On-demand dynamically routed transportation systems can provide seamless door-to-door mobility including with multi-passenger trips. Although this is a compelling vision, there are also potential downsides. This presentation compares the transportation performance of single-occupant and multi-occupant on-demand transportation systems to private vehicle use and standard bus service with fixed routes and timetables. The performance is measured and compared using average journey time, total vehicle kilometres travelled, and the number of vehicles that are required to meet demand and performance thresholds.
To conduct this analysis, a flexible generic city model was created. This model was developed with characterises representative of a typical North American city including the arterial street network spacing and travel times, the population density and travel demand patterns, and the time-of-day travel demand profile. Using this flexible generic city model, these performance outcomes are evaluated under several different contexts as the characteristics of the city are varied. PTV Visum/MaaS software was utilized to conduct this evaluation.
Under the transportation contexts evaluated (relatively large cities with relatively high travel demand), traditional fixed-route transit service substantially outperforms demand-responsive multi-occupant services on the transportation metrics evaluated. The relative benefits of transit service tend to be greater as mode share increases and as the size of the service area increases.
These results suggest that when automated vehicle technology becomes commonplace, for large cities the best use may be in increasing the service frequency of traditional transit services on the arterial street network, rather than by implementing demand-responsive dynamically routed services. The advantages of on-demand services are highest in smaller service areas with low demand for shared transportation. These services could be used to better connect low density areas to the arterial transit network.
Matt Taylor, P. Eng., M. Eng., PTOE
Matt is a transportation engineer at Bunt & Associates with a background in travel demand forecasting, traffic operations analysis, and transportation design. I lead several R&D initiatives at Bunt to extend our knowledge and expertise in new areas.
Nicolas Moss, EIT
Nicolas is a civil engineer-in-training with experience working in various public- and private-sector capacities in both the US and Canada. His work with Bunt as a transportation analyst has spanned traffic impact assessments, travel demand forecasting, parking and circulation studies, and transportation demand management programs.
Bunt & Associates
Founded in 1993, Bunt & Associates Engineering is one of the largest specialist transportation planning and engineering consulting firms in Western Canada. Our team is represented by over 50 of the finest transportation planners, engineers, technologists, and support staff in the industry. We place high value on outstanding service, building long-term client relationships, and fostering a family-friendly and supportive culture within all of our offices located in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Victoria.