Prendergast, Jesse

Simulating First- and Last- Mile Transport in Auckland

Jesse Prendergast, Andrea Raith, and Andrew Mason

Department of Engineering Science, University of Auckland

Using public transport is an excellent way for commuters to avoid congestion, keep costs down and reduce their carbon footprint. However, public transport can often be underutilised when bus stops and train stations are too far away for commuters to comfortably walk, or there is no parking nearby. Auckland is no exception to this. Ferries in Devonport and Half Moon Bay, and the northern busway (a dedicated bus lane running from the North Shore into the central city) are all struggling from lack of parking or inaccessibility. Ride hailing companies such as Uber, Lyft and Zoomy compound this problem by taking commuters off buses as they catch door-to-door transport, which places more cars on the road. Even when the main portion of commuters’ journeys are served by public transport, commuters have to get from their origin to the start of the public transport journey, and from its end to their destination. When the trip between the start and end of the public transport leg of the journey and origin or destination of the trip is completed by a shuttle-like service, this is referred to as First- and Last- Mile Transport. In this project we are building a simulation framework to test different First- and Last- Mile strategies in Auckland to investigate how a system might be deployed. Transport requests with ride time constraints are randomly generated within the simulated region, and capacitated vehicles are dispatched to pick up and deliver these requests. Vehicle allocation and routing is performed using online algorithms. This simulation framework can be used for testing the impacts of demand, pricing and scheduling strategies on the robustness and efficiency of the system. Commuters waiting time, comfort levels, and ride time can be determined for strategic decision making.

YoungPrac This presentation is eligible for the ORSNZ Young Practitioners Prize.