Archive for the ‘Transportation Planning’ Category

Mobility insights that reflect the changing world

If we could sum up the conversations we’ve had with our customers throughout this year, it would be about coping with change. For two entire years, 2020 through 2021, a previously fairly stable mobility baseline morphed into an extraordinarily dynamic, remarkably complex mosaic of travel behaviors. At first, it reflected the uncertainty of the pandemic and necessity of policy response. Many had hoped that 2022 would be the year of recovery and return to normality. What we’ve seen instead, is an evolution in mobility that can no longer be pegged to any single event or policy, rather a cacophony of influences both personal and societal in nature.

Our mobility choices reflect our own personal journeys through the pandemic and the changing economic reality. Our sense of safety and personal comfort vary immensely. Our choices do, too. Some of us have had to, or may have chosen to, go to work every day, while some have swapped commuting for remote work altogether. Many of us are still finding our own happy middle ground.

Some of us are rethinking our modal choices due to the environmental imperative to cut carbon emissions, as well as changing fuel and travel costs. As we witnessed during the recent nationwide 9-Euro-ticket initiative in Germany, which made rail transport extremely affordable over the summer, our price sensitivity when it comes to choosing public transport is, at least at the moment, very high. While this is good news for the environment, it is also reflective of the global struggle to keep up with inflation. Pinching pennies includes rethinking how we travel.

Factors influencing mobility today are many, and we believe this will continue to be the case. We cannot tell for sure whether we will be able to find a sense of calm in 2023, whether new normality will be found, or what it may look like should it arrive. What we are extremely proud of is the fact that we can measure it. Quickly, accurately and comprehensively.

The ability to understand mobility choices and how they are changing will be the superpower of savvy transportation planners in the years to come. Our mission is to be there with you every step of the way.

Throughout this year, we’ve introduced a number of new capabilities to our Matrix platform, reflective of your growing need to understand and measure mobility and many of its manifestations, provide evidence for your proposed initiatives, and most importantly, measure progress towards your goals.

Please visit our new Matrix pageMatrix page and get in touch, tell us what you think.

Teralytics for traffic models with VMZ – Webinar

New approaches to public transport planning and traffic management are needed to meet the changing mobility needs.

Traditional methods of mobility demand analysis are unable to keep up with the pace of change. They are also not fully representative – non-commuter traffic and journeys from adjacent areas are rarely adequately captured.

VMZ, Berlin-based transport consultancy, is working with Teralytics to break new ground and build reliable and representative traffic models with the use of up-to-date mobility insights available on demand.

In this webinar, Georg Polzer, co-founder of Teralytics, and Siegurd Müller, demand and public transport modeling expert at VMZ, demonstrate how to effectively incorporate latest mobility insights into your traffic models, prioritize actions, and track progress.

Watch the recording here. (Note: the video is in German language only.)

If you are interested in how Teralytics’ mobility insights can help you understand mobility demand and manage transport planning, please get in touch.

Teralytics for SPNV Planning – Webinar

How can local transit authorities use insights from mobile data to understand mobility needs and how they change over time?

What is the advantage of this always-on, comprehensive view of mobility over traditional approaches to mobility analytics?

Listen to our webinar to learn how NAH.SH GmbH, the public transport authority for the Schleswig-Holstein region of Germany, and Intraplan, a renowned German transport consultancy, apply the Teralytics approach to mobility analysis to make important transport planning decisions.

Watch the recording from the webinar in this video (note: the video is in German):

If you are interested in how Teralytics’ mobility insights can help you understand mobility demand and manage transport planning, please get in touch.

The Renaissance birthplace undergoes a sustainability transformation

Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan, the EU mechanism for outcomes-focused urban mobility planning, places transportation goals in the context of broader environmental, social, and economic sustainability objectives.

Lowering atmospheric and noise pollutants, reducing road congestion, and improving road safety are among the goals that the Metropolitan City of Florence, the capital city of Italy’s Tuscany region, aims to achieve as part of its SUMP. In doing so, the city has shifted focus from traditional road traffic-oriented transportation planning towards sustainable mobility planning focused on enabling various sustainable modes of travel.

