A Visualisation Tool for Planning Passenger Transport Services in Rural and Low-Demand Settings

Chukwuemeka David Emele, Steve Wright, Richard Mounce, Cheng Zeng, John D. Nelson

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This chapter presents a novel visualisation tool, known as Flexible Integrated Transport Services (FITS) that transport commissioners, providers and administrators could employ to specify and edit the operating constraints as they redesign transport services.

The context of rural transport planning is discussed noting that where resources are fewer, effective co-ordination is required to provide passengers with efficient transport services. An overview of the FITS visualisation tool and its different sub-systems (e.g. general information regarding services, operating area, passenger eligibility, fare structure and surcharge structure) is given. Additionally, some key computational details of the system are discussed. Preliminary results of a sample case study that trialled the FITS tool in a specific test run, using simulated transport to health data in the Morayshire and North-West Aberdeenshire area of Scotland are presented. The concluding discussion considers the potential impact of employing tools like FITS in planning transport services in rural and low-demand settings.

Results from the case study show how these effects could be quantified in terms of changes in costs incurred by transport providers, the level of potential demand that could be covered and the associated revenues (fares and subsidies) which could be generated by providers.

The FITS visualisation tool has the potential to act as a planning tool to help transport commissioners, providers and administrators visualise the effects of shifting operating boundaries of flexible transport services.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationParatransit
Subtitle of host publicationShaping the Flexible Transport Future
EditorsCorinne Mulley, John D Nelson
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Limited
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-78635-225-5
ISBN (Print)978-1786352262, 1786352265
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameTransport and Sustainability
PublisherEmerald Insight
ISSN (Print)2044-9941

Bibliographical note

This research was supported by the Research Councils UK Digital
Economy programme award (reference: EP/G066051/1) to the dot.rural
Digital Economy Hub, at the University of Aberdeen


  • Constraint relaxation
  • Eligibility criteria
  • Low-demand settings
  • Rural transport
  • Subsidy
  • Visualisation tool


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