Press Release 022/2021

Potential Savings: 55,000 Car Kilometers per Week in the Region

KIT’s Transport Experts Simulate Smart Combinations of Public Transport Means and Sharing Services in Karlsruhe
2021_022_Einsparpotenzial 55 000 Autokilometer pro Woche in der Region_72dpi
Ports will help better combine public transportation with car and bicycle sharing services. (Photo: Amadeus Bramsiepe, KIT)

Combining public transport means, such as busses and trains, with individual and flexible mobility services, such as car sharing or rental bicycles, may reduce car traffic in Karlsruhe and enhance environmental compatibility of transport. This was found by researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) using transport demand models. With the help of the mobiTopp model, researchers can prognosticate transport demand for any city or region worldwide and model the activities and routes of all inhabitants precisely to the minute.

The regiomove project creates the organizational, technical, and infrastructural requirements for the seamless use of various mobility services in the region of Karlsruhe. Using an app, citizens can select the means of transportation that are optimally adapted to their needs and routes (click, in German). Regiomove ports are built in the region to enable quick change of transportation means. “The app can reduce car traffic in Karlsruhe and increases the use of environmentally compatible, sustainable means of transportation, such as busses, trains, or bicycles,” says Dr. Martin Kagerbauer from KIT’s Institute for Transport Studies (IfV).

According to Kagerbauer, the different means of transportation can be combined by using the app or by physical connection to the ports. The ports offer information and help people decide on whether to use public transportation or car or bicycle sharing services. They also help to safely park or repair the own bicycle. In the future, taxis, shuttle busses, and e-scooters will be added, as will charging and parking facilities for electric cars. “We used our demand model mobiTopp to model the locations at which the ports have the biggest effect in the region of Karlsruhe,” Kagerbauer says.

2000 Car Trips Less Each Week

If ports to connect to public transport systems and to car and bicycle sharing services would be built in Karlsruhe and medium-sized cities in the surroundings (Baden-Baden, Bretten, Bruchsal, Graben-Neudorf, Ettlingen, Rastatt, Bühl), car kilometers in the region would be reduced by 55,000 each week. This corresponds to the annual driving performance of 250 cars. “About 2,000 car trips per week would be replaced by walks or trips using bicycles, public transportation means, or sharing services,” Kagerbauer says. The number of trips using shared bicycles would even double.

New Transport Demand Model for Most Precise Prognosis

The results were obtained by the IfV using its self-developed agent-based transport demand model mobiTopp. With the help of so-called agents that represent each individual of the about one million people living in the region, mobiTopp models individual activities and routes precisely to the minute. “We can model all routes taken in a region as well as the transportation means used and the purposes of the trips,” says Tim Wörle, IfV. “The model simulates the behavior of the entire population for a duration of one week.” For every person, the activities and routes taken at which times are modeled as a function of individual characteristics, such as age, profession, residence, and possession of a car. This yields prognoses that can be used for planning and further developing the public passenger transport network, reducing the number of private cars in the city, and combining public transportation systems, car and bicycle sharing services, and other transportation means.

mobiTopp can produce transport demand prognoses for any city or region worldwide and model the activities and routes of all inhabitants.

About regiomove

regiomove is a lighthouse project under the RegioWIN program. The project is coordinated by the Karlsruher Verkehrsverbund (KVV, Karlsruhe Transport Authority). Project partners are the KIT, the Regionalverband Mittlerer Oberrhein (Middle Upper Rhine Region), Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, INIT GmbH, Stadtmobil CarSharing, raumobil, PTV Group, FZI Research Center for Information Technology, an innovation partner of KIT, KVV, the city of Karlsruhe, and the Rastatt district administration. In the next three years, KVV will be granted funding in the total amount of EUR 6.6 million by the State of Baden-Württemberg and the European Union. Of these, about five million euros will be spent for research and development activities of the consortium. EUR 1.5 million will be used for building ports.

Further Information: (in German)

Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,800 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 22,300 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.

mxe, 10.03.2021


Monika Landgraf
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