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Thursday, 22 January 2015

A Swiss Perspective on Regular Interval Timetables

Source: Tzieropoulos, Emery and Buri (2010) Regular-interval timetables: theoretical foundations and policy implications
If anyone wants to read a good overview of the Swiss approach to timetabling, a paper presented at the World Conference on Transport Research in 2010 "Regular-interval timetables: theoretical foundations and policy implications" is a good place to start.
Co-authored by Panos Tzieropoulos, Daniel Emery and Jean-Daniel Buri, it describes what a regular interval timetable is and how passengers benefit, operations are simplified and safety is improved.

The paper also highlights some important differences between traditional approaches to transport planning and the Swiss way:
  • rather than attempting to tailor transport supply to demand at an individual service level, the Swiss approach is to offer a consistent and balanced supply across the day. This conveys a message to passengers that "public transport is there and available at any time, much like the private car".
  • Swiss transport planning starts with service planning, from which infrastructure and rolling stock (or vehicle/ vessel) needs are determined.
The level of detail in service planning would surprise an Australian audience. Detailed timetables are developed 20 years in advance. Service planning takes place first because the timetable is viewed as being centrally important to the customer. And as there is little flexibility around the rules for creating regular interval timetables, it is easier to make the infrastructure fit the timetable than the other way round.   

1 comment:

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