Conference PaperPDF Available

Regional public transport acessibility - case of Koroška region, Slovenia

Authors:
  • Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia

Abstract and Figures

Public transport plays a major role in sustainable mobility planning. This is even more obvious on regional level, where distances are often too long for cycling, therefore public transport remains only viable sustainable travel mode. In the process of preparation of regional SUMP, evaluation of accessibility is one of crucial steps. However, accessibility measurement can be a challenging task. In Slovenia, there have been several studies measuring frequency and access to closest stop, ignoring travel speed and destinations that could be reached. However rapid increase in computing power, software development and availability of schedule data in GTFS format, opened an opportunity to evaluate accessibility more precisely. We performed an analysis for Koroška region in Slovenia. Accessibility was measured in both directions for all inhabited cells in a grid resolution of one hectare and central settlements of intermunicipal importance. The results of the analysis are important in terms of understanding how many citizens can access settlements of intermunicipal importance with public transport. This will serve as a baseline measure in regional SUMP preparation and will enable future iterations and comparisons. It also enables us to see the gaps in public transport supply and propose improvements. Method is universal and could be used for accessibility measurement in other regions and countries.
Content may be subject to copyright.
●●●
349
8th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
’’TOWARDS A HUMANE CITY‘‘
New Mobility Challenges
Novi Sad 11th and 12th November 2021
Simon Koblar, MSc1
E-mail: simonk@uirs.si
1 Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia
REGIONAL PUBLIC TRANSPORT ACCESSIBILITY CASE OF
KOROŠKA REGION, SLOVENIA
Key Words
Abstract
Accessibility
Public transport
SUMP
Koroška
Public transport plays a major role in sustainable mobility
planning. This is even more obvious on regional level, where
distances are often too long for cycling, therefore public
transport remains only viable sustainable travel mode. In the
process of preparation of regional SUMP, evaluation of
accessibility is one of crucial steps. However, accessibility
measurement can be a challenging task. In Slovenia, there
have been several studies measuring frequency and access to
closest stop, ignoring travel speed and destinations that could
be reached. However rapid increase in computing power,
software development and availability of schedule data in GTFS
format, opened an opportunity to evaluate accessibility more
precisely. We performed an analysis for Koroška region in
Slovenia. Accessibility was measured in both directions for all
inhabited cells in a grid resolution of one hectare and central
settlements of intermunicipal importance. The results of the
analysis are important in terms of understanding how many
citizens can access settlements of intermunicipal importance
with public transport. This will serve as a baseline measure in
regional SUMP preparation and will enable future iterations and
comparisons. It also enables us to see the gaps in public
transport supply and propose improvements. Method is
universal and could be used for accessibility measurement in
other regions and countries.
●●●
350
1. INTRODUCTION
Public transport is one of the key sustainable mobility modes, especially on longer
distances. It also plays important part in preparation of regional SUMP. Important
step in planning public transport networks is measurement of accessibility that
current network provides. Different methods are used to measure accessibility [1],
[2]. In Slovenia several studies measured infrastructure-based accessibility [3][7].
Disadvantage of these type of indicators is focus on accessibility from the origin to
the public transit service, thus ignoring travel speed and reachable destinations [8].
To date, no study in Slovenia included public transport travel times in accessibility
measurements. In the paper we present measurement of accessibility to settlements
with at least intermunicipal importance by public transport, including access to transit
station, in-vehicle time, potential transfer time and walking to destination. We did not
choose to weight different parts of travel time as did some studies [9], because we
wanted a simple to understand indicator, that would be used as a baseline
measurement in the process of SUMP preparation and communication with
stakeholders.
2. METHODOLOGY
Paper focuses on measurement of accessibility with public transport to settlements
of at least intermunicipal importance in Koroška region, Slovenia. Koroška had
70,253 inhabitants in year 2019 [10]. Train and regional bus connections are
available. Settlements with at least intermunicipal importance were chosen because
they provide enough public and private services [11]. In Koroška this are Dravograd
and Ravne na Koroškem with intermunicipal importance and Slovenj Gradec with
regional importance. Population data for year 2019 in one hectare grid was retrieved
from Statistical office [12]. Public transport schedule data for intercity bus
connections and trains in GTFS format for year 2019 was provided by Ministry of
infrastructure. Pedestrian network was retrieved from OpenStreetMap [13]. Data
preparation and maps were created in QGIS open-source GIS software.
