Michela Le Pira

Michela Le Pira
University of Catania | UNICT · Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture

PhD

About

86
Publications
23,770
Reads
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1,211
Citations
Introduction
PhD in transport engineering with a thesis on public participation in transport planning using agent-based modelling and multi-criteria decision methods. Post-doc at University of Roma Tre, working on decision-support methods for sustainable urban freight transport, and currently research fellow/lecturer at the University of Catania, visiting researcher at TU Delft and at University College Dublin, working on innovative shared mobility services and concepts for passenger and freight transport
Additional affiliations
August 2019 - present
University of Catania
Position
  • Lecturer
March 2016 - February 2017
Università Degli Studi Roma Tre
Position
  • PostDoc Position
September 2013 - February 2014
Universitat Politècnica de València
Position
  • PhD Student
Education
October 2010 - October 2012
University of Catania
Field of study
  • Transport and Water Engineering
October 2006 - July 2010
University of Catania
Field of study
  • Civil Engineering

Publications

Publications (86)
Article
Full-text available
Background The recent health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic forced people to change their mobility habits, with the reduction of non-essential travels and the promotion online activities. During the first phase of the emergency in 2020, governments considered several mobility restrictions to avoid the pandemic diffusion. However, it is d...
Article
Full-text available
Feeder transport services are fundamental as first and last-mile connectors of mass rapid transit (MRT). They are especially beneficial in low-demand areas where private transport is usually the main transport mode. Besides, the rapid spread of new technologies such as vehicle automation and the shared mobility paradigm gave rise to new mobility-on...
Article
Full-text available
This paper poses the question of the redesign of urbanized arterial roads following a multi-objective approach. These infrastructures usually have wide lanes that allow high speeds and low safety conditions, resulting in the roads with the highest accident rates in suburban areas. However, since they experienced a rapid urbanization, they need to b...
Article
Full-text available
Public transport is one of the first mode used by students in Italy and this is confirmed by official data by the Italian National Institute of Statistics. Catania, a city in the south of Italy, takes the distance from these standards by having a modal share of public transport trips, especially train trips, lower than in many other Italian cities....
Article
Full-text available
The rapid spread of micromobility, characterized by the use of e-scooters and other electric micromobility devices, has brought both urban and transport planners to deal with the presence of a huge number of new vehicles with different size and technology with respect to those traditionally circulating in urban areas. In particular, the massive use...
Article
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This paper proposes a new agent-based model (ABM) to explore different scenarios of e-commerce urban deliveries, comparing door-to-door deliveries with consolidation-based strategies. The ABM reproduces operation under different demand patterns and include the possible matching of customer systematic trips and collection/delivery points with small...
Article
Full-text available
Micromobility has a high potential to change mobility habits towards the use of sustainable transport modes. The shared mobility paradigm encourages the development of new mobility services, such as bike and e-scooter sharing, potentially reducing the need of car ownership, enlarging the accessibility of public transport and enriching the transport...
Article
This paper investigates tourists' preferences in Rome (Italy) with respect to their “last mile” transport walking experience. Stated preference experiments and discrete choice models are used to estimate tourists' preferences for alternative walking paths configurations, taking into account path characteristics and conditions (e.g. public services...
Article
This paper explores the potential integration of freight transport into a Mobility as a Service (MaaS) environment. MaaS is a user-oriented service concept providing door-to-door mobility solutions for people. It integrates services of multiple providers, enabling searching, booking, and payment through a single digital platform. Although MaaS is o...
Article
Despite the huge growth in online purchases, e-grocery (i.e. ordering grocery online) was still limited in scope in Italy so far. More recently, its growth has been substantial and 2020 witnessed a huge increase due to COVID-19-related mobility restrictions. In principle, e-grocery could reduce the number of shopping trips, yet an exponential incre...
Article
Full-text available
Increasing the Quality of Service (QoS) of Public Transport (PT), in order to attract more users, is one of the goals of transport companies and urban policy-makers. A continuous monitoring of data on users’ satisfaction is desirable, but most of the time such process is costly. Finding correlations between PT accessibility, user satisfaction and P...
Article
E-grocery is the fastest growing e-commerce segment, while still a niche market. Notwithstanding the channel choice when buying groceries might have relevant transport and environmental implications, little attention is paid to demand analysis. The paper fills this research gap, by using stated preferences to estimate market shares for e-grocery, d...
Preprint
Full-text available
Mobility restriction is considered one of the main policies to contain COVID-10 spreading. However, there are multiple ways to reduce mobility via differentiated restrictions, and it is not easy to predict the actual impact on virus spreading. This is a limitation for policy-makers who need to implement effective and timely measures. Notwithstandin...
Article
Public transport in urban and suburban areas is not always able to meet population’s need of accessibility to jobs, education, health and other opportunities in terms of routes and frequencies; therefore, those who do not own a private vehicle, or who cannot afford public individual transport (e.g. taxis), often find themselves in a condition of so...
Article
Full-text available
Crowdshipping, i.e. delivering goods via the crowd, aims at combining passenger with freight trips. This concept is particularly useful, especially in urban contexts, since it allows using the spare capacity of vehicles and reducing the negative impacts of urban freight transport. While attractive in principle, a crowdshipping service needs to be a...
Article
