Managing disruptions in rail-bound urban public transport from a passenger perspective

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Disruptions in public transport systems highly affects the evaluation of passengers of these systems. This research provides a framework for urban public transport operators to use in the management of disruptions, with a main focus on the passenger perspective of the management of disruptions, but also considering the operational effects of implemented measures. This framework is then applied to several hypothetic cases within the network of the urban public transport operator in The Hague, HTM, as well as one disruption which actually occurred. Two measures have been considered in the management of disruptions, which are detouring vehicles and short-turning of vehicles, effectively cutting the line in two. The framework consists of two models, namely an alternative generation model, and an alternative assessment model. Alternatives are assessed from the passenger perspective by the total generalized passenger travel time (TGTT) incurred by that alternative. The resource perspective of the different alternatives has been assessed by the delay vehicles incur upon arrival at the destination terminal due to the alternative. Applying the framework to four hypothetical disruptions in the network of HTM showed 7 to 9 alternatives were generated for each of the locations. Two different passenger demand levels (morning-peak and rest-of-day) have been considered to see the effect of different passenger demand levels on the assessment of the alternatives. The results showed that in 2 of the 8 cases (4 locations, 2 passenger demand levels) short-turning yields the lowest TGTT on the disrupted line. Comparing the results to the currently applied disruption management protocols, showed that only in 1 of 8 cases the protocol actually yields the lowest TGTT for passengers on the disrupted line. It was found current protocols are mainly driven from a resource perspective. The difference between the alternative having the lowest TGTT and the disruption management protocol was up to 85%. Three variables have been found of main importance when considering either detouring or short-turning as a measure. These are the ratio of passengers favoured by detouring versus passengers favoured by short-turning, the detour time and the short-turning distance (distance between the two short-turning stops). This framework is perceived to be mainly of use for urban public transport operators in the process of managing the current operations. It can serve as input for traffic controllers, either in the construction of disruption management protocols (offline) or incorporated in a decision support system (real-time). The main recommendation for further extension is the incorporation of a passenger route choice model, in order to make it applicable for more disruption locations and disruption durations.