Please share your responses to the unit 6 questions here.
Unit 6: Data processing and analysis in public transport
At the Municipal Transport Service: La Paz-Bus, there is not an official part of the organization that is devoted to make forecasts; it is an activity that has been undertaken by designated transport planners as part of their duties in the Operation Department.
In order to create a Transport Forecast Unit, I would do the following activities: First recognizing the utility of making research in secondary data, but also analyzing the possibility to relevate primary data with validated methodologies that will assure data relevance in order to make the demand forecast of La Paz-Bus that will allow the system´s growth. In this matter, it is crucial recognizing the importance of understanding the process and developing local institution capacity but in the framework of hiring an independent external firm that would guaranty impartiality of results. In relation to primary data gathering, the first step is to engage the private firm at the stage of questionaries’ design. In relation to secondary data gathering, current studies about the relationship between land uses and transport stops would be really helpful, so that the studies´ results can be useful to define and forecast future activities in specific bus stops and its current and future activities (e.g. Commercial activities) that will influence demand of the transport service. In this sense, I would define doing the three types of forecasts: a) Shor-term; b) Mid-term; and c) Long-term. Among these, the forecast types that have priority are short-term since they involve 6 months predictions, then it is directly related to our immediate eventual growth.
PD: Please see the attachment, it summarizes a research that can be used as secondary data for the Demand Forecast.
Preston City Council does not have a transport forecast but for example the Economic Regeneration department could be interested in conducting such research punctually for the purposes of a specific project or for the draft of new strategies of economic development for the city in which public transport plays an important role. The questions to be answered would generally be how public transport will be affected by the new measures/a new infrastructure project, how can I exploit the benefits of the new project to enhance the use of public transport and the other way round, etc.
Although we are aware this would not result in accurate forecast, we would look at external secondary data sources which show general local trends in the field of transport such as the motorisation index and its evolution over the last decade (or 5 years), the use of public transport and its evolution, the previous public transport schemes and their effects (on transport use, land use and prices, the local economy if possible), if possible at short, mid and long term, but also social data (unemployment rate, evolution of wages, etc.). This would help us having a broad idea of what should be expected at least for the short term perspective. If previous studies on effects made by public transport schemes haven’t been done, general raw data on economic trends could be useful to then find the correlation with transport changes (using factors such use of public transport on the same geographic place where the economic changes have been noticed, the duration of both changes to assess the ‘stability’ of the market, etc.).