RT35 – Niels van Oort – Public Transport Reliability

RT35 – Niels van Oort – Public Transport Reliability

Researching Transit – Episode 35

Published: October 2021

Keywords: Public transport, service reliability, planning, operations

This is the thirteenth episode in Researching Transit’s Handbook of Public Transport Research Series. Links to the book can be found at the end of the notes.

In this episode Professor Graham Currie talks to Assistant Professor Niels van Oort from the Technical University of Delft (TU Delft). Assistant Professor van Oort is the Co-Director of the Smart Public Transport Lab in the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences. The Smart PT Lab has previously been discussed in episode 24 of this podcast, when Professor Graham Currie spoke to the other Co-Director, Associate Professor Oded Cats.

Assistant Professor van Oort is the author of the thirteenth chapter of the Handbook of Public Transport Research: Service reliability: a planning and operations perspective. This chapter discusses the elements of service reliability, the impact of service reliability on passengers, indicators that are used to measure reliability and variability, and how to make improvements. In this episode of the podcast Assistant Professor van Oort talks about the research behind the handbook chapter, including his PhD thesis and subsequent work. Some of the topics discussed are: the factors that can impact service reliability; the need for perspectives across strategic, tactical and operational levels; and bridging the gaps between front-line staff, management and researchers.  Data sets, modelling and the practicality of optimal solutions are also discussed.

The podcast episode closes with a discussion of current research topics in public transport reliability.  Assistant Professor van Oort notes the growing importance of demand side perspectives to better understand passenger experiences. This includes greater consideration of access and egress to transit systems, and understanding the different impacts that are experienced by passengers when a service is running slightly early versus slightly late.

Find out more about this research in Chapter 13 of the Handbook of Public Transport Research, available for purchase from the publisher’s website: https://www.e-elgar.com/shop/gbp/handbook-of-public-transport-research-9781788978651.html.

Find out more about Assistant Professor Niels van Oort and his work:


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

  • Date October 17, 2021
  • Tags Podcast