Fuzzy analysis of comfort along travel chains
The competitiveness of a travel chain largely depends on the travel conditions along the sequence of journeys within the chain. This paper shows a method to analyse and to optimize the service quality along a travel chain. Travel comfort is a very important qualitative feature of the public transportation service, where travel comfort is used in a broader sense to describe ride quality and transfer quality including mobility, information, safety, security, and naturally comfort aspects. The analysis of travel comfort in the literature regards public transportation services. Several synthetic indices, which consider user judgment about service aspects, were developed to describe travel comfort, and comprehensive analyses have been published. However, to describe the competitiveness of the public transport the focus from the individual services should be moved toward the integrated service of the travel chain from the beginning to the end. The characteristics of travel comfort along the travel chain should be described and the location and rate of necessary interventions should be identified. In this paper we analyse the travel comfort features of travel chains. This paper proposes a method, which describes the travel comfort characteristics with synthetic indices based on the individual comfort indices of travel components, and uses a fuzzy approach to give an overall analysis of comfort conditions along the travel chain. The proposed method helps to identify the quality fluctuation and the weak points of a travel chain and makes the attractiveness of alternative travel chains comparable. An illustrative case study was carried out for one of the major transportation corridor of Budapest (Hungary), to exemplify the approach, where the validity of the method was tested as well. The results confirmed the usefulness and applicability of the methodology; by its application very valuable insights can be gained regarding the location and type of the necessary interventions. The results of our research are helpful to evaluate the actual service level of sustainable alternatives of individual car usage and to promote modal shift towards sustainable transportation modes.
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