Florence released its SUMP in 2019. Three years and a global pandemic later, the city recently unveiled the outcomes of the first SUMP monitoring, coinciding with European Mobility Week 2022 at the end of September.

Using Teralytics’ mobility demand analysis and in collaboration with Pro, the Metropolitan City of Florence aimed to assess the impact of the actions planned in the SUMP as well as to quantify the effects of the pandemic on mobility demand both at the overall level and in terms of its modal distribution among the various transport systems (private vehicles, public transport, and active mobility).

The analysis of mobility demand in the region covered a period of two years, from November 2019 through November 2021. During this time, Florence experienced an overall reduction in weekday mobility of 23 percent and 28 percent on weekends. These findings are consistent with the city’s ticket data for its tram network – which saw a drop in ridership of 33 percent. Many findings are consistent with the COVID-19 impact on urban areas across the globe, with road traffic increasing slightly while public transport usage contracted.

Biennial monitoring of the SUMP and its updating every 5 years are necessary to assess the effectiveness of the actions planned, but it is also necessary to understand how new ways of organizing work (smart working, hybrid modes) affect and change the mobility system. This issue has become even more important, in light of the events exogenous to the transportation system, to verify, integrate, and modify planned actions for increasing transportation sustainability.

Naples: Vision for the future starts with understanding the present

The third largest metropolitan area in Italy, Naples is also the country’s most densely populated urban environment. In order to tackle congestion and pollution from road traffic, Naples has sought to create a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan, a strategic approach to transport planning which, following the EU Guidelines, places emphasis on integration and efficient use of mobility resources.

As a goal, sustainable transportation is a sum of a number of interconnected objectives. Promoting a modal shift from car to public transport, connecting transport links more efficiently to meet the shifting mobility needs of its population, encouraging more people to travel by bike or on foot – are all priorities that Naples metropolitan area authorities wish to consider in creating an intelligent, better accessible mobility system.

In order to evaluate how the transport network is currently used by the Naples inhabitants and those who commute or travel to it, the authorities turned to Teralytics to understand the overall mobility demand.

In partnership with the working group that takes care of SUMP elaboration of the Metropolitan City of Naples – Sintagma, TPS Pro and TRT Ingegneria – Teralytics’ mobility analysis makes it possible for Naples to identify key areas where it can introduce change and influence mobility behaviours most effectively.

Teralytics’ sophisticated privacy-first approach to understanding  people’s journeys and factors impacting their choices makes it possible to arrive at an accurate analysis of current mobility trends swiftly, rendering lengthy and expensive manual surveys obsolete.

“Naples’ vision for an intelligent and dynamic mobility system can serve as an inspiration for metropolitan areas around the world,” said Michele Casà, Business Development Director for Teralytics Italy. “We’re thrilled to be able to help the area’s authorities make the right choices towards a more sustainable and resilient mobility system by providing a thorough understanding of how people utilise its transport network currently.”

“This is one in a series of projects across Italy that TPS Pro has collaborated with Teralytics on,” said Nicola Murino, Technical Director, TPS Pro. “We believe that by embracing an always-on, inclusive approach to mobility analysis, our customers can understand mobility needs of their constituencies faster and in a manner better representative of everyone. In the aftermath of the pandemic and the shifts in mobility behaviours that have occurred because of it, it is clear we need a more dynamic approach to transportation planning in order to affect change.”

Teralytics DACH team grows its consultancy focus

Throughout your career you worked with a number of innovative technology providers catering to the transportation sector. What have you observed as the key challenges in transportation planning and traffic management?

Whether we are talking about planning or operational use cases in transportation, data is at the heart of all challenges and, therefore, all solutions. Without up-to-date, comprehensive understanding of mobility, it is impossible to make effective choices. This is equally true in the development of mobility concepts, as well as traffic light management.

What has drawn you to Teralytics?

About a year ago, I read about Teralytics providing nationwide mobility insights to Destatis, the German Federal Statistics Office, and to the Robert Koch Institute. These two renowned institutions were relying on Teralytics data to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 lockdown measures, and study the correlation between mobility and infection rates in different parts of Germany.