OpenTripPlanner [14] in combination with python script [15] was used to measure
travel times. Aggregation and statistical analysis of the travel times was performed
in Microsoft Access.
Travel times with public transport were measured in two directions between
inhabited grid cells to 58 settlements in Slovenia with at least intermunicipal
importance. Calculation for whole Slovenia was needed to enable comparison of
accessibility in Koroška to national average. Total walking distance was limited to
2000 m. Travel times to regional centres were calculated for departures between
6:00 and 8:00 and back from 14:00 and 16:00. We wanted to represent best case
scenario with flexible departure times and predicted that passengers would check
timetable before arriving at the stop. Therefore, we calculated departures every 15
minutes and subtracted initial wait time. For each origin-destination pair, shortest
travel time for each direction was used to calculate average travel time. Calculation
in both directions was needed, because in rural areas with low frequency, direct
●●●
351
connection or connection with short transfer time is sometimes only available in one
direction.
3. RESULTS
In the process of SUMP preparation for Koroška region, travel times for Koroška
region were analysed in detail. Some statistics were also calculated on a national
level, which enabled us to put the result into the national context. Figure 1 shows
catchment areas of settlements with intermunicipal importance. Red colour
represent areas that are not accessible within 120 minutes of travel, or require more
than 2000 m of walking in each direction.
Figure 1. Catchment areas by public transport travel time
Accessibility to regional centre (Slovenj Gradec) is shown in table 1. Only inhabitants
of Koroška region are included.
Table 1. Number of inhabitants by travel times with public transport to Slovenj Gradec
travel time - minutes
inhabitants
share of inhabitants
up to 45
30.173
43 %
4590
25.305
36 %
90120
952
1 %
more than 120 or inaccessible
13.823
20 %
SUM
70.253
100 %
Table 2 shows travel times for inhabitants of Koroška region to three settlements in
Koroška with at least intermunicipal importance - Slovenj Gradec, Dravograd and
Ravne na Koroškem by public transport.
●●●
352
Table 2. Accessibility of Koroška residents to closest intermunicipal centre by public
transport.
inhabitants
share of inhabitants
53,836
77 %
4,206
6 %
192
0 %
12,019
17 %
70,253
100 %
Figure 2. Travel times with public transport to cities with at least intermunicipal importance
Figure 2 shows travel times for residents of Koroška with public transport to closest
settlement with at least intermunicipal importance. Note that closest centre can be
outside of Koroška region – see figure 1.
4. DISCUSSION
Slovenj Gradec as a regional center can be reached in 45 minutes by public transport
by 43 % of inhabitants of Koroška region, which is significantly lower than 77 % that
can reach centers with at least intermunicipal importance. Nevertheless 80 % of
Koroška residents can reach Sovenj Gradec by public transport. For services that
are not needed daily even a longer travel time is better than no accessibility. For
services needed daily, intermunicipal centers play a major role. Spatial distribution
of three intermunicipal centers is enabling public transport travel times under 45
minutes for 77 % of inhabitants, compared to 81 % on national level. Only 17 % of
inhabitants of Koroška region can’t reach intermunicipal centers. Considering rugged
terrain, accessibility to intermunicipal centres in Koroška is sufficient. All valleys and
major settlements have public transport connections available. Areas outside of
●●●
353
valleys are so sparsely populated, that it is not viable to provide a regular public
transit. These areas could be served by on-demand service and/or integration of
school bus lines to regular public transport as feeder lines to existing bus and train
connections.
Public transport service areas are quite evenly distributed between Slovenj Gradec,
Ravne na Koroškem and Dravograd see figure 1. This enables lower travel times
to closest center. Therefore, it is vitally important, that Dravograd and Ravne na
Koroškem provide enough public services and amenities. Municipality of Podvelka
in the eastern part of the region has better connections with Ruše, that lie in
Podravska region, which shows a discrepancy between traffic region and NUTS 3
region. Podvelka should therefore be included or at least considered in preparation
of SUMP for Podravska region.
