Designing a large-scale public transport network using agent-based microsimulation

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, planning - methods, planning - network design, planning - travel demand management, operations - capacity, operations - frequency, infrastructure - stop, infrastructure, economics - subsidy, ridership - demand


Public transport, Network design, Stop location, Dynamic demand, Co-evolutionary algorithm, MATSim


An agent-based simulation framework is extended to design efficient large-scale public transport networks. It goes beyond existing approaches by incorporating a dynamic demand response towards both changes in the network and exogenous factors. The framework is based on an agent-based (MATSim) simulation and tested for the city of Zurich. In contrast to most existing public transport network optimization approaches, this framework is part of a city-level, multi-modal transport simulation tool. Compared to the existing public transport system, it proposes a sparser network with smaller vehicles and substantially higher frequencies. By doing so, the approach predicts a higher transit ridership at a lower level of subsidies. Moreover, it reliably identifies corridors for potential capacity upgrades. The method may help transport planners to assess their existing public transport networks and to plan public transport infrastructure for the era of automated vehicles.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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