The economic evaluation of a bicycle-sharing scheme for school and university destined commuter traffic in Stellenbosch, South Africa that is proposed as a sustainable mode of transport to relieve traffic congestion: A case study for the R44 inbound traffic from Somerset West

Ter Huurne, Dominique Andrea (2016-03)

Thesis (MScEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The traffic congestion problem in the university town of Stellenbosch, South Africa is felt by a prodigious share of its residents and commuters on a daily basis. A quantification of the status quo verified that there are simply too many vehicles on the extended Stellenbosch road network at specific hours of the day (i.e. the demand surpasses its capacity), and that long-term growth cannot be withstood. The greater part of intersections on the main roads operate at a Level of Service F, and in most instances, all probable alternative routes to a driver do not bestow any significant gain in terms of travel time and / or delay. The Stellenbosch Municipality is one of the fastest growing municipalities in the country, and peak-period traffic congestion will spread over a longer time span if capacity problems remain unresolved. Within this context, this research project proposes bicycle-sharing as a congestion-relief measure that is believed to be ‘smarter’ and more sustainable than the standard roadway capacity expansion actions. This project is an economic evaluation of a theoretical bicycle-sharing scheme for school and university destined commuter traffic in the town of Stellenbosch, with the traffic congestion along the R44 from the Somerset West direction selected as the case study. By definition, bicycle-sharing is a nonmotorised mode of transportation (NMT) for short-distance, point-to-point trips in which bicycles are made available to users on a ‘sharing’ basis. The Stellenbosch Municipality is making progress in the development of the NMT network in Stellenbosch, but whilst the efforts, no doubt, have the potential to reduce traffic congestion, they neglect the many road users with out-of-town origins and destinations. The results of an electronic questionnaire distributed to Stellenbosch school-learner parents and Stellenbosch University (SU) students and staff, in fact, revealed that the main barrier preventing these road users from making use of active transportation is that the travelling distance is too long. The proposed bicycle-sharing scheme, which is to be operated from Drop-and-Go zones (scholars) and Park-and-Rides (SU students and staff), extends NMT to these commuters. The primary objective of this research was to evaluate the economic viability of the scheme. The secondary objectives were (1) to determine the first-order benefit and cost estimates of the scheme in the form of a Net Present Value, Benefit-Cost Ratio and First Year Rate of Return, and (2) to conceptually design a premier bicycle-sharing scheme for Stellenbosch and its school and university destined distance-travellers, so as to attain high, but still realistic, values for the economic parameters. The benefits were divided into direct benefits to the users, and indirect benefits to society and the authorities. The research design comprised (1) survey-based research to identify the number of potential users per road-user group (scholars, SU students and SU staff) and their barriers to cycling, and (2) evaluative research to appraise the costs (capital, launch and implementation, as well as operating and maintenance costs), benefits (mobility, health, safety and environmental improvements) and revenue potential. The conceptual design for which the economic evaluations were performed, proposes an automatic system for which the smartphone is to be the key component. The bicycle-sharing alternative and a geometric-improvement alternative (capacity enhancement at the R44 / Van Reede intersection) were tested against the null alternative: a continuation of the existing conditions with no money invested for upgrades. Various scenarios were analysed for the bicycle-sharing alternative, relating to scheme size, ridership, fare structure and operational model modifications. A traffic demand model, i.e. a simulation, was created as part of the evaluative research (using self-conducted traffic volume counts as the input), which determined the vehicle miles travelled, vehicle hours travelled and mean system speed for each alternative and scenario. These parameters served as the input to the vehicle-operating-cost, travel-time and CO2-emission travel-cost (and eventual travel-costsaving) equations. Probe data was used to calibrate the model. For the three road-user groups scholars, SU students and SU staff, 358, 490 and 241 potential bicycleusers were identified according to specified criteria, respectively. On the whole, it can be confidently stated that bicycle-sharing is an economically viable affair for the study area. First year rates of return ranging from 0.23 to 0.88 were determined for the scheme that was believed to have a total service life of 15 years, and benefit-cost ratios between 1.38 and 9.98 were computed for the future bicycle-share users. Whilst the geometric-improvement alternative was found to be economically viable, many of the appraised bicycle-sharing scenarios were learnt to be more so. At a time and place where the resources for a state-of-the-art public transit system are absent, bicycle-sharing is hence considered to be the front-runner in terms of congestion-relief measures. Championing the scheme is vital for its success, and the importance of it may, by no means, be underestimated. Further research should look into the benefits that are achievable on other Stellenbosch arterials, and hence determine to which extent bicycle-sharing can relieve traffic congestion on the wider Stellenbosch road network.