Transport for London

Funding: Transport for London

JTL is a key research group in the longstanding partnership between MIT and Transport for London (TfL). A global leader in transportation data and technology, TfL is the integrated authority responsible for London’s Underground, Overground, Buses, Docklands Light Railway, strategic road network, and other transportation modes. MIT’s expertise in transport, behavior, and big data has made a recognized impact improving public transport in London. In partnership with teams throughout TfL, our work has focused on fare payment data and customer analytics, operations and disruption management, and strategic planning and policy.

Many of our research insights are based on London’s Oyster fare payment system. Gabriel Goulet-Langois (MST '15, now working with the Customer Experience Analytics team at TfL) developed a methodology to transform 20 million daily Oyster records into behavioral clusters that inform the operation and design of the transport network. Our innovative work on predictive analytics and demand has the potential to transform how TfL can guide its customers in response to service disruptions. At a strategic level, JTL is developing simulation and analysis platforms to understand and communicate the impact of new infrastructure and transformative technologies such as autonomous vehicles. Some of these methodologies and tools have been featured at the UK Science Museum’s Our Lives in Data exhibit. The strong record and commitment of JTL and TfL make this an ideal research partnership for understanding and shaping the future of urban transport.

 

Integrating Shared Autonomous Vehicle in Public Transportation System, Shen, Yu, Zhang Hongmou, and Zhao Jinhua , Transportation Research Part A, (Submitted)

This paper proposes and simulates an integrated autonomous vehicle (AV) and public transportation system. After discussing the attributes of and the interaction among the potential stakeholders in the system, we identify possible opportunities for synergy between AVs and the public transportation system based on Singapore’s organizational structures. Envisioning an integrated system in the context of the first-mile problem during morning peak hours, we propose to preserve high demand bus... more

Mobility as A Language: Predicting Individual Mobility In Public Transportation Using N-Gram Models, Zhao, Zhan, Koutsopoulos Haris, and Zhao Jinhua , Transportation Research Board 96th Annual Meeting, (2017)

For public transportation agencies, the ability to provide personalized and dynamic passenger information is crucial for improving the efficiency of demand management and enhancing customer experience. This requires understanding and especially predicting individual travel behavior in the public transportation system, which is challenging because of the heterogeneity among passengers and the variability of their behaviors. This paper presents, to the best of our knowledge, the first attempt... more

An Urban Agenda for Autonomous Vehicles: Embedding Planning Principles into Technological Deployment, Freemark, Yonah, and Zhao Jinhua , Working paper, (2017)

 

The deployment of autonomous vehicles (AVs) has spawned a considerable literature on the role of national and state-level governments in regulating components of AV manufacturing, emissions, safety, licensing, and data sharing. These provide insight into how AVs can be integrated into the current transportation system. Yet the potential for local governments to shape their futures through AV policies is underexplored. This paper argues that it is both necessary and feasible for... more

Inferring patterns in the multi-week activity sequences of public transport users, Goulet Langlois, Gabriel , Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies, Volume 64, p.1-16, (2016)

The public transport networks of dense cities such as London serve passengers with widely different travel patterns. In line with the diverse lives of urban dwellers, activities and journeys are combined within days and across days in diverse sequences. From personalized customer information, to improved travel demand models, understanding this type of heterogeneity among transit users is relevant to a number of applications core to public transport agencies’ function. In this study,... more

Unified Estimator for Excess Journey Time under Heterogenous Passenger Incidence Behavior using Smartcard Data, Zhao, Jinhua, Frumin Michael, Wilson Nigel, and Zhao Zhan , Transportation Research Part C, Volume 34, p.70–88, (2013)

Excess journey time (EJT), the difference between actual passenger journey times and journey times implied by the published timetable, strikes a useful balance between the passenger’s and operator’s perspectives of public transport service quality. Using smartcard data, this paper tried to characterize transit service quality with EJT under heterogeneous incidence behavior (arrival at boarding stations). A rigorous framework was established for analyzing EJT, in particular for reasoning... more

A Subjective Measure of Car Dependence, Zhao, Jinhua , Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Volume 2231, p.44–52, (2011)

A subjective measure of car dependence was developed on the basis of people's own assessment of their reliance on car use. The measure supplements the commonly used objective measure on the basis of actual car use. Structural equation models (SEMs) were estimated to quantify the subjective dependence and to examine its determinants: demographics, socioeconomics, and land use and transit access. The comparison between subjective dependence and actual car use disclosed significant differences... more

Incorporating Mobile Activity Tracking Data In A Transit Agency: Collecting, Comparing, And Trip Mode Inference, Scully, Tim, Attanucci John, and Zhao Jinhua , Transportation Research Board 96th Annual Meeting, (2017)

The near ubiquity of smartphones has the potential to transform how researchers, companies, and public transit agencies understand travel behavior. This research analyzes how an emerging class of automatically-collected data based on smartphone GPS and sensor information – referred to here as mobile activity-tracking data – can be used in a transit agency to better understand travel behavior. Through a collaboration with Transport for London, multiple weeks of mobile activity-tracking data... more

