MODE TRANSITION IN A PUBLIC TRANSIT ROUTE AND RELATED ISSUES OF CAPACITY, SPEED AND WAITING TIME
PROFESSOR S.C. (CHAN) WIRASINGHE
Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Calgary, Canada
07 NOVEMBER 2011 (MONDAY)
19:00 - 20:00
WANG GUNGWU THEATRE, GRADUATE HOUSE, THE UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG
Institute of Transport Studies, The University of Hong Kong
As a transit route evolves with time (over several decades) due to land use and other changes, the public transit mode (or mix of modes) that serves it may have to transition from one to another several times. Two of the characteristics that must be considered in the transition are the capacity and average speed of each mode. They impact the passenger waiting times and in-vehicle travel times respectively, as well as operating costs. Data on observed maximum flows and average speeds of routes have been collected from sources worldwide and analyzed. In addition to intrinsic variations, there is scatter in the data caused in part by lack of information about some aspects. For example, information on transit priority at traffic signals that influences average speed is not available in all cases. A discussion of where passenger "waiting time" is spent, and its relationship to the (i) type of service, and (ii) trip purpose, and (iii) availability of real time bus arrival information is given. Various modes considered suitable for the South Calgary corridor are ranked in terms of the line capacity and average speed. The thresholds are those at which a mode transition is essential. However, mode transitions may occur well in advance of such thresholds if a new modal mix is optimal for the corridor in terms of minimizing the sum of the costs to the users and the operator. An early transition is from a regular (all-stop) bus route to a route served by both regular and limited-stop buses, sometimes called bus rapid transit (BRT). Some results on the mix of regular and limited-stop bus services in a given route are discussed, including the transit system parameters under which a transition from regular bus to a mix is optimal. It is argued that passenger-Km's is the right measure of travel demand that should be considered. A simple expression and methodology applicable to any bus route is presented.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER:
Chan Wirasinghe obtained his B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from the University of Ceylon (now the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka) in 1968. He won a US Fulbright Scholarship to study transportation engineering at the University of California at Berkeley and completed his MS in 1973 and Ph.D. in 1976. He joined the University of Calgary in Canada in 1976 as an Assistant Professor. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, and the Academic Director of the Center for Transportation of the Van Horne Institute. Dr. Wirasinghe became the founding Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Calgary in 1988. He became Dean of the Faculty in January 1994 and held the post until July 2006. In 2005, he led the naming of the Faculty as the Schulich School of Engineering for a total matched donation of $50M. Dr. Wirasinghe's research interests are in urban public transportation, airports, transport in developing countries and mitigation of natural disasters. He has over 200 publications & keynote presentations, and has supervised 12 PhD's, 4 PDF's and 11 Master's to completion. He is currently supervising 5 PhD and 2 MSc students. He has written extensively on bus, LRT and metro planning and operations. Dr. Wirasinghe is the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Advanced Transportation. He is currently writing a book titled Transit Systems - Analysis and Planning. He received the Alberta Premiers Award of Excellence in 2000, a D.Sc. (Honoris Causa) from the University of Moratuwa in 2001, and the APEGGA Centennial Award, APEGGA's highest honor, in 2004. He was named Calgary's Citizen of the Year for 2005. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers, & an Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Engineers, Sri Lanka, Engineers Canada and the Canadian Society of Senior Engineers. Chan Wirasinghe serves on the Council of NSERC (an Order in Council appointment) and on the Council of APEGGA (an elected position).