I was fascinated by this innovative use of mobility data. As luck would have it, I started the discussions with the Teralytics team shortly after and, here I am.

Tell us about your current focus in your new job role.

As a Business Development Director, I work with a range of cities, regions and transportation and engineering consultancies in the DACH region.

Consultancies are at the forefront of innovation in the mobility sector. Seeking to achieve competitive differentiation, they are also the ones expected to solve some of the most complex challenges in transportation and to adapt to the changing circumstances.

The last two pandemic years have impacted mobility and decisions related to it at every level. Consultancies are the first to understand the need to embrace new tools to improve their decision making. I’m excited for the opportunity to demonstrate our value to their projects and partner with them to execute on any number of challenging briefs.

Municipality of Brescia monitors SUMP outcomes with Teralytics insights

In 2017, Italy implemented the EU guidelines on Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs), requiring all municipalities with over 100,000 inhabitants to propose mobility strategies to promote better environmental, societal and economic outcomes in their areas. A key focus of SUMPs is the promotion of sustainable modes of transport in order to lower transport’s environmental impact.

The Municipality of Brescia, which is at the forefront of the SUMPs initiative, approved the implementation of its sustainable mobility plan in 2018. The city has now chosen to partner with Teralytics, applying its innovative technology to monitor traffic trends and understand mobility demand over time.

“Unlike many cities that have yet to adopt a SUMP, in our case the challenge is to build a monitoring system,” says Federico Manzoni, Councillor for Mobility Policies in the Municipality of Brescia. “This is necessary for us to better understand current trends, identify critical issues, and analyse response capacity of existing and planned infrastructures and services. Teralytics’ support in this activity is particularly valuable to us.”

Building resilient transportation systems is key to urban recovery

How can we make cities more resilient to disruptive events? Teralytics is proud to be a part of a three-year MOTUS initiative funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, which aims to create a set of recommendations to help cities build and maintain sustainable transportation networks.

Teralytics will contribute to the creation of a data-driven simulation platform, which will enable cities to analyse the impact of disruptive events on their transportation systems and identify effective solutions.

Join us for the virtual launch of the project on:

Wednesday, 26th January 2022
1:30-3 pm CET

You will have an opportunity to learn more about the project and ways to participate. To register, please email Lara Westphal at [email protected].

For more information about the project, please see here.

Implementing the new national bus strategy: Know your evidence base

England’s new national bus strategy, Bus Back Better, sets out to revitalise bus services, placing expectations on Local Transport Authorities (LTAs) to come up with initiatives that will make travelling by bus appealing to more people.

At its core, it seeks to grow bus ridership as part of the solution to free communities from congestion and make meaningful steps towards reducing carbon emissions at a national level.

While the Net Zero goal isn’t new, the pandemic has thrown the public transportation sector into a new uncertainty, making it harder to know what to expect. Bus Back Better therefore presents a significant challenge for LTAs, but one that comes at exactly the right time.

Public transportation has been hit hard by lockdowns and people’s reluctance to travel in close proximity to others. The UK has witnessed a significant shift from public transport to private cars.  Bus journeys, in particular, are still at about 60 percent of their pre-pandemic levels outside London.

With limited budgets and time to introduce changes across their bus networks, LTAs may feel they are facing an impossible task to grow bus ridership quickly.

Where to start?
Put simply, the Bus Back Better strategy aims to grow bus ridership. But, depending on the size of the population, the geography, and the current state of their bus network, each LTA will have different needs, and should therefore define their success factors to fit their circumstances.

“The key thing to begin with is a sound evidence base that allows you to understand what your starting point is and what your options may be,” commented WSP’s Mike Holmes. “In order for your strategy to be deliverable, it has to be credible.

“For metropolitan areas, relieving congestion and ensuring 24-hour bus timetable coverage may be the key goals. For some rural areas, on the other hand, ensuring better accessibility is the starting point. Having one bus per hour may be the right measure of success initially.”

Teralytics’ Matthew Bragg commented: “The LTAs and bus operators have a lot of questions at the moment. Even outside the expectations of the national bus strategy, the effects of the pandemic are still unfolding. Knowing which routes may start to see changes in traffic volumes, shifts across modes of transport, or changes in peak travel times – are all critical insights needed to make bus services more accessible, better integrated and overall, more profitable.”

