SMART-PT research suggests a fantastic future for public transport

Project led by Prof. Itzhak Benenson from the Department of Geography and Human Environment in cooperation with Dr. Eran Ben Elia from the Ben Gurion University of the Negev

SMART-PT research suggests a fantastic future for public transport

Our transportation system is polarized: Either fully private cars and taxis or fully regulated public transport and regulated. Intermediate modes, as shared taxies are yet hardly significant. Recent joint research of Prof Itzhak Benenson from the Department of Geography and Human Environment, School of Geoscience, TAU, and Dr. Eran Ben Elia from the Department of Geography and Environmental Development, BGU, investigated the mismatch between public transport demand and supply, and proposed the framework and algorithms for establishing an Adaptive Public Transport concept.


Adaptive Public Transport demands instantaneous analysis of Big Data of human mobility and regular updates of the bus routes, and stops and bus and train timetables. We can recognize the changes in human mobility patterns in time and space based on the smartcard and mobile phone data, and develop algorithms for estimating the necessary changes, including establishing new public transport routes and modification/cancellation of those that are ineffective.


Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area is our case study for applying the SMART-PT methodology. To describe transport dynamics there we apply Multi-Agent Transportation Simulation (MATSim) platform that represents travelers’ adaptation to the evolving public transport network. To represent co-evolution of the public transport and travelers’ transportation choice we merge between SMART-PT algorithms of public transport adaptation to the mobility changes and MATSim algorithms of travelers’ adaptation. 


The SMART-PT research was performed within the Future Traveling Flagship call of the European ERA NET Transport III framework together with other research teams from Belgium, Sweden, Poland and Germany as well as industrial partners form Germany and Belgium. The Israeli team is funded by the Israeli Ministry of Transport and Road Safety and includes Dr. Andrey Shabalov, Dr. Bella Dmitrieva and Mr. Golan Ben Dor.


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