Sustainable public transportation in large cities: Demand estimation

Tadeas Umlauf, University of Texas at El Paso


Public transportation helps to decrease the negative externalities caused by people's mobility. In many countries, the total number of vehicles and traffic has risen many times in the last decades but there is limited space to improve infrastructure in the cities. Large cities all over the world have a lot of issues with congestion, traffic noise, emission of greenhouse gases, and accidents. According to many international examples, sustainable public transportation in combination with synergistic projects (park & ride, kiss & ride, bike & ride) can help to overcome these issues. Therefore new transit modes and routes have been implemented in large cities recently with a purpose to change mode share in favor of transit. Transit networks have been added by faster and more comfortable modes like light rail and bus rapid transit. More transit modes are than integrated into one system to ensure high level of attractiveness for users by easier transfers and simpler fare policies. The matter of sustainability is considered during planning process of every new public transportation improvement project. The environmental aspect combined with transit oriented development is very important aspect of public transportation. This research is focused on potential ridership estimation for a new proposed transit service. The proposed iterative model uses real data about current ridership as well as demographic and business information along the corridor to predict riderships. The model uses the system dynamics approach to predict the new route ridership generated in service coverage area. Transit assignment procedure is used in two steps to assign riders to the new, existing and modified routes. The proposed model is applied in a practical case study of BRT implementation along the Alameda Avenue in El Paso, Texas. This research has estimated a daily total BRT ridership of 4,180 riders and the new service implementation would persuade 2,064 persons to use transit instead of other modes. The proposed iterative ridership estimation model has the potential to be used in large cities around the world, including cities in EU and U.S.

Subject Area

Civil engineering

Recommended Citation

Umlauf, Tadeas, "Sustainable public transportation in large cities: Demand estimation" (2014). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1557799.