Zurich Public Transport (VBZ) is a public transport operator in the Swiss city of Zurich. It owns and operates trams, trolleybuses, buses and a funicular. All services are operated within the tariff system of the cantonal public transport authority Züricher Verkehrsverbund (ZVV). To examine the future demand in Zurich, the existing PTV Viseva model was extended. PTV Maas Modeller was then used to analyse the interaction between supply and demand.
Zurich Public Transport (VBZ) provides people in the city of Zurich and its surrounding regions with environmentally friendly and affordable public transport – 365 days a year, at least 20 hours a day. To always offer a high quality of service, VBZ is working to expand its operations in a resource-conserving and future-oriented way. With pilot tests, the Zurich Public Transport gets customers in contact with new solutions to gain important insights and based on them update their services. In April 2018, the VBZ decided to examine the effects of integrating on-demand services into local public transport.
For years, VBZ have been using a demand model in PTV Viseva for their supply planning. To analyse the potential demand of a Mobility as a Service fleet, the PTV Professional Services team added an intermodal offering to the model.
One possible option would be to support the existing public transport with an additional on-demand service outside the city centre and during off-peak hours. The study therefore investigated different scenarios, each with a variety of parameters.
In a first step, the analysis focused on a specific service area in which the bidirectional interaction between the spatial distribution of the demand for a Mobility as a Service and the quality of supply was examined. This analysis answers, for example, the question: What are the results if the on-demand service generates a demand that cannot be supplied by the fleets’ capacity? On-demand mobility is considered economically successful when its service is so convincing that a maximum demand is generated and the available fleet is thus working at maximum capacity. The aim is to keep the percentage of unserved trip requests as low as possible. To find the most suitable solution with the best key data for the Zurich Transport Authority, PTV MaaS Modeller calculated various scenarios iteratively approaching the optimal solution and analysing the potential demand for a mobility as a service fleet.
Setting up the model and the corresponding study only took a few months. The results obtained with PTV MaaS Modeller provide information on the relationship between fleet size, operating area and service quality. For the investigated area in Zurich, it became clear that an additional on-demand service is particularly attractive if it runs at a similar price as the existing public transport in Zurich’s city centre. A self-supporting operation is not possible with the current cost structure and the underlying tariff structure. However, it is apparent that in the future a significant leap in the quality of the offer can be expected due to automated vehicles, while the level of cost recovery remains comparable.
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