Micro Transit Simulation of On-Demand Shuttles Based on Transit Data for First- and Last-Mile Connection

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Journal Article

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We simulate the introduction of shared, automated, and electric vehicles (SAEVs) providing on-demand shuttles service in a large-scale transport digital twin of the San Francisco Bay Area region (California, USA) based on transit supply and demand data, and using the mesoscopic agent-based Behavior, Energy, Autonomy, and Mobility beta software (BEAM) developed at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). The main goal of this study is to test the operations of this novel mobility service integrated with existing fixed-route public transportation service in a mesoscopic simulation of a real case scenario, while testing the BEAM beta software capabilities. In particular, we test the introduction of fleets of on-demand vehicles bound to operate within circular catchment areas centered on high-frequency transit stops, with the purpose of extending the reach of fixed-route transit by providing an alternative first- and last-mile connection at high-frequency public transport stations. Results show that on-demand automated shuttles represent the best solution for some users, increasing the overall transit ridership by 3%, and replacing mostly ride-hail trips, especially those connecting to transit stops, but also some walking trips. This type of service has the potential to reduce overall vehicle miles traveled (VMT), increase transit accessibility, and save energy, but future research is needed to optimize this type of service and make it more attractive to travelers.


ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information



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