The main challenge of urban transportation planning is to limit the use of private cars while promoting sustainable transportation modes. In a context characterized by limited resources and increasing mobility demand, Demand Responsive Shared Transport (DRST) services can bridge the gap between low-quality public transport and unsustainable private transportation. Leveraging Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), these services provide flexible and shared transportation solutions, offering real-time mobility through fleets of vehicles shared by multiple passengers.
The optimal design of a DRST service requires a trade-off between efficiency (from the operators' perspective), service quality (from the users' perspective), and sustainability (from the community's perspective). This study uses an agent-based model powered by GIS data to explore different configurations of a specific type of DRST service, namely flexible transportation. The model simulates a transportation service with mixed fixed and flexible routes, varying the fleet size and vehicle capacity in the city of Ragusa (Italy). The aim is to test the impact of different operational strategies on service efficiency and identify the transportation demand and supply variables that make the service feasible and convenient.
The simulation results show the importance of fleet composition and route choice strategy on the overall system performance. This study contributes to the development of DRST services, particularly flexible transportation services, by providing valuable insights for the optimal design and management of such services.
Promoting on-demand shared transportation services can significantly contribute to reducing transportation intensity, decreasing the use of unsustainable private cars, and improving the accessibility and sustainability of urban mobility.
Link to the article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0739885919300654
Authors: Giuseppe Inturri, Michela Le Pira, Nadia Giuffrida, Matteo Ignaccolo, Alessandro Pluchino, Andrea Rapisarda, Riccardo D’Angelo