RT 46 – Avi Ceder – From Bus Driving to Transit Scheduling and Visioning Future Cities that Work

RT 46 – Avi Ceder – From Bus Driving to Transit Scheduling and Visioning Future Cities that Work

Researching Transit – Episode 46

Published: May 2023

Keywords: Public transport, transit scheduling, operations management, future mobility, autonomous vehicles

Researching Transit comes to you again from the Conference on Advanced Systems in Public Transport (CASPT2022) in Tel Aviv, Israel. In this episode Professor Graham Currie met with another of the conference organisers, Professor Avi Ceder. Avi is the Emeritus Professor at the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering and at the Transportation Research Institute, Technion Israel Institute of Technology. He is also a former Zhi-xing Professor at Beijing Jiaotong University (BJTU) and Honorary Professor at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

Avi is an expert on public transport scheduling, and the author of Public Transit Planning and Operation: Theory, Modeling and Practice.  Graham and Avi first talk about Avi’s background and experience as a bus driver, PhD student, academic and now Emeritus Professor. Avi got into transit scheduling having taught operations management subjects, and as a consultant to an Israeli bus company prior to development of computerised scheduling tools. Graham and Avi discuss the development of, and research into, transit scheduling theory and tools.

They then move onto discuss a recent paper Avi authored on Syncing sustainable urban mobility with public transit policy trends based on global data analysis in Nature Scientific Reports (https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-93741-4).  Avi outlines four issues with road traffic discussed in this paper: crashes, congestion, pollution and space used by parked vehicles. He also discusses the paper’s study of 17 cities, and exploration of what the shift to autonomous vehicles might mean for transportation, transit and the number of vehicles that will be needed in the future.

Graham and Avi discuss some of the opportunities that are presented by COVID-19, autonomous vehicles and other shifts.  Avi’s Nature paper discusses how autonomous vehicles, if publicly owned / shared, may allow cities to reallocate road and parking space to other uses.  He and Graham discuss how a future with widespread private ownership and use might, instead, result in more vehicles, lower occupancy and increase congestion.

Later in the episode Avi discusses his work on deficit functions that can be use in the optimisation of vehicle numbers and minimisation of waiting time. Avi also outlines the concept of Just Noticeable Difference (JND), being the threshold at which people might distinguish between different costs, waiting times or other aspects of alternative transport options. This might be used as an input to mobile phone-based trip planning software, to personalise route recommendations to individual preferences in real-time.

Find out more about Avi and his work at his:


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Music from this episode is from https://www.purple-planet.com

  • Date May 21, 2023
  • Tags Podcast