Despite relatively good accessibility, there is still room for improvement. Especially
with train connection, which is outdated and does not enable sufficient speeds. But
train has a great potential, since it is independent of any traffic jams. Another
opportunity is cross border connection to Bleiburg, Austria, where Koralm railway
connecting Graz and Klagenfurt is under construction.
New infrastructure is also planned on Slovenian side, but in this case a new
motorway between Velenje and Slovenj Gradec is being built. This provides
opportunity to organize new express bus lines, but existing bus lines passing through
settlements should remain active to maintain current accessibility level.
5. CONCLUSION
Measurement of public transport travel times proved to be useful and easy to
understand indicator, which was used for the purpose of regional SUMP preparation.
Results showed that residents of Koroška have a relatively good connectivity to
regional centres, especially if we consider roughed terrain. However, this does not
ensure high usage of public transport since travel time with private car is still more
competitive. Our use case is also not representative for whole population, since we
measured public transport travel times only in a best-case scenario. Moreover, some
services are not available close to the city centers, and therefore require more
walking time. The question remains, how to organise public transport, once the new
expressway will be built. Settlements that lie by existing regional road should
maintain same level of service. New express lines that would use newly bult
expressway can reduce travel times for longer distance travel. However, travel time
with public transport will still be slower than by car due to lover maximum speed of
busses. Proposed methodology could be also used in other regions, since it relies
on standardized GTFS data and OpenStreetMap data which is available world-wide.
REFERENCES
[1] A. Malekzadeh and E. Chung, ‘A review of transit accessibility models:
Challenges in developing transit accessibility models’, International Journal
●●●
354
of Sustainable Transportation, vol. 14, no. 10, pp. 733748, Aug. 2020, doi:
10.1080/15568318.2019.1625087.
[2] K. T. Geurs and B. van Wee, ‘Accessibility evaluation of land-use and
transport strategies: review and research directions’, Journal of Transport
Geography, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 127140, Jun. 2004, doi:
10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2003.10.005.
[3] M. Gabrovec and D. Bole, ‘Dostopnost do avtobusnih postajališč’,
Geografski vestnik, vol. 78, no. 2, pp. 3951, 2006.
[4] [4] J. Kozina, ‘Modeliranje prostorske dostopnosti do postajališč
javnega potniškega prometa v Ljubljani’, Geografski vestnik, vol. 82, pp. 97
107, 2010.
[5] M. Gabrovec and N. Razpotnik Visković, ‘Dostopnost do javnega potniškega
prometa kot pogoj za socialno vključenost dijakov’, Geografski vestnik, vol.
90, no. 2, pp. 109120, 2018.
[6] J. Tiran, L. Mladenovič, and S. Koblar, ‘Dostopnost do javnega potniškega
prometa v Ljubljani po metodi PTAL’, Geodetski vestnik, vol. 59, no. 4, pp.
723735, 2015.
[7] A. Zavodnik Lamovšek, M. Čeh, and U. Košir, ‘Analiza dostopnosti
prebivalcev do javnih dejavnosti z medkrajevnim avtobusnim potniškim
prometom’, in Geografski informacijski sistemi v Sloveniji 2009-2010, D.
Perko and D. Perko, Eds. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, 2010, pp. 251260.
[Online]. Available: https://omp.zrc-sazu.si/zalozba/catalog/view
/649/2733/214-2
[8] S. Kaplan, D. Popoks, C. G. Prato, and A. (Avi) Ceder, ‘Using connectivity
for measuring equity in transit provision’, Journal of Transport Geography,
vol. 37, pp. 8292, May 2014, doi: 10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2014.04.016.
[9] B. Tahmasbi and H. Haghshenas, ‘Public transport accessibility measure
based on weighted door to door travel time’, Computers, Environment and
Urban Systems, vol. 76, pp. 163177, Jul. 2019, doi:
10.1016/j.compenvurbsys.2019.05.002.
[10] ‘SiStat’, Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, 2019.
https://pxweb.stat.si/SiStat (accessed Mar. 18, 2020).
[11] J. Nared et al., ‘Central settlements in Slovenia in 2016’, Acta geographica
Slovenica, vol. 57, no. 2, Art. no. 2, Jan. 2017, doi: 10.3986/AGS.4606.
