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Public transport service planning

Service planning is one of the most important aspects of public transport. Here’s how mobility planners can speed up and improve this process, while minimizing the uncertainties that accompany it.   

What is public transport service planning? 

Public transport service planning consists of network design and timetable planning. The goal is to achieve a good public transport supply for the passengers, with minimum effort for the operator.  

Through public transport service planning, operators can tackle some of the most common challenges to their operations, such as:  

  • Overcrowded busses in the morning due to transport of pupils  
  • Passengers missing connections at certain stops because of delays  
  • Adjusting bus and train services during construction works at bridges and roads  
  • How to shorten bus lines when an adjacent tram line is extended  

Software for public transport service planning  

Like in many other areas of mobility, software can greatly improve public transport service planning and speed up the digitization.  

With software, public transport planners can combine multiple scenarios, integrate data from other departments, and present plans to stakeholders.  

Compared to manual methods like pen-and-paper or Excel, modeling in specialized software helps public transport operators to speed up service planning and better predict how changes will affect the network.       

The recent pandemic highlighted the benefits of modeling in public transport service planning: Extensive adjustments to timetables could be made at short notice due to health or cost requirements, with less errors. 

PTV Group software for service planning  

PTV Group offers two software for public transport service planning:

PTV Lines PTV Visum

PTV Lines for public transport service planning 

PTV Lines is an easy-to-use web-based platform for public transport planning. It provides planners with all functionalities for a rapid design and modification of new and existing public transport supplies. 

With PTV Lines, planners easily import the current network and timetables, adjust the supply, and instantly see the effects. Building and duplicating scenarios is simple, so multiple scenarios can be investigated.

The results are presented as digitalized timetables. They can be exported to PTV Visum for further investigation or imported into an operational system. 

PTV Lines supports effective collaboration: Planners can share the results with all other relevant departments and stakeholders.  

PTV Lines also enables service planners to do the following:  

  • Upload supply data in different formats 
  • Create and compare numerous scenarios 
  • See on-the-fly calculated run times during sketching or editing of line routes 
  • Change dwell and run times of line routes in a simple schematic view 
  • Timetable editing 
  • Predict operation costs and supply KPIs 

Try PTV Lines now

PTV Visum for public transport service planning

PTV Visum is the world's leading transport planning software. It is the standard for macroscopic simulations and modelling of mobility networks, including public transport. PTV Visum is used worldwide for the development of transport strategies and solutions.  

For public transport service planning, PTV Visum models urban transport supply in detail. The main advantage of PTV Visum is its multimodal approach: It predicts how measures in public transport will affect other modes of mobility.  

PTV Visum takes demand into account. In addition to modeling the supply and the costs, it also calculates ridership - and the resulting benefits, such reduction in car use.  

Planners also use PTV Visum to rate measures, which is often a condition to get funding. The software supports the official German method of doing cost/benefit studies.  

Another key feature of PTV Visum is detailed modeling of transfers and connections. The dedicated transit data model depicts realistic behavior.  

Explore PTV Visum now

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