|M.Sc Student||Eli Buhris|
|Subject||Passenger's Preferences towards Spots on the Bus|
|Department||Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering||Supervisor||Professor Toledo Tomer|
|Full Thesis text|
Encouraging people to use public transport can decrease road congestion and help to reduce air pollution. Therefore, many resources are invested in public transport in order to improve its level of service. Numerous studies have been conducted in order to evaluate the factors that affect passengers' choices to use public transport. Many of these studies have suggested ways in which to improve the passengers' user experience. Under the assumption that one of the factors that affects the passengers' user experience of public transportation is where each passenger is situated inside the bus (i.e. their "spot"), this study focuses on assessing the variables that effect how passengers select their spot.
The process of data collection included 453 observations that were collected during 12 trips on urban buses in Tel Aviv and Haifa. Raw data set variables were then built. These variables can be classified into three major categories: variables that depend on the passenger (such as gender, age group, etc.), variables that depend on spot location (adjacent to the window, row number for standing spots, etc.) and variables that define the state of the spot (seat availability, where other passengers' baggage is placed, etc.) .
These variables were used to build a choice model, specifically a Multinomial Logit Model (MNL). This model was used to assess the factors that affect passenger preferences regarding their choice of spots in the bus .
The results of the model estimation show that passengers would rather sit than stand and passengers prefer to stand adjacent to the rear door. They avoid sitting in seats that face the opposite direction to the bus's trajectory. Additionally, the model results show that passengers clearly prefer to avoid interaction with strangers. In addition, passengers prefer to sit adjacent to other passengers who are already acquaintances of theirs.
A simulation model was developed to implement the spot choice model. It models the processes of choosing a spot by passengers with different characteristics. (These properties are defined according to the collected data sample).
The simulation was run for a typical trip as collected in the sample. The results of the simulation allowed for the testing of different suggested bus configurations. This test contains two criteria. The first criterion is the average of the preferences of the passengers on the bus. The second criterion is the homogeneity of the distribution of the passengers on the bus.
The main result of the simulation, under the proposed model is that the bus configuration can be improved. By improving the configuration, this will raise the utility of passengers.