Evaluating transportation facility arrangements in urban areas: a balanced level of service approach

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

A theoretical study is performed to provide methods for evaluating balanced transportation facility arrangements. The study examines, in depth, arrangements of bus, auto, and roadway facilities for urban areas. Models for balancing intermodal and interzonal travel are developed for such transportation systems. A total community cost function incorporating auto operating costs, bus fares, travel time costs, and, in come cases, utilization costs is developed to indicate the level of service provided by specific arrangements. The best arrangement for a set of alternatives being evaluated is assumed to be the one offering the lowest total community costs.

A computerized process, TRANSFARE (Transportation Facility Arrangement Evaluation), is developed to allow for easy application of the evaluation process. It is presented in package form so as to be available for further application.

A sample urban network is evaluated for different levels of bus diversion under varying values of time and bus capacity conditions. Output of the example yields functions for evaluating arrangements at various diversion levels. These functions indicate the best arrange ment for each set of data as well as the sensitivity of the models incorporated within TRANSFARE.

The evaluation methods which are developed here apply only to a specialized auto-bus urban transportation system. However, it is concluded, based on the results, that the study forms a basis for the examination of existing and more complex urban areas.