ITS services and decision support for public transportation

Multimodel planning: Modal choice and integrated traffic assignment

Abstract:

Multimodal planning becomes necessary in order to develop the regional transport systems of the future. However, important links between the modes are missing in the currently deployed planning models. Particularly, public transport, walking and cycling are very simple in comparison to the models used for the planning of individuals’ vehicle traffic.

The aim of the project is to contribute through the development of models for planning and evaluation of walking and cycling in connection with other modes of transport and especially public transport. The focus of this research is on mode choice and integrated traffic assignment.

The project activities will be divided in three stages. The first part will be a comprehensive description of the state of the art in integrated planning of walking, cycling and public transport. The most promising type of modeling is activity based demand models, where the trips are assumed to be generated by the need of the households to carry out their daily activities, i.e. work, shopping, recreation. Activity based modeling gives a holistic perspective on travel behavior that should be of particular use for integrated multi-modal planning. The second step of this project will focus on the collection of appropriate data in order to estimate the formulated models. Last step is the development of a mode choice model which will include public transport, walking, cycling and passenger car as the mode alternatives. Based on the analysis of research needs, the survey of existing models and the available data, a prototype activity based mode will be created for integrated mode planning.

The outcome of such a research could substantially contribute in the great interest among Swedish cities and municipalities to increase the share of walking, cycling and public transport.

Ph D student: Gerasimos Loutos, gerasimos.loutos@liu.se Linköpings university (LiU).

Advisors: Professor Jan Lundgren, Dr. Clas Rydergren, Dr. Andreas Tapani.

 

Multi-Agent Based Simulation of Commuting in Urban Areas

 

Abstract:

Transportation policies and infrastructure investments can have substantial consequences on the society and travelers’ behavior. Thus it is very important to assess the impacts of such changes before implementation. One way for doing such impact assessment is to perform experimental studies in real world to get high realistic results of the evaluation. However, there are some constraints associated to the real-world experimental studies, e.g. they are very expensive and time-consuming and sometimes infeasible. In this project we try to address the challenges stated above by developing a simulation tool in order to estimate the effects of applying different transportation policies or investments. The tool can act as a decision support system for policy makers in order to investigate several what-if scenarios. Some sample policies that can be investigated by the tool can be: Changed schedules (e.g., bus and train), Pricing schemes (e.g., ticket prices, etc.), Taxes and fees (e.g., congestion fees, fuel taxes, etc.)

 

All “commuters” of the urban area will be modelled on an individual level. In order to model the commuters in such a detailed level, we include the information regarding commuters’ life-style and travel behavior. Examples of such information are: socio-demographic information, mobility tool ownership data (car ownership and public transport season ticket), etc. Furthermore, the model includes all possible modes of transportation for a commuter to produce more realistic results. This decision is made to support how commuters choose their transport mode in reality, where they can decide to switch to another mode of transportation is special circumstances. The output of the model is choice of transportation (which might be a chain of switching between different transport modes), start and end time of the travel, and cost of the travel for each agent. The output data will be calculated for every single agent, but the results can be aggregated to show a general overview of the modal share, travel time and cost for commuters.

 

The results from the simulation will be sent to a visualization module which is developed in this project in order to make the results more understandable for the users (policy makers or transport planners).

 

Ph D student: Banafsheh HajinasabRazlighi, banafsheh.hajinasab@mah.se, MaH

Advisors: Professor Paul Davidsson, Docent Jan Persson, MaH.

 

Investigating the impact of ICT-mediated services in public transport

Abstract:

The overall aim of this research is to investigate the effects of introducing systems for ICT-mediated traveller information services related to public transport. Altogether three studies have been carried out. Study A was an interview study with representatives for Swedish public transport organisations in order to explore which the objectives for implementing real- time traveller information systems in public transport organizations had been and if these objectives had been fulfilled. Study A also explored how the systems were introduced into the organizations and what consequences, or effects, of the deployment of real-time traveller information systems had been noted. Study B involved a survey to travellers in Gothenburg in order to investigate travellers’ assessment of and their use of ICT-mediated information services such as real-time information; the use of different media (computers, mobile phones) for accessing ICT-mediated information services and if any changes in the choice of information channel(s) can be noted over time; and the self-reported effects of travellers’ access to ICT-mediated services. Study C, finally, included a survey to a subjective sample of travellers in Stockholm in order to investigate travellers’ attitudes towards and assessment of a co-modal travel planner, and if access to the travel planner resulted in any changes in the travellers’ travel behaviour in terms of e.g. choice of travel modes.

