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  • Designing Efficient Route-Stops using Agent-Based Simulation


    Research Description


    This chapter outlines the definition of traffic congestion. Discussing the negative impacts that the subject poses and included in the chapter are solutions that are currently exercised in other countries as well as the current state of the Philippine local setting.

    Overview of the Current State of Technology


    Road traffic congestion is a recurring problem in central business districts and metropolitan areas which is brought about by daily urban migration from provinces, urban growth and infrastructural constraints (Mathew 2014). Traffic is defined as the (1)congestion of vehicles and (2)the movement through an area or along a route (Webster N/A). Congestion arises because of the conjunction of two factors. First is because of the finite capacity of the road and second is because of a certain degree of randomness in both the demands placed to service the demand (Manheim 1979). The demand in certain establishments also causes the volume of customers visiting certain areas (Webster N/A) thus resulting to traffic. The negative impact of these factors are greatly felt most especially in developing countries (Jain 2012), such as the Philippines. Similarly, in other developing countries such as Cairo,Egypt comprising of 19 million inhabitants alone (one-fifth of the country’s population), the adverse effects of traffic congestion such as unpredictable commute times, environmental pollution, fuel waste and unproductive hours stuck in traffic (Nakat 2014) are just some of its negative effects. These results to making it an unattractive location for investors to do businesses proving greater cost in resources such as time and money due to poor road network planning and traffic management (Jain 2012).
    A study conducted by the Portland Business Alliance, Port of Portland and Metro that congestion cost Portland local economy 6,500 jobs and $844 million a year by 2025, including lost worker productivity, higher transportation costs and lost business earnings.(Fadare 2010). Comparatively, according to an economic report of the Philippines conducted by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) which was tasked by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Board, chaired by President Benigno S. Aquino III, that the present traffic cost of the country is P2.4 billion daily and by 2030 it would likely increase to P6 billion a day (JICA 2014).
    As defined by Merriam Webster, traffic is also defined as (3) the passengers or cargo carried by a transportation system and (4) the business of transporting passengers or freight. Public Transportation (PT) is vouched to be a less spatially demanding and environmentally sound rather than the use of cars (Skoglund 2012). Influencing commuters to shift dependence on PT is a concern regarding behavioral science. The design of PT has a direct influence on a passenger’s experience affected by the service of the PT system (capacity and efficiency)(Rexfelt 2014). While other countries have specified bus stops and schedules (BRT), Philippine commuters has the “Para” System wherein any commuter along the PUV plying routes allows passengers to mount and alight wherever and whenever is convenient. The randomness to predict passengers where to mount or alight is considerably a data mostly overlooked to create better experience in the Philippines, Metro Manila traffic congestion. Designing an efficient transport network system that is comparable to owning a private car in terms of time and convenience will also increase the use of public transportation leading to higher throughput on the roads (Pang 2015).
    Pang et al. considers two major aspects in designing a bus network: (i) the placement of bus stops in the city and (ii) the assignment of bus services that will link up the bus stops. Additionally, aside from the network layout, (iii) route frequency setting must also be considered (Foletta 2010).
    It is quite imperative that the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) model on PT must be implemented in the city. To design a new concept that will be devised for the use of the commuters entails proper planning. Schaller et al. state that designs which do not address customer’s concerns could have serious problems in terms of customer’s acceptance (Schaller 1998). PT is a user-centered/social model, wherein it assumes rational and informed behavior on each individual and can therefore be formally described with some simple equations. However, humans are described to act irrationally, selfishly and make mistakes in judgment. Differences in individuals are large enough to have influence on certain systems/models where it cannot simply be averaged out. These problems though, can be addressed by introducing calibration factors which are compared to real, measured data.(Ljubovic 2009). Evaluating concepts from a passenger’s perspective is difficult to achieve unless tested with the use of a real vehicle. Luckily, a feasible alternative which is inexpensive and efficient is to make use of agent based simulations to analyze. This can be in terms of dwell times, passenger flow and personal space among the factors that feature a passenger’s acceptance (Schelenz 2012).
    Proving the possibility of adapting a BRT system with the existing PUV’s in Metro Manila is a challenge to explore upon. Thus the research to prove how efficient in terms of shortening travel time and easing traffic congestion will the new PT System of having certain bus stops and scheduling can be.

    Research Objectives


    General Objective

    \label{sec:generalobjective} To propose the most efficient bus-jeepney route network model based from the results and analysis of an Agent-based simulation research

    Specific Objectives

    \label{sec:specificobjectives} In order to achieve the general objective of this research, the following specific objectives must be met.

    1. To design multiple optimized bus stop models.

    2. To closely simulate the behavior of commuters during different models of traffic simulations using an Agent-based framework.

    3. To comparatively evaluate the most efficient PUV route design based from commuter’s preferences and constraints

    Scope and Limitations of the Research


    1. The researchers’ are limited to design models with constraints on existing bus routes in Metro Manila.

    2. The researchers will not be able to explore other models but Agent-based simulation and assuming that agents are law abiding.

    3. The researchers are limited to evaluate PUV stop design that are generated/made from accomplishing refsec:specificobjectives number 1.

    Significance of the Research


    Mobility serves as a crucial factor in the daily business processes of cities as it affects the socio-economic development of an area. With the countries’ urbanization, human activities and businesses greatly increasing, the proportion rate of motor-vehicle ownership and use is rising to 15 to 20 percent per year (Odeleye 2008). Traffic congestion is a hindrance to effective mobility. Table \ref{tab:philippinemotorstatistics} shows the increase of motor vehicles and commuters in Metro Manila alone.
    To design a bus network without the use of prototypes on the road and alternatively using simulations using agent based models to evaluate the concept’s efficiency is inexpensive and prevents major risks of implementation without proper study.