Reliability in urban public transport network assessment and design

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This research focuses on the influence of reliability of urban public transport services on network evaluation and network design. Public transport services suffer from all kind of disturbances, varying demand patterns, weather conditions, incidents, road works, et cetera. Current practice uses all kinds of operational measures to ensure the quality of the services despite of these disturbances. In network evaluation and network design, however, reliability is usually not considered. The research presents an extensive overview of phenomena affecting public transport service quality, as well as a framework and instrument to determine the influence of the network on reliability indicators and the total network performance. Using case studies a number of measures is analysed with respect to their effectiveness. This research demonstrates that already at the level of public transport service network design there are possibilities to improve service reliability: for example networks in which travellers have multiple options to travel to their destination and networks in which line lengths are limited. However, it is dependent on the specific situation whether this will lead to an improvement of the overall network performance as well. For rail-bound public transportation, for instance tram, is proves to be possible to implement smart infrastructure measures, for instance turning facilities and shortcuts, to improve both service reliability and total network performance.