Ph D student: Tor Skoglund, Chalmers University of Technology.

Advisors: Professor MariAnne Karlsson, Adj. Professor Stig Franzén

User Perspectives on Intelligent Transportation Systems

Abstract:

Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), or the advanced use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the transportation context, offers new tools in the continual effort to develop an accessible, safe, and sustainable transportation system. In this thesis, focus is placed on ITS targeting individual use or the end users’ transportation experiences, e.g. video surveillance, cashless payments, pedestrian navigation, real-time information, emergency communications, and parking services. For the end user, such services can serve to enhance one’s sense of assurance by reducing uncertainty and facilitating planning and dealing with unforeseen circumstances.

However, ITS and the data collection and processing upon which it is built bring their own challenges, as personal data and privacy are fundamentally intertwined. Individuals’ data is routinely collected, from which one can infer a broad range of activities and lifestyle choices, and which may have implications over time or in other contexts. Perceptions of technology and data use are contextual; what may be considered acceptable or privacy-invasive in one situation and for one purpose may not hold true for other persons, situations, or purposes. Concerns often focus on aspects of anonymity, lack of knowledge or control, function creep, etc. Furthermore, although individual, end users are affected by policies and technologies guiding data collection and processing, they are rarely involved in decision-making processes, offered realistic alternatives, or able to control their own data.

The aim of this thesis is to investigate end users’ perceptions of ITS. As various contexts and factors have proven to influence perception in other research areas, the approach has been to use empirical case studies of different end user groups and ITS systems. Additionally, the case studies vary contexts and contrast potential negative consequences of ITS, such as privacy infringement, with potential positive benefits (which may depend on the circumstances of the particular user group and/or the ITS system), such as increased assurance and independence. Users are surveyed via structured interviews and questionnaires that include items addressing perceptions of benefits/risks, privacy, trust, etc. In investigating ITS from the users’ perspective, this research attempts to paint a more holistic view of the issues surrounding the use of ITS in our daily, mobile lives.

The broad-spectrum conclusions are that the respondents, in general, perceive ITS as relatively beneficial, more so on a general, social level, and feel more reassured due to the systems. Privacy concerns are generally not a major barrier for acceptance in the scenarios presented, although respondents do not necessarily express high levels of trust for the data collectors or low levels of risk for data misuse. Results show that perceptions are influenced by a number of factors, such as: the targeted beneficiary; addressing a specific, personal need; perceived personal control of a situation; the actor (data collector); status within the organization; gender and parenthood. There are also indications that end users feel a sense of resignation due to lack of choice, control, or perceived influence. For example, there is no strong interest in discussing technological applications with companies, government agencies, or elected representatives, nor in searching for information about technological applications irrespective of perceived privacy infringement or acceptability. This may have broader implications, e.g. for decision-making and democratic processes, as perceived lack of influence and perceived lack of interest in participation feed back into each other.

As such, recommendations include informed consent, choice (e.g. opt-in/opt-out), control over one’s personal data, ongoing, two-way dialogue between stakeholders (from the beginning of the design process), comprehensive technological assessments, as well as following through on the use of Fair Information Practices/Principles such as limitation of data collection and use, purpose specification, transparency, individual participation, etc. ITS and data collection and processing are not “silver bullets” able solve all problems via “complete and perfect” information. They are additional tools in the toolbox that bring with them their own challenges related to issues such as privacy, lack of choice/control, and technological accessibility. Thus, efforts should be made to address these new challenges, such as technological mechanisms, personal actions and user participation, and proactive organizational policy and public legislation. The research presented in this thesis serves to remind us that a coordinated effort on multiple fronts is vital in addressing users’ needs and meeting broader social goals.

Ph D student: Jana Sochor, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH).

Advisors: Professor Haris N. Koutsopoulos, Dr Karl Kottenhoff.