A Level-Based Approach to Public Transport Network Planning

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Author(s) Orth, Hermann, Nash, Andrew, Weidmann, Ulrich
Publication Type Conference Contributions, Publication Status: Published
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Title A Level-Based Approach to Public Transport Network Planning
Author(s) Orth, Hermann
Nash, Andrew
Weidmann, Ulrich
Book Title TRB 94th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers
Description 18 p.
Start Page 15-1171
Publisher TRB
Publication Place Washington, DC
Publication Date 2015
Abstract This paper defines the concept of public transport network level and uses it to describe the performance and future improvement of Zurich’s public transport system. A public transport level is a specific type of service designed to serve a particular market. Service is defined as a combination of vehicles, infrastructure and operating characteristics. A “pure” level is when the service is targeted specifically to one particular market. A “hybrid” level is when a service is targeted to serve several markets. Urban travel is generally described as three markets: short, intermediate and long distance trips. Consequently many cities have developed three-level public transport networks: surface buses and trams to serve short trips, rapid rail to serve intermediate trips, and regional rail to serve longer distance trips. Often, by design or for historic reasons, cities have additional levels, fewer levels and/or the levels that are not precisely matched to their markets. For example, two-level networks are often found in medium size cities. Their advantage is lower costs while their main disadvantage is a mismatch between transport mode and market that manifests itself in capacity limitations. Using the level concept to help analyze and plan public transport service is useful because it focuses attention on matching service qualities to markets. This paper uses this approach to analyze the success of Zurich’s public transport system and to provide a structure for planning improvements that will be needed to meet rapidly increasing public transport demand. This approach could help other cities (re)design their public transport systems to be more attractive and efficient. More specifically, the approach could show how two-level public transport networks could be a viable option for medium sized cities and large cities with dispersed settlement patterns.
Event Name 94th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB2015)
Event Location Washington, DC, USA
Event Date January 11-15, 2015
Document Type Conference Paper
Publication Status Published
Language English
Assigned Organisational Unit(s) 03674
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Source Database ID FORM-1453119817
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  author = "Orth, Hermann and Nash, Andrew and Weidmann, Ulrich",
  title = "{A} {L}evel-{B}ased {A}pproach to {P}ublic {T}ransport {N}etwork {P}lanning",
  booktitle = "TRB 94th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers",
  year = 2015,
  pages = "15-1171--",
  address = "Washington, DC",
  publisher = "TRB",

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