MassDOT Research on Commuter Bus Demand, Incentives for Modal Shift and Impact on GHG Emissions


In January 2018, two UMass Transportation Center Research Affiliates, Assistant Professors Eleni Christofa, and Eric Gonzales, presented the results of the MassDOT research project Commuter Bus Demand, Incentives for Modal Shift and Impact on GHG Emissions at an Executive Briefing at the MassDOT Office of Transportation Planning (OTP). The meeting was attended by OTP and Rail & Transit Division staff with a variety of transportation expertise. This research aimed to identify corridors in the Boston metropolitan region for which new or expanded express commuter bus service could have the largest impact on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The research objectives of this project centered on:

Developing a data-based model to quantify the effect of new commuter bus service on user cost, agency cost, and GHG emissions, by accounting for changing mode shares.

Applying models to optimize potential commuter bus services and identify corridors with the greatest potential for GHG reduction.

Preliminary findings discussed at the Executive Briefing include:

Existing Models and Data centered on cost models, GHG emissions models, and mode choice models.
Status Quo Mode Share and GHG Emissions for Commuting Corridors.

Developing a Model for New Commuter Bus Service, including user and agency costs for new service.

Developing an Optimization Method to Optimize Expanded Bus Service.

Prioritizing Origin-Destination Pairs with the Greatest Reduction in GHG and the Maximum Cost Efficiency.

The final report will be available in the spring of 2018.