Demand estimation for public transport network planning

Authored by: Wenzhe Sun , Jan-Dirk Schmöcker

The Routledge Handbook of Public Transport

Print publication date:  May  2021
Online publication date:  May  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367418724
eBook ISBN: 9780367816698
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter discusses the various means of obtaining demand estimates for public transport planning. It starts by discussing the relevant models for obtaining a general knowledge on the network-level demand before the service starts operation. This is followed by consideration of demand estimation for existing services, focusing on the potential emerging from massive passive public transport (PT) data. Distinctive detailed levels of demand information (stop flows, leg-Origin Destination (OD) flows and journey-OD flows) are identified and related to the activities in the planning process. It is revealed how passenger counts and electronic payment transaction records are key sources to obtain or reliably infer these demand characteristics. For “data-poor” practitioners, however, it is often easier to obtain data sources such as automatic bus location data, which allows the possibility to obtain at least some estimates of demand via the dwell time at stops. The chapter demonstrates this with an example from Japan and concludes by outlining future research needs.

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