Simulating the First Mile Service to Access Train Stations by Shared Autonomous Vehicle, Shen, Yu, Zhang Hongmou, and Zhao Jinhua , Transportation Research Board 96th Annual Meeting, (2017)

This paper studies the potential impacts of autonomous vehicle (AV) sharing with mobility-on demand service on the public transit system. We analyze the current travel demand in the public transit system in Singapore with a special focus on the first-/last-mile problem during morning peak hours. The first-/last-mile in this paper is defined as the gap between origin/destination and the heavy rail stations. A feasible method to integrate AV sharing in current transit system is proposed, which... more

Mapping transit accessibility: Possibilities for public participation, Stewart, Anson , Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 04/2017, (2017)

The value of accessibility concepts is well-established in transportation literature, but so is the low adoption of accessibility-based instruments by practitioners. Based on the premise that leveraging accessibility concepts to address public involvement challenges could promote their adoption in planning practice, this research investigates mechanisms to promote social learning among participants in public workshops. Potential mechanisms of learning include specific tool-based interactions... more

Clustering the Multi-week Activity Sequences of Public Transport Users, Goulet Langlois, Gabriel, Koutsopoulos Haris, and Zhao Jinhua , 95th Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, 08/2015, Washington, D.C., (2016)

The public transport networks of dense cities such as London serve passengers with widely dierent travel patterns. In line with the diverse lives of urban dwellers, activities and journeys are combined within days and across days in diverse sequences. From personalized customer information, to improved travel demand models, understanding this type of heterogeneity among transit users is relevant to an number of applications core to public transport agencies' function. In this study,... more

Exploring Regularity and Structure in Travel Behavior Using Smart Card Data, Goulet Langlois, Gabriel , Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Volume Master of Science in Transportation, Cambridge, MA, (2015)

As the economic opportunities fostered by large cities become more diverse, the travel patterns of public transport users become more heterogeneous. From personalized customer information, to improved travel demand models, understanding these heterogeneous travel patterns is useful for a number of applications relevant to public transport agencies. This thesis explores how smart card data can be used to analyze and compare the structure of individual travel patterns observed over several... more

Real-Time Operations Planning and Control of High-Frequency Transit, Sanchez-Martinez, Gabriel , Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Volume Ph.D., Cambridge, MA, (2015)

High-frequency transit systems are essential for the socioeconomic and environmental well-being of large and dense cities. The planning and control of their operations are important determinants of service quality. Transit operators are increasingly adopting data collection devices that enable real-time monitoring of vehicle locations and demand, but existing models and current practice limit the utility of this information. This research develops new concepts, frameworks, and models for... more

Automatic Data for Applied Railway Management: A Case Study on the London Overground, Frumin, Michael, Zhao Jinhua, Wilson Nigel, and Zhao Zhan , Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Volume 2353, p.47–56, (2013)

In 2009, London Overground management implemented a new tactical plan for a.m. and p.m. peak service on the North London Line (NLL). This paper documents that tactical planning intervention and evaluates its outcomes in terms of certain aspects of service delivery (the operator's perspective on system performance) and service quality (the passenger's perspective). Analyses of service delivery and quality and of passenger demand contributed to the development, proposal, and implementation of... more

Analyzing Passenger Incidence Behavior in Heterogeneous Transit Services Using Smartcard Data and Schedule-Based Assignment, Frumin, Michael, and Zhao Jinhua , Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Volume 2274, p.52–60, (2012)

Passenger incidence (station arrival) behavior has been studied primarily to understand how changes to a transit service will affect passenger waiting times. The impact of one intervention (e.g., increasing frequency) could be overestimated when compared with another (e.g., improving reliability), depending on the assumption of incidence behavior. Understanding passenger incidence allows management decisions to be based on realistic behavioral assumptions. Earlier studies on passenger... more

Assessing the Impact of Recent Fare Policy Changes on Public Transport Demand in London, Jain, Nihit , Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Volume MST, Cambridge, MA, (2011)
Automatic Data for Applied Railway Management: Passenger Demand, Service Quality Measurement, and Tactical Planning on the London Overground Network, Frumin, Michael , Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Volume MST, Cambridge, MA, (2010)

The broad goal of this thesis is to demonstrate the potential positive impacts of applying automatic data to the management and tactical planning of a modern urban railway. Tactical planning is taken here to mean the set of transport-specific analysis and decisions required to manage and improve a railway with time horizons measured in weeks, months, or up to a year and little or no capital investment requirements. This thesis develops and tests methods to (i) estimate on-train loads from... more

Preference Accommodating and Preference Shaping: Incorporating Traveler Preferences into Transportation Planning, Zhao, Jinhua , Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Volume PhD, Cambridge, MA, (2009)

This dissertation examines the psychological factors that influence travel behavior such as people's personality traits, environmental attitudes, car pride and perceptions of convenience and comfort. Despite the recognition of the importance of these psychological factors in better understanding travel behavior, transportation agencies have failed to integrate them into planning practice and policy debate in the quantitative way. This dissertation reflects on this failure, identifies the... more

People

Postdoc Associate
MST Student
PhD Candidate
MST Student
MST 2015
PhD 2017
Edward H. and Joyce Linde Assistant Professor