This study proposes a solution framework for operational analysis and financial assessment of transit services that considers the passenger behavior and the elasticity of transit demand to service characteristics. The proposed solution framework integrates a dynamic transit passenger assignment model (Fast-Trips) with a mode choice model and a service design module, and iterates these methods until an equilibrium between fares and frequencies is reached. The solution framework was implemented for a newly conceived intercity transit service in Arizona, and the system performance was studied for multiple fare policy and frequency design scenarios. The results showed that the scenarios with designed-oriented frequencies had lower ratios of revenue to operating cost (R/C) compared with those in which frequencies were set based on the passenger path-choice behaviors and route usage, which emphasizes the importance of considering elastic transit demand in network and service designs. The sensitivity analysis also indicated that there are multiple ways to achieve a certain R/C ratio, and therefore it is the other objectives and the operator’s priorities that define the final design and service characteristics.
Ranjbari, A., Hickman, M., & Chiu, Y. C. (2020). Network Design with Elastic Demand and Dynamic Passenger Assignment to Assess the Performance of Transit Services. Journal of Transportation Engineering, Part A: Systems, 146(5), 04020030. https://doi.org/10.1061/jtepbs.0000326.