we analyse various operational measures and find that the three main measures (boarding through all doors, headway-based holding and bus lanes) had an overall positive impact on service performance and that synergetic effects exist.For the congestion charging system in Gothenburg, we demonstrate that a hierarchal route choice model with a continuous value of time distribution gives realistic predictions of route choice effects although the assignment is static. We use the model to show that the net social benefit of the charging system in Gothenburg is positive, but that low income groups pay a larger share of their income than high income groups. To analyse congestion charges in Stockholm however, integration of dynamic traffic assignment with the demand model is necessary, and we demonstrate that this is fully possible.Models able to correctly predict these effects highlight the surprisingly large travel time savings of pricing policies and small operational measures. These measures are cheap compared to investments in new infrastructure and their implementation can therefore lead to large societal gains.