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Modelling paratransit services: A microscopic simulation approach
Paratranisit operations in cities in developing countries are run by the informal sector and are highly flexible. There are numerous operators running one or two vehicles on a cash basis. This research is aimed at improving understanding of the operation of such systems. It assesses the effects on users and operators of different routing, stopping and scheduled regimes. The problem of paratransit operations is conceptualised in terms of interactions between demand and supply. The interactions take place in time and geographical space and are shaped by the actions taken by individual users and individual operators. A new model is designed to represent the two dimensions. Central to the construction of the model is two techniques: simulation technique to model the temporal processes and a Geographical Information System (GIS) for the spatial processes. The model involves interfacing a GIS to external modules for dynamic processes. Demand and supply are modelled at a microscopic level. The proposed model was validated against field data collected in Harare, Zimbabwe. Experiments for a case study are conducted in Harae, and results on routing, stopping and scheduled regimes are reported.
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