Analysis of Light Rail Access to Airports for the Effective Ground Transportation

Analysis of Light Rail Access to Airports for the Effective Ground Transportation

Zhaoqiong Qin (North Carolina Agriculture and Technical State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/jisscm.2012040105
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This paper discusses the attractiveness the cost-effectiveness of the light rail service connecting the airport and the main destinations in a city compared with other modes of ground transportation. A mathematical model is developed and the optimal frequency of light rail service is decided based on the minimization of the total cost including waiting time cost of travelers at the airport and operating cost of the light rail. Sensitivity analysis is made to show the effect of such parameters as passenger flow, unit time cost, unit operating time cost and etc. on the optimal frequency of the light rail service to provide the convenient, cost-effectiveness, and advanced accessible ground transportation service at the airport.
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In the previous research, one stream focuses on the bus transit. Brouwer (1983) and Wirasinghe and Ghoneim (1981) optimized the locations of bus stops considering the costs incurred not only by bus passengers and transit suppliers, but also by other road users, local residents, and businesses. In our study, due to the exclusive right of way for the light rail service and then no competition with other transportation modes, it is not necessary to consider the cost of other users. Fitzpatrick, Perkinson, and Hall (1997) developed guidelines for allocating bus stops considering bus patron’s convenience, safety, and access time, as well as the efficiency of transit operations. Based on given traveler preferences and budget constraints from the transit provider, Van Nes and Bovy (2000) developed an analytical model for optimizing stop spacing and line spacing, while performance characteristics (i.e., travel time, operator costs, and patronage) were analyzed. They studied the effects of space including stops and line on the operating cost, waiting time and access time costs while our paper will consider the effects of headway on those costs. Some researchers also considered the distribution of passenger flow when developed the mathematical models of the total costs (Holroyd, 1967; Gerrard et al., 1975; Bramel & Simchi-Levi, 1996; Chien & Schonfeld, 1997). Byrne and Vuchic (1971) optimize the bus route spacing, stop spacing and headways to minimize the total cost. All of these papers show the analysis in the bus system and little study focuses on light rail. From this viewpoint, our paper contributes to the literature in this field. Another stream in the literature is related to intermodal transportation in rail (Tsamboulas & Kapros, 2000; Harrington & Parolin, 1991). Qin and Du (1998) investigated the headway of the high speed trains along with the highway for short distance and air for long distance. Li and Tayur (2005) analyzed the effect of pricing on the intermodal transportation. Our study contributes to the rail-air intermodal transportation.

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