[12] ‘SURS STAGE’, SURS STAGE, 2019. https://gis.stat.si/ (accessed Aug. 26,
2019).
[13] OpenStreetMap’, OpenStreetMap, 2021. https://www.openstreetmap.org/
copyright (accessed Sep. 15, 2021).
[14] ‘OpenTripPlanner’. https://www.opentripplanner.org/ (accessed Aug. 05,
2019).
[15] R. H. M. Pereira and L. Grégoire, Tutorial with reproducible example to
estimate a travel time matrix using OpenTripPlanner and Python. 2019. doi:
10.5281/ZENODO.3242134.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Article
Full-text available
This article presents central settlements in Slovenia and their main characteristics in 2016. We defined central settlements based on services of general interest and the population of an individual settlement, and developed the analysis further by using competitiveness indicators. We defined 360 central settlements at six levels of centrality, among which the significance of Ljubljana as a national center of international importance and the significance of intermunicipal, local, and rural centers are increasing. The significance of certain regional centers at the second and third levels of centrality is decreasing. The level of services of general interest supplied to Slovenian territory is relatively appropriate, but it should be improved by promoting competitiveness, especially in centers of national and regional importance. © 2017, Anton Melik Geographical Institute. All Rights Reserved.
Chapter
Full-text available
V pričujočem prispevku je predstavljena uporaba metode PTAL (Public transport accessibility level), s katero smo na območju mesta Ljubljane izračunali koeficient dostopnosti do javnega potniškega prometa. V koeficient je poleg prostorske dostopnosti do avtobusnih postajališč vključena tudi pogostnost voženj avtobusov posameznih linij na posamezna postajališča. Koeficient PTAL je kljub nekaterim pomanjkljivostim neposredno uporaben v prostorskem načrtovanju kot podlaga za določanje primerne gostote gradnje in parkirnih standardov. Rezultati lahko služijo tudi kot podlaga za optimiziranje omrežja avtobusnih linij. The article presents the use of the PTAL (Public transport accessibility level) method, which was used to calculate the coefficient of accessibility to public transport in the city of Ljubljana. In addition to the spatial accessibility to the bus stops, the coefficient includes the frequency of bus rides to individual bus stops. Despite its shortcomings, the PTAL coefficient is directly applicable to spatial planning as the basis for determining the appropriate residential density and parking standards. The result can also be used as the basis for optimising the bus line network.
Article
Full-text available
The article deals with spatial accessibility to public transport stops in Ljubljana. To this end, we determined accessibility through two different methods (buffer analysis and the actual distance analysis), based on the use of geographical information systems. A comparison of the usefulness and reliability of both methods lies at the heart of reading. Buffer analysis has proven to be a faster and simpler method, while actual distance analysis has shown a greater degree of reliability and accuracy. Within the actual distance of 300 m, 400 m and 500 m from bus stops resident 59%, 75% and 84% of the population of the city of Ljubljana according to the later method.
Article
The increasing traffic congestion and pollution in cities is seriously threatening the livability and development of urban areas. As a result, the growing importance of transit accessibility is attracting considerable attention among researchers in transport planning, urban geography and sustainable development. To help solve these increasingly serious issues, public transport studies related to transit network design, transit system evaluation, land use, and transport planning in cities require accurate transit accessibility measurements. The past three decades have seen a burgeoning body of research on transit accessibility, and numerous models have been developed to measure transit accessibility for different purposes. This comprehensive review explores the existing transit accessibility models and highlights their practical advantages and drawbacks from different perspectives to help researchers and transport planners employ the most suitable models to counter mounting traffic threats. Accordingly, this review seeks to answer the following questions. What are the major challenges in developing transit accessibility models? What are the potential research directions to address these challenges? Why have different researchers developed different models for measuring transit accessibility in cities? How important is it to estimate travel impedance or attractiveness of opportunities accurately? Finally, what are the important criteria for developing future transit accessibility models? To deliver its outcomes and answer these questions, this paper reviews transit accessibility models under three main categories: system accessibility, system-facilitated accessibility and access to destinations.