Transport planning is a technical and political decision-making process based on rationality, aimed at defining and implementing transport infrastructures and their operations, and mobility management, in order to achieve the objectives reflecting the collective preferences of a community within a territory. Modeling and simulation for transport pl...
Article
Freight transport is a complex world characterized by the presence of numerous actors with heterogeneous interests. Besides, given its high impacts at an urban level, appropriate solutions are needed toward sustainability and efficiency. However, policies are effective only if the impacted agents adopt them and change their behavior. To do this, a...
Article
This article will provide an overview of the economics of urban freight transport (UFT), focusing on the efficiency and sustainability of solutions, which can be guaranteed only via an appropriate planning and coordination between public and private interests. Standard economic theory also applies to UFT, however, its practical use is much hampered...
Article
Full-text available
Poor logistics efficiency, due to low load factors caused by high demand fragmentation, will have relevant negative consequences for cities in terms of pollution, congestion and overall city liveability. Policy-makers should equip themselves with appropriate tools to perform reliable, comprehensive and timely analyses of urban logistics scenarios,...
Article
The benefits of cycling as mode of transport are well known. It contributes to the reduction of environmental pollution, climate change impacts and traffic congestion, and to the improvement of safety, well-being and health of citizens and transport affordability of low-income population. Moreover, cycling has the potential to enhance co-modality,...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents a new procedure for a simplified stakeholder analysis aimed at categorizing transport stakeholders according to their level of competence, interest, and power in decision-making in a three-dimensional space that we call "participation cube". Knowing in advance what role each stakeholder can play in the final decision and how she...
Article
This paper presents a spatial approach to support the design of new on-demand flexible transport services in urban areas, characterized by inefficient public transport and modal imbalance in favour of private cars. These services, enabled by technologies and inspired by the shared mobility paradigm, can complement and improve conventional public tr...
Article
Full-text available
Increase in city population and size leads to growing transport demand and heterogeneous mobility habits. In turn, this may result in economic and social inequalities within the context of rapid economic growth. Provision of flexible transit in fast-growing cities is a promising strategy to overcome the limits of conventional public transport and a...
Article
The design of accessible walking routes needs to take into account the different stakeholders' preferences and factors affecting walking. It is a complex issue which policy-makers should deal with to foster sustainable mobility. A participatory multicriteria decision analysis approach is presented to help the planning and designing of pedestrian ro...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents a procedure based on a spatial analysis to assess the pedestrian compatibility of streets in an urban area. The aim is to provide decision-makers with a planning-support method that can aid them to decide the priority of investments, based on street pedestrian compatibility. The case study is Acireale, a small town of 50,000 inh...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents the case of Cartagena de Indias, a well-known international touristic destination in Colombia, which experiences serious problems of traffic congestion and accessibility to the city center. Promoting pedestrian mobility is one of the public administration’s main goals, by enhancing and re-designing different pedestrian paths. De...
Article
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This paper presents the first results of an agent-based model aimed at designing feeder bus routes able to cover the gap between public transport coverage and ridership in weak demand areas. The optimized design of feeder bus routes has been approached as a Vehicle Routing Problem applied to passenger transport, using Ant Colony Optimization (ACO)...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents the case of Catania, a medium-sized city (300,000 inhabitants) located in southern Italy, where University students are experiencing Fare-Free Public Transport (FFPT) since October 2018. This strategy is one of the main results of a strict collaboration between the Mobility Management office of the University of Catania, and two...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents a modelling framework to investigate the potential acceptability of digitalized services connected to groceries, i.e. e-grocery, via a discrete choice agent-based approach. A preliminary investigation of consumers’ preferences for buying groceries on-line has been performed via a stated preference survey. Besides, a new agent-ba...
Chapter
This paper aims at contributing to the international debate on innovations in urban freight transport (UFT) by illustrating and discussing some new trends that can have the potential to revolutionize the way goods are distributed in our cities and minimize the impact UFT has on sustainability. Under this respect, stakeholder engagement becomes fund...
Article
Full-text available
Transport decision-making problems are typically spatially based and involve a set of feasible alternatives with multiple evaluation criteria. Besides, transport decisions affect citizens’ quality of life, as well as specific interests of general stakeholders (e.g., transport companies), thus needing a participatory approach to decision-making. Geo...
Article
Limiting private cars’ use while promoting sustainable modes of transport is one of the main challenges of urban transport planning. In this context, characterized by scarce resources and increasing demand for mobility, Demand Responsive Shared Transport (DRST) services can bridge the gap between shared low-quality public transport and unsustainabl...
Article
Many cities of different size and in different areas of the world have successfully tested the introduction of off-hour deliveries (OHD) on a voluntary basis, reporting positive effects, both on freight distribution efficiency and sustainability. However, those initiatives have not been implemented so far at a large scale. This paper investigates O...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents a multi-criteria-based methodology to involve the general public in transport decision-making, aiming at collecting information useful to design a technically sound and well-accepted transport service. The case study presented is part of a wider participation procedure, involving experts and key stakeholders in the definition of...
Article
