Optimizing Small Sized Transit Operations and Its Applications

Project Abstract

Autonomous and connected vehicles (CVs) will be available in the near future and will change the paradigm for transportation users and industries, as well as for public transportation (including mass transit, ridesharing and carsharing). Not only can they improve travel safety (e.g., reducing crashes), but also will change our lives and travel patterns.
When autonomous vehicles are available, users' travel behaviors and modal choices will become completely different. Autonomous vehicles likely will result in reductions in car ownership and increases in carsharing and ridesharing. Also, small automated transit vehicles could be utilized to pick up passengers as a feeder for mass transit, such as bus, LRT and metro.
In this research, the optimal operation of small-sized automated transit vehicles will be examined as a flexible ridesharing operation and as a feeder service for mass transit, so that users' travel behaviors and modal choices in the future can be predicted. In order to do so, optimal automated small transit routing algorithms will be developed. The algorithm also will be adapted to the transit user information system for a flexible transit service.

Universities and Sponsoring Organizations Involved

Morgan State University

Principal Investigator(s)

Young-Jae Lee, Ph.D.

Funding Sources and Amounts

UMEC: $59,979, In-Kind: $35,540

Start Date

May 25, 2017

Expected Completion Date

May 24, 2018

Expected Research Outcomes

This research not only will find the optimal operation of the small-sized automated transit vehicles, but also will predict transit users' travel behaviors and modal choices in the future.
Expected Equity Impacts and Benefits of Implementation Before procuring and operating automated transit vehicles, it is extremely important to determine what future transit customers want and expect from them. For example, depending on whether transit customers prefer a traditional type of transit service (e.g., fixed-route) with an automated small-sized feeder transit or a more flexible service, similar to that provided by TNCs, transit agencies should prepare their future transit service accordingly.

Subject Areas

Automated Vehicle, Transit, Ridesharing