One of the big issues we have had with public transport modelling, which is used to make forecasts about how many people might use different routes in the future, is how the transport models deal with transfers. A transfer (or connection) is where someone changes from one service onto another. The transport models have long tended to predict that very few people would want to do this. Yet in most cities, transfers are a part of life and large numbers of people will transfer between different routes to get to their destination. It is after all the basis for metro networks.
Having observed huge numbers of people transfer between bus and train at Panmure on a number of occasions, I was sceptical of the modelling and decided to request actual information from Auckland Transport about the rail/bus transfers for Panmure station.
Information in the AMETI documents indicates that previous forecasts for Panmure Station 2016 AM (7-9am) demands were 1040 rail passengers. The previous forecasts for 2026 AM were 1439 passengers.
The Auckland Regional Demand Model passenger demands for 2016 AM are (total) 1236, of which 134 transfer from bus to rail. The transfer demands correspond closely to data provided In 2) below.
So we were right the model was not anticipating the level of transfers, but what are AT doing reflect this, well I also asked that as well
3) Any work done on whether modelling tools should be adjusted in the treatment of transfers between bus and train over the past five years?
It has a confusing response as on the one hand AT respond with there is nothing wrong with our model, it works fine no need to question it thank you.
But, then, on the other hand says, however, we updated the model to reflect transfer penalties by giving Britomart its own class better which lowers the transfer penalty of the classes below as they move up.
I think the main point though is these models are not really scientific they are created with the inherent biases of their creators and should be treated with caution. If want PT to be on a level playing field then we need to update the models to reflect reality if not the case will always say expressway.