Transport Management

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Study examines potential of Mobility-as-a-Service for Cologne

PTV software analyses effects of new mobility services on existing transport systems

09-Oct-2019
Study examines potential of Mobility-as-a-Service for Cologne
Overcrowded streets, rising levels of fine particulate matter and CO2 emissions – facts that are no longer tolerable for cities. In order to set the course for sustainable transport, Cologne is examining new mobility concepts such as Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS). In a study, the Ford Research & Innovation Centre and the PTV Group analysed the potential and effects of ride sharing services for the Rhine metropolis.

The City of Cologne expects further population growth and increasing commuter flows in the future and is thus facing numerous challenges. “Simply shifting motorised private transport to public transport will not solve the city's traffic and transport problems," explains Detlef Kuck, Ford Research, who supported the project by contributing the relevant technical expertise. "Many local public transport lines are already overloaded and cannot be easily expanded.”

Can MaaS services, such as car sharing and ridepooling, be a useful addition? The aim of the study was to examine different mobility scenarios and thus to evaluate the operational performance of MaaS concepts as well as their impact on infrastructure and the environment.

Transport modelling offers a glimpse into the future

Based on PTV software, the experts developed a transport model, visualising the current situation in Cologne. The project team analysed an inner-city reference area of 107 km² and merged data on the general traffic volume with information on the transport zones, including public transport data provided by the public transport authorities Kölner Verkehrsbetriebe and Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Sieg. It was thus possible to create a precise picture of where people start their journey and which destination they travel to. In addition, the researchers identified 2,800 locations suitable for potential boarding and alighting of passengers, so-called pick-up and drop-off points.

The model helped examine the following issues:

  • What should future ride sharing services look like in order to have a positive effect on traffic and transport in Cologne? 
  • How many vehicles are required to make the service attractive and to avoid long waiting and travel times caused by detours? 
  • How should each transport mode be configured, for example in terms of speed, number of seats, etc. 
The most important findings

Various conceivable scenarios were simulated. For example, the percentage share of ride sharing in the modal split (allocation of transport demand to different modes of transport) was varied based on the following scenarios: What would happen if ride sharing services covered three percent of Cologne's transport volume (a realistic figure according to experts in this field)? Or if 60% or even 100% of motorised private transport was replaced by ride sharing?

The key findings of the study include:

  • In order to ensure a modal share of ride sharing of 3% throughout the city centre, Cologne would need 300 vehicles that serve an average of 1.62 passengers per trip. 
  • This would mean 3% less parking. 
  • Each vehicle could carry around 130 passengers per day. 
  • In this scenario, an additional journey time of less than ten minutes would be required compared to a trip by car. 
  • However, there are no significant effects on transport and the environment in the 3 % ride sharing scenario. In a scenario where motorised private transport is completely replaced by ride sharing and public transport, CO2 emissions would be reduced by 31% and NOx (at the measuring points) by 92%.
  • As a result, only 8.1% of the passenger cars registered in Cologne today would still be needed
 "In order to be able to shape future mobility in a sustainable way, it is important to know and understand the full range of relevant effects that these new services might have on transport and the environment," says Dirk Franke from PTV Group. "The study provides the City of Cologne with an excellent basis for discussion and decision making in order to set the course for new, sustainable Mobility as a Service offerings.

MaaS solutions by PTV

Other cities are also preparing for radical changes in mobility. PTV has already conducted similar analyses for Lisbon, Oslo, Stuttgart and Zurich. The company offers a broad portfolio of technologies for modelling, simulating, operating and controlling new mobility services such as mobility as a service, ride sharing or autonomous driving. PTV thus supports various stakeholders in developing successful business models and shaping the mobility of tomorrow.

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