According to European legislation, Italian regulations concerning local public transport developed over the years towards an increasing decentralisation of responsibilities in favour of regional and local authorities. Local authorities have been delegated the tasks of programming (regional and) local public transport services. Such tasks consist of a set of administrative functions giving rise to the relevant technical functions.
To comply with legal requirements, the authorities concerned need tools in order to support the various functions that have to be performed. In this context, it becomes necessary to be supported by models and methods for simulating public transport systems which allow to simulate the effects of decisions to be taken within the planning context. Mathematical models offer the opportunity to simulate variations in the current mobility and transport system, predicting the effects which would be generated by a given intervention.
Programming and management techniques had an enormous improvement in recent years. The results of applied research have led to Decision Support Systems (DSS), both at strategic (programming) and at tactical (management) levels. Moreover, technology in the field of transport systems and in control systems provided a great contribution to improve transport supply.
This project aims to define guidelines to be followed by local authorities, transport operators and consultants in programming local public transport services.
The objectives of this project are the following:
- to define a general methodology for programming local public transport services, consisting of five inter-related activities:
- definition of available resource allocation;
- definition of design scenarios of the services;
- simulation of design scenarios and estimation of effects;
- calculation of costs and revenues;
- evaluation of design scenarios.
- to define guidelines for programming local public transport, consisting of the following four parts:
- formulation of the three-year local public transport plan in terms of objectives to be pursued, constraints to be respected, elaboration of the plan and resource allocation among areas;
- a methodology for the network and service design by simulation providing criteria and methods for constructing design scenarios (routes, frequencies) in relation to mode fare integration, criteria for using technology for control and information to users, methods of structuring and treating data relative to planned and/or simulated services;
- methods for simulating the effects of the three-year plan including analysis of travel demand, transport supply models, behaviour models for simulating path choice, public transport network assignment (dynamic), and private transport network assignment;
- a methodology for evaluating performances including calculation of costs and revenues, efficiency indicators, effectiveness indicators, evaluation of social impacts, and evaluation and scenario comparison.
- to apply and validate the defined methodology (application of methodology for the network and service design, application of methods for simulating the effects of the three-year plans, application of methodology for scenario evaluation).
The expected outcomes are:
- a document containing guidelines for programming local public transport services;
- two volumes containing respectively the description of the methodology for applying the guidelines and of the applicative experiences;
- a special session organised at European Transport Conference in 2002, where the research results have been presented (see proceedings of ETC Conference 2002);
- a volume presenting models and metho
The key results of the research are the following.
- State of the art concerning the programming of local public transport services. This result is related to the state of the art including the Italian regional experiences in the application of the new legislation of local public transport services, and the state of the art of the literature regarding methodologies and models that can support the programming activies of the local public transport services.
- Development and application of models, methods and procedures for the programming of the local public transport services. This result concerns the analysis, the definition and the application of models, methods and procedures that can concur to simulate the system on which the process of services programming is activated. The application has allowed the development and testing of a system of models for the appraisal of short and medium-term planning activities and for the support of decisions adopted from private operators and public authorities. The main components of the developed system are:
- supply models (network models for private and transit modes);
- demand models;
- assignment models;
- models for modal, fare and timetable integration;
- models for revenues and operative costs calculation.
- Guidelines for programming local public transport services. This result of the research is related to the drafting of an operative document that defines guidelines for programming local public transport services. A draft version of the document was sent to all Italian Regional and Province administrations (that are the main addressees of the document), in order to receive comments and/or integrations. The opportunity to take into account all the comments has allowed the document to reflect several experiences.
- Volumes, papers and guidelines edited. A specific activity carried out within the research concerned the drafting of volumes, papers and guidelines where the advances of the research project are reported. These are the documents produced:
- 'Modelli e metodi per la programmazione dei servizi di trasporto pubblico locale: uno stato dell'arte (Models and Methods for programming local public transport services: a State of The Art).' FrancoAngeli. ISBN 88-464-3536-2, F. Russo (editor) (2002);
- 'Modelli e metodi per l
Local authorities in Italy have been delegated the tasks of programming (regional and) local public transport services. In particular, the regional authorities have to approve three-year plans for local public transport services that identify:
- the network and services,
- modal and fare integration,
- resources for operations and investment,
- method of fare calculation,
- monitoring systems, as well as
- criteria for reducing congestion and environmental impacts.
To comply with such legal requirements, the authorities concerned can use the Decision Support System developed by the project. This makes it possible to simulate the effects of decisions to be taken within the planning context, predicting the effects which would be generated by a given intervention.