A recent trend to engage and promote sustainable behaviors in transport foresees gamification, i.e. the use of game design elements in nongame contexts. To foster the expected behavior change, one should appropriately conceive, deploy and manage gamification. The paper addresses the problem of gamification design by proposing an advanced user-cente...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents a framework to encompass stakeholder involvement in port planning processes, by specifically focusing on long-term strategic plans aimed at sustainability and designed to satisfy the needs of a port community and its surroundings. A classification of the main port stakeholders is presented, together with some traditional and non...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents the first results of a wider research aimed at defining the characteristics of a proactive multimodal traveler information service (MTIS), able to provide real-time information to public transport users, while receiving their feedback, so to record their travel experience and monitor the service quality. The design of a MTIS req...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper we introduce Pipe §Net, an innovative solution for the transport of goods via depressurised pipes. This technology is often referred to as the "fifth mode of transport" and constitutes a sustainable alternative to existing transport modes. The goal of Pipe §Net is to relieve congested European transportation networks and to provide a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Including an active participation of citizens and stakeholders from the beginning of transport decision-making processes is widely recognized as a precondition to avoid the failure of projects/policies/plans as a consequence of a lack of con-sensus. Appropriate methods and tools are needed to support participation pro-cesses towards well-thought an...
Chapter
This chapter tests stakeholder acceptability and their likely behavior change with respect to innovative solutions for improving urban freight transport efficiency and fostering city sustainability. It presents the case of the Rome LL within the EU CITYLAB project, where an innovative system for integrating direct and reverse logistic flows in the...
Chapter
This chapter tests stakeholder acceptability and their likely behavior change with respect to innovative solutions for improving urban freight transport efficiency and fostering city sustainability. It presents the case of the Rome LL within the EU CITYLAB project, where an innovative system for integrating direct and reverse logistic flows in the...
Article
Demand Responsive Shared Transport DRST services take advantage of Information and Communication Technologies ICT, to provide on demand transport services booking in real time a ride on a shared vehicle. In this paper, an agent-based model ABM is presented to test different the feasibility of different service configurations in a real context. Firs...
Article
Full-text available
Transport planners and economists have to face the challenges of modern cities while also dealing with multiple stakeholders and conflicting interests. Decisions should derive from a trade-off between the optimal solution and the most accepted one. Models and simulations are typically used as decision-support tools for technical/economic analyses....
Article
Policy-making on Urban Freight Transport (UFT) is complex because it requires dealing with heterogeneous stakeholders with different objectives. The often unforeseen and undesired results deriving from UFT policy implementation have induced many researchers to call for an in-depth analysis of specific stakeholders’ preferences. However, the structu...
Chapter
In this paper, an agent-based model is presented to test the feasibility of different configurations of Demand Responsive Shared Transport (DRST) services in a real context. DRST services provide “just-in-time” mobility solutions by dynamically assigning a fleet of vehicles to passenger booking requests taking advantages of Information and Communic...
Article
Full-text available
Stakeholder engagement is a key issue for sustainable transport planning. Appropriate methods and tools are needed to support an efficient participation process. This study presents a combination of Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) with the Delphi method as a useful support for participatory decision-making processes aimed at consensus building. A...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Transports can be considered as the main contributors of climate change and cities’ total energy consumption. In order to reduce transport energy, which is mainly influenced by urban form and available systems, three strategies can be adopted: a land use distribution lowering the need of motorized mobility; adoption of measures fostering l...
Article
Full-text available
This paper addresses the complex problem of multi-stakeholder decisions in urban freight transport policy-making from a public authority perspective, by proposing a procedure based on a modelling approach to support stakeholder involvement in the decision-making process. The paper analyses the existing methods that can be used for participatory dec...
Article
This paper discusses the potential benefits of combining discrete choice models (DCMs) and agent-based models (ABMs) to provide a stakeholder behavioural analysis and support stakeholder engagement in urban freight transport (UFT) planning. The integrated modelling framework allows to evaluate stakeholders’ policy acceptability taking into account...
Article
Abstract This paper proposes a novel approach to support participatory decision-making processes in the context of urban freight transport through the integration of discrete choice modeling and agent-based modeling. The methodology is based on an innovative multilayer network and opinion dynamics models and applied to the case study of Rome’s limi...
Article
Full-text available
This paper proposes an innovative approach to decision-making processes for urban freight planning that could easily be transferred across cities while capable of jointly taking into account: (1) all the conceivable and updated urban freight transport (UFT) measures that should apply to the specific city culture, structure and evolution, (2) all th...
Article
Full-text available
Logistical inefficiencies can be assimilated to taxes. In fact, in the case of Italy, each citizen pays around 700 euros per year due to road congestion that increases noxious emissions and lengthens travel times (Confcommercio and Isfort, 2015). The externalities induced by the vehicles in the cities can be decreased by reducing the total number of...
Chapter
This paper presents a procedure for the structuring of a problem hierarchy by involving key stakeholders, rep-resenting a first step towards a participatory decision-making process. The case study regards the building of a new metro station in Catania (Italy), which will be the closest station to a high-demand district where healthcare and universi...