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Open AccessArticle

On-Demand Flexible Transit in Fast-Growing Cities: The Case of Dubai

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Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Catania, 95125 Catania, Italy
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Department of Electric, Electronic and Computer Engineering, University of Catania, 95125 Catania, Italy
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MVMANT srl, Mirabella Imbaccari, 95040 Catania, Italy
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Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Catania, 95125 Catania, Italy
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Instituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare—INFN, 95125 Catania, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4455; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12114455
Received: 31 March 2020 / Revised: 17 May 2020 / Accepted: 27 May 2020 / Published: 30 May 2020
Increase in city population and size leads to growing transport demand and heterogeneous mobility habits. In turn, this may result in economic and social inequalities within the context of rapid economic growth. Provision of flexible transit in fast-growing cities is a promising strategy to overcome the limits of conventional public transport and avoid the use of private cars, towards better accessibility and social inclusion. This paper presents the case of Dubai (UAE), where a demand responsive transit service called MVMANT (a company based in Italy) has been tested in some low demand districts. The contribution of this work relies on the use of an agent-based model calibrated with Geographic Information System (GIS) real data to reproduce the service and find optimal configurations from both the perspective of the transport operator and the community. Different scenarios were simulated, by changing the vehicle assignment strategy and capacity, and comparing MVMANT with a ride-sharing service with smaller vehicles. Results suggest that route choice strategy is important to find a balance between operator and user costs, and that these types of flexible transit can satisfy transport demand with limited total costs compared to other shared mobility services. They can also be effective in satisfying fluctuating demand by adopting heterogeneous fleets of vehicles. Finally, appropriate planning and evaluation of these services are needed to fully explore their potential in covering the gap between low-quality fixed public transport and unsustainable private transport. View Full-Text
Keywords: shared mobility; demand-responsive shared transport; agent-based model; simulation modeling; weak demand areas shared mobility; demand-responsive shared transport; agent-based model; simulation modeling; weak demand areas
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Giuffrida, N.; Le Pira, M.; Inturri, G.; Ignaccolo, M.; Calabrò, G.; Cuius, B.; D’Angelo, R.; Pluchino, A. On-Demand Flexible Transit in Fast-Growing Cities: The Case of Dubai. Sustainability 2020, 12, 4455.

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