Diseño de redes estructuradas de transportación colectiva incorporando en forma explícita los beneficios al usuario
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Public transportation is considered one of the main structural elements of urban transportation due to the decided advantages it offers over other means of transportation considering the amount of public space it takes up. This resource is scarce, especially in metropolitan and busy transport hubs with a high number of passengers. Many master plans have adopted public transport systems to help recover and improve public spaces as well as help control growth and slow down alternative modes of transportation which may yield negative results towards social, economic, and environmental sustainability goals. Within the last few decades, many cities around the world have invested in transforming their public transportation systems to keep up with or increase passenger demand. Transportation policies which prioritize pedestrians and mass transportation systems have been the base upon which master transportation plans have been built. On the other hand, technological advances have inspired changes in how these transportation systems are integrated and conceived; such as in the cases of fare collection systems with smart cards and real-time operational tracking systems. Evaluating existing systems as well as seeking alternatives to these systems are essential processes by which transportation engineers provide key elements to decision makers who can then make informed decisions and choose the best ones to execute. The implementation of structured collection networks with integrated fare systems as well as the adoption of the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) systems are more popular by the day in public transportations systems. Additionally, policies which focus on environmental, social and financial “sustainability” are also being established. However, researchers have found that the effects of these alternate transportation systems are either not being analyzed correctly or that, in deciding which would be the best system to implement, there is a lack of identified priorities and a deficit in asking the right questions. The methodology proposed in this research to perform an analysis that allows the selection of “optimum” structured networks of public transportation, includes the definition of operational parameters considering restrictions in operations (minimum and maximum frequencies that can be applied in practical programming), definition and use of a diverse vehicular fleet in the routes, and the evaluation of generalized costs considering the users’ levels of income and the system levels of service according to the temporal variation in demand. A way to analyze the difference between tangible impacts for operators and intangible impacts for users is established in the methodology to compare and select the “optimal” heuristic alternative method. The most current modeling process to determine the parameters is used. This modeling process allows for the representation of integrated fare policies and the capacity restrictions in the systems. Finally, indexes and figures are included to help better visualize and analyze the results.