Seminar | Moving transit forward: Leveraging travel behavior research to improve the quality and viability of urban public transportation
1827 Neil Ave
Columbus, OH 43210
Seminar by Andre L. Carrel
The Ohio State University
In recent years, transit use in many US cities has declined, often entailing shifts from transit to less sustainable modes of transportation, such as private automobiles or ride-hailing. However, public transportation is the backbone of sustainable urban transportation systems, and its role must be strengthened to meet sustainability challenges. To reverse this trend, there are two critical research needs. The first is to understand the link between transit service quality and ridership. Dr. Carrel will discuss the outcome of a pioneering study in which smartphone location data, automatic vehicle location data, and daily phone-based surveys were combined to explore the dynamics of transit rider satisfaction and to identify the influence of disruptions and delays on riders’ willingness to abandon transit. For the first time, the study allowed quantitative links to be established between objectively measured transit service quality, rider satisfaction, and rider loyalty. The behavioral insights are important inputs for the development of optimal system control strategies and targeted infrastructure investments to improve operational reliability. The second research need concerns the development of alternative forms of public transportation to serve markets where traditional, fixed-route transit is not competitive. One such option is employer-sponsored microtransit. While a considerable body of optimization literature around on-demand transit systems exists, relatively little is known about traveler demand for such systems, especially in the employer-sponsored context. Dr. Carrel will present a recently completed study on traveler choice behavior in the presence of a hypothetical microtransit system. The results indicate a considerable untapped market for such a system and can support the design and marketing of on-demand microtransit systems.
Dr. Andre L. Carrel is an assistant professor of transportation systems at the Ohio State University. He leads the travel behavior research group and holds appointments in Civil, Environmental, and Geodetic Engineering (CEGE), City and Regional Planning (CRP), and Integrated Systems Engineering (ISE). He is a Translational Data Analytics Institute (TDAI) core faculty. Dr. Carrel conducts research on public transportation planning, operations, quality of service, and reliability; travel behavior in the context of emerging, on-demand and flexible transportation services; the impacts of new vehicle technologies on vehicle ownership and travel demand; urban logistics and supply chains; transportation energy consumption and sustainability; and various smart city technology applications. He uses combinations of stated preference and revealed preference surveys, large-scale data sets from automated sensing systems and mobile phones, and simulations to model traveler decision-making, facilitate the design, operations and monitoring of transportation and logistics systems, and to support the management of public or private transportation infrastructure. He has ongoing collaborations with several other centers and departments at the Ohio State University as well as with various industry and government partners. Dr. Carrel obtained a BS/MS degree from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, a MS from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. Prior to his appointment at the Ohio State University, he was a postdoctoral associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.