A simulation study of demand responsive transit system design
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In this paper we study the impact on productivity of specific operating practices currently used by demand responsive transit (DRT) providers. We investigate the effect of using a zoning vs. a no-zoning strategy and time-window settings on performance measures such as total trip miles, deadhead miles and fleet size. It is difficult to establish closed-form expressions to assess the impact on the performance measures of a specific zoning practice or time-window setting for a real transportation network. Thus, we conduct this study through a simulation model of the operations of DRT providers on a network based on data for DRT service in Los Angeles County. However, the methodology is quite general and applicable to any other service area. Our results suggest the existence of linear relationships between operating practices and performance measures. In particular we observe that for each minute increase in time-window size the service saves approximately 2 vehicles and 260 miles driven and that a no-zoning strategy is able to satisfy the same demand by employing 60 less vehicles and driving 10,000 less total miles with respect to the current zoning strategy. 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.