Potential solutions may be obvious – for example, provide more radial routes to city centres or extend timetable coverage, but where does one start?

“The reason our customers are turning to our digital platform to analyse mobility insights from mobile network data is the need to understand what mobility looks like right now, rather than some time ago,” said Bragg.

“At the time of the 2011 Census, before the one just completed, there was no Uber, no iPad, no ticketing systems running on phones. Technology has shaped what’s possible in transportation, and new solutions are enabling authorities to understand what works for them and identify viable new business cases.”

Holmes added: “It is indisputable that intelligence driven systems, such as that of Teralytics, speed up the ability to act on demand. Unimaginable previously.

“There is a tangible sense of pressure with the approaching October deadline to submit plans and to have everything lined up by April 2022. The formation of the evidence base is critical for this process to be meaningful. In our work with clients, we must understand what is the current situation, how it may differ from the past, and where we want to be in the future.

“It’s important not to attempt to tackle all the goals outlined in the Strategy, rather to start with what can realistically drive change given the resources at hand.

“Target those areas that you know, based on your evidence base, are going to grow patronage, influence sustainability, and grow  revenue over time. While best practice examples are available, success will most likely be derived from a set of measures unique to your situation,” concluded Holmes.

Holmes and Bragg agree that LTAs should think of next April as a starting line. The Department of Transport has already made it clear that they will expect LTAs to iterate on their plans year-on-year. Make sure you’re off to the best start you can have by knowing what mobility needs your bus network can realistically cater to.

Knowing the answers to these questions now will help you shape the optimal bus strategy for your area.

Watch our webinar (recording) to find out how you can:

Get in touch to find out how Teralytics can help you optimise your bus network. Contact us.

Introducing Teralytics Streets

Cities can now plan and optimise traffic flows using a complete view of traffic data across their road networks.

Enabling people to travel from A to B free of traffic gridlocks, potholes and with access to decent road services is complex enough in and of itself. However, traffic management has long ceased to be about traffic alone. The imperatives to reduce carbon emissions and create communities that can be sustained long into the future have made traffic management a function of something even greater – promoting economic activity without compromising the planet.

A multitude of tools and data sources is available to cities and consultants who are tackling this challenge, but most of these fall short. The essential piece of the puzzle needed to understand, manage and influence traffic has remained elusive: up-to-date and complete traffic volumes across any road network.

It sounds simple, but it is not. Municipalities spend large proportions of their budgets on field surveys and detection hardware to collect traffic counts. By nature, they cannot be up-to-date and are never comprehensive. Beyond traffic counts, insights such as routes driven between points of interest have traditionally been beyond the means of all but the largest of city budgets.

Towards the end of last year, Teralytics partnered with four German cities and counties to tackle this challenge head-on and create a tool that is both accessible and can deliver fresh, complete insights where other technologies cannot.

With our highly representative, population-level mobility insights drawn from anonymised mobile network data of our telecom partners, and our expertise in agent-based modeling – we knew we were uniquely positioned to find a way to make reliable traffic volumes and routing information available on demand.

Alongside our Beta partners – Cloppenburg, Vechta, Werder and Wolfsburg – our team embarked on a series of interactive workshops to understand cities’ policy priorities, planning needs and workflow processes. Nothing was off the table – data input, product functionality and interface design were all considered in depth.

Today, I’m pleased to present Teralytics Streets as an outcome of this incredible collaboration.

Teralytics Streets allows planners to optimise traffic flows through instant access to street-by-street traffic volumes and trip patterns that occur any specific time of day or day of the week. It incorporates origin-destination and routing information, per road segment and direction. We sought to make it easy for cities to analyse temporal and spatial elements of traffic, zoom into recent traffic data, go back in time and compare dates, as needed. In short, Teralytics Streets allows for the traffic data to be analysed and visualised at the click of a button.

Our launch in many ways is the beginning of a journey. We plan to work with existing and new partners to add functionalities and create solutions that address the requirements of different geographies and mobility challenges.

If you’re interested in taking part, please get in touch.