Article
Providing accessibility by public transportation is one of the main concerns in sustainable transportation development. An appropriate accessibility index should not only take transportation and land use into account but also the people who want to attend activities via the transport system. Travel time as the most common variable is used to indicate the role of transportation. A trip with public transport includes different parts: walking from the origin point to the bus stop or from the bus stop to the destination point, waiting for the bus to arrive, and in-vehicle time. These different parts have different weight values for passengers which affect their tendency towards traveling by public transportation. In this paper, a GIS-based multimodal gravity model is developed based on the weighted door to door travel time to compute accessibility by public transportation. Five main distinct urban activities including employment, education, healthcare, shop, recreation opportunities, and services are considered and the accessibility of the target population at the census block level to these destinations through public transportation is computed. In the next step, in order to consider all activities together and report a single unique index, the five computed accessibility indices are integrated into a composite index using a principal component analysis (PCA). The integrated accessibility measure helps to get an insight into the relative distribution of the benefits of public transportation and its interaction with the land use. The proposed method is applied to the City of Isfahan in Iran. The results indicate where places, for each activity and in overall, would benefit from the better land use and public transportation interaction and where regions would suffer from low accessibility level. This work provides a methodological framework as a tool for measuring the performance of public transportation and its interaction with the land use pattern.
Article
This study proposes the assessment of equity in transit provision by using transit connectivity as a comprehensive impedance measure. Transit connectivity considers in-vehicle time, access/egress times, waiting time, service reliability, frequency, and ‘seamless’ transfers along multi-modal paths. In addition, transit connectivity weighs the impedance components according to their relative importance to travelers. The assessment of equity was performed for the multi-modal transit system in the Greater Copenhagen Area, renowned for its transit-oriented finger-plan. The assessment method used a GIS representation of the network (i.e., service lines, timetables, metro stations, train stations, and bus stops), and transit assignment results (i.e., level-of-service times, passenger flows). The assessment method proved effective in calculating location-based and potential-accessibility measures and Gini coefficients of inequality in the Greater Copenhagen Area. Results show that the transit-oriented development contributes to spatial equity with high connectivity in densely populated zones, vertical equity with comparable connectivity in high income and low income zones, inter-generational equity with good connectivity provision for students to higher-education and job opportunities. Also, results show that the north-west ‘finger’ is less equitable with lower connectivity for low population density and lower connectivity to higher-education opportunities regardless of the high number of students.
Article
A review of accessibility measures is presented for assessing the usability of these measures in evaluations of land-use and transport strategies and developments. Accessibility measures are reviewed using a broad range of relevant criteria, including theoretical basis, interpretability and communicability, and data requirements of the measures. Accessibility impacts of land-use and transport strategies are often evaluated using accessibility measures, which researchers and policy makers can easily operationalise and interpret, such as travelling speed, but which generally do not satisfy theoretical criteria. More complex and disaggregated accessibility measures, however, increase complexity and the effort for calculations and the difficulty of interpretation. The current practice can be much improved by operationalising more advanced location-based and utility-based accessibility measures that are still relatively easy to interpret for researchers and policy makers, and can be computed with state-of-the-practice data and/or land-use and transport models. Research directions towards theoretically more advanced accessibility measures point towards the inclusion of individual's spatial–temporal constraints and feedback mechanisms between accessibility, land-use and travel behaviour. Furthermore, there is a need for theoretical and empirical research on relationships between accessibility, option values and non-user benefits, and the measurement of different components of accessibility.
Dostopnost do avtobusnih postajališč
  • M Gabrovec
  • D Bole
M. Gabrovec and D. Bole, 'Dostopnost do avtobusnih postajališč', Geografski vestnik, vol. 78, no. 2, pp. 39-51, 2006.
Analiza dostopnosti prebivalcev do javnih dejavnosti z medkrajevnim avtobusnim potniškim prometom
  • A Lamovšek
  • M Čeh
  • U Košir
A. Zavodnik Lamovšek, M. Čeh, and U. Košir, 'Analiza dostopnosti prebivalcev do javnih dejavnosti z medkrajevnim avtobusnim potniškim prometom', in Geografski informacijski sistemi v Sloveniji 2009-2010, D. Perko and D. Perko, Eds. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, 2010, pp. 251-260. [Online]. Available: https://omp.zrc-sazu.si/zalozba/catalog/view /649/2733/214-2