SOAST: Suburban-fringe 'on-demand' algorithm based shared transport: is demand responsive transport integrated with parcel delivery the viable future?

Philip Greening, David Corne, Roderick Macdonald, Andrew Desmond Spence, Jenny Milne

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Abstract

We looked into combining parcel delivery with bus services. In other words, buses carrying parcels as well as passengers. This seems sensible, because if passengers and parcels are both going to the same place, then it seems efficient to use a single vehicle. However, certain facilitating systems need to be present, such as a network of ‘last-mile’ lockers where buses can drop parcels off for local distribution, and an intelligent smartphone-based booking service. After detailed modelling, and discussion with bus and parcel companies, we found this could be highly effective, especially in rural and semi-rural areas, and in the context of on-demand bus services.

Our simulation studies showed that high coverage of rural parcel demand could be achieved with minimal impact on passenger mobility, leading to significant reduction in carbon emissions and a substantial positive impact on viability of rural and part-rural bus services.

The research was funded by UKCRIC: UK Collaboratorium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherHeriot-Watt University
Number of pages15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

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