عنوان مقاله [English]
Public Transportation as one of the most popular transition modes in cities provides numerous benefits for cities and their citizens. Passengers of public transportation have got the chance to take advantage of cheaper, safer and more reliable trips than other modes of public transportation. Bus as one of the public transportation modes not only have got many fans in cities but needs the least amount of capitalisation as well, it is not dependent on any specific routes, and therefore it could be developed or changed easily. Moreover, buses occupy fewer areas of the streets and public spaces in comparison to cars what make them more suitable for cities. Consequently, reducing the use of private cars and boosting the use of public transportation is considered as a significant goal for solving the problems which are related to intra-urban transportation. One of the ways which is emphasised with scholars of transportation to reduce the traffic is enhancing the quality and efficiency of public transportation and buses. In fact, a bus route is efficient when it has the highest demands with the lowest use of resources. The bus system of Mashhad plays a prominent role in transporting people. This system is daily used by about 1.5 million passengers. Among these routes, there are some routes which overlap each other or with the first line of LRT. This overlap may affect routes’ performance and efficiency because they are giving services to the same parts of the city and consequently they may cause the reduction of passengers of other routes what can give rise to the low efficiency of them. The low efficiency of a bus route reduces the economic returns for national or private investors as well as increase the demand for using private cars which not only affect traffic but also make the pollution even worse. Therefore, current research through a comprehensive view aims to study the efficiency and performance of eleven routes of the bus system in Mashhad which are located on the VekilAbad-Qadir axis. Hence, the question which this study is looking for to answer is: How efficient are the bus routes in the VekilAbad-Qadir axis and what factors do affect their efficiency or inefficiency?
To evaluate the efficiency of bus routes, a comprehensive view is considered to encompass the benefit of the system administrator, passenger and community. Therefore it is tried to avoid just considering economic factors. Eleven routes with the most amount of overlapping with each other and LRT which are located in the VekilAbad-Qadir axis are studied here, and their data belongs to 2012, 2013 and the first nine months of 2014. For evaluating the efficiency of so-called routes, two primary methods have been used. First, the efficiency of routes has been evaluated based on a system administrator’s look through envelopment analysis data. This method tends to have the most amount of output in exchange for the least amount of input. Then, the efficiency of routes has been evaluated through a multi-criteria decision-making method. Therefore, at first some criteria and indicators were extracted through literature, then through an Entropy analysis the criteria and indicator were weighted, and in the end, the efficiency and performance of the route were studied through a Topsis analysis.
Findings of DEA analysis indicate that line 10, 38.1 and 94 are considered as the most efficient bus routes. This is while some routes like 71.1 have experienced an increase in their efficiency and some routes like 18.1 have faced with a fall in their efficiency. Therefore changes in performance indicators which are usually made by those who are in authority can be considered as a double-edged sword. Findings of the comprehensive view support previous findings and suggest that a bus route can be efficient in case of economic and comprehensive view as well.
Results indicate that there is a direct relationship between the performance and efficiency of bus routes and the number of passengers who use the bus as a mode of public transportation. It means that inappropriate performance of bus routes can lead to the increase of private cars usage. The relation between the economic efficiency and overall performance can help authorities to improve the performance of bus routes with regarding the agency revenues and acting more sustainable and comprehensive in some projects like developing a new route or merging them.
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