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die verkeersopeenhopings-probleem in die universiteitsstad van Stellenbosch, Suid-Afrika is deur 'n ontsaglike deel van sy inwoners en pendelaars op 'n daaglikse basis ontmoet. 'n Kwantifisering van die status quo bewys dat daar net te veel voertuie op die verlengde Stellenbosch padnetwerk op spesifieke ure van die dag is (d.w.s. die vraag oortref die kapasiteit), en dat langtermyn-groei nie teëgestaan kan word nie. Die grootste deel van kruisings op die hoofpaaie werk op 'n diensvlak F, en in die meeste gevalle, skenk al waarskynlike alternatiewe roetes nie enige beduidende voordeling in terme van reistyd aan die bestuurders nie. Die Stellenbosch Munisipaliteit is een van die vinnigste groeiende munisipaliteite in die land, en spitstyd-verkeersopeenhopings gaan oor 'n langer tydperk versprei as kapasiteitprobleme onopgelos bly. In hierdie konteks, stel hierdie navorsingsprojek “bicycle-sharing” voor as 'n verkeersopeenhopingverligtingsmaatreël wat geglo ‘slimmer’ en meer volhoubaar is as die huidige en standaarde handelinge van padkapasiteitsuitbreiding. Hierdie projek is 'n ekonomiese evaluering van 'n teoretiese “bicycle-sharing” skema bestem vir die skool- en universiteitpendelaarverkeer in die dorp van Stellenbosch, met die verkeersopeenhopings op die R44 van die Somerset-Wes rigting gekies as die gevallestudie. Per definisie is “bicycle-sharing” 'n nie-gemotoriseerde modus van vervoer (NGV) vir kortafstand, punt-tot-punt reise waarop fietse op 'n ‘deel’-basis beskikbaar gestel word aan die gebruikers. Die Stellenbosch Munisipaliteit maak goeie vordering in die ontwikkeling van die NGVnetwerk in Stellenbosch, maar terwyl die pogings, geen twyfel, die potensiaal het om verkeersopeenhopings te verminder, verwaarloos hulle die talle padgebruikers met buite-dorp oorspronge en bestemmings. Die resultate van 'n elektroniese vraelys wat aan die Stellenbosch skoolleerder ouers en die Universiteit Stellenbosch (US) studente en personeel uitgestuur is, het aan die lig gebring dat lang afstande die oorheersende hindernis van aktiewevervoer is. Die voorgestelde “bicycle-sharing” skema, wat veronderstel is om van “Drop-and-Gos (skoliere) en “Park-and-Rides”(US-studente en personeel) te opereer, strek NGV na hierdie pendelaars. Die primêre doel van hierdie navorsing was om die ekonomiese lewensvatbaarheid van die skema te evalueer. Die sekondêre doelwitte was (1) om die eerste-orde voordeel en koste ramings van die skema in die vorm van 'n nettohuidigewaarde, voordeelkosteverhouding en eerstejaaropbrengskoers te bepaal, en (2) om 'n “bicycle-sharing” skema uit die boonste rake vir die Stellenbosch en sy skool- en universiteitspendelaars te ontwerp, om hoë, maar nog steeds realistiese, waardes vir hierdie ekonomiese parameters te bereik. Die voordele is verdeel in direkte voordele vir die gebruikers en indirekte voordele vir die owerhede. Die navorsingsontwerp het bestaan uit (1) opname-navorsing om die aantal potensiële gebruikers per padgebruiker groep (skoliere, US-studente en US-personeel) en hul hindernisse tot fietsry te identifiseer, en (2) evaluerende-navorsing om die koste (kapitaal-, implementerings-, asook bedryfsen onderhoudskoste), voordele (mobiliteits-, gesondheids-, veiligheids- en omgewingsverbeteringe) en potensiële inkomste te evalueer. Die konseptuele ontwerp van die skema stel 'n outomatiese stelsel voor waarvoor die slimfoon 'n belangrike komponent behoort te wees. Die “bicycle-sharing”-alternatief en 'n kapasiteitsverbetering-alternatief (R44 / Van Reede kruising) is getoets teen voortsetting van die bestaande toestande met geen geld belê vir die opgradering. Verskillende opsies is ontleed vir die “bicycle-sharing”-alternatief, met betrekking tot veranderinge van die grootte van die skema, aantal ritte, tariefstruktuur en operasionelemodel. 'n Aanvraagmodel is geskep as deel van die evaluerende navorsing (met selfgetelde verkeer volume gebruik as die insette), wat die totale netwerk-reisafstand, netwerk-ure van reis en gemiddelde netwerkspoed vir elke alternatief en opsie behaal het. Hierdie parameters het gedien as die insette vir die vergelykings van padgebruiker-, reistyd- en koolstofdioksiedemissie-koste (en uiteindelike besparingskoste). Vir die drie padgebruikers skoliere, US-studente en US-personeel, is, onderskeidelik, 358, 490 en 241 potensiële fiets-gebruikers geïdentifiseer (volgens gespesifiseerde kriteria). Op die geheel, kan dit met selfvertroue verklaar word dat “bicycle-sharing” vir die studie area ekonomies lewensvatbaar is. Eerstejaaropbrengskoerse wat tussen 0,23 en 0,88 wissel is bepaal vir die skema wat 'n totale diens lewe van 15 jaar het, en voordeelkosteverhoudings tussen 1,38 en 9,98 is gevind vir die toekomstige “bicycle-sharing”-gebruikers. Terwyl die kapasiteitsverbeterings-alternatief ekonomies lewensvatbaar gevind is, is baie van die gewaardeerde “bicycle-sharing” opsies meer so. Op 'n tyd en plek waar die hulpbronne vir 'n gesofistikeerde openbarevervoerstelsel afwesig is, is “bicycle-sharing” vandaar beskou as die voorloper in terme van die verkeersopeenhoping-verligtingsmaatreëls. Bevordering van die skema is die sleutel tot sy sukses, en die belangrikheid daarvan mag deur geen manier onderskat word nie. Verdere navorsing kan kyk na die voordele wat bereikbaar is op ander Stellenbosch hoofverkeerspaaie, en dus bepaal tot watter mate “bicycle-sharing” verkeersopeenhopings op die breër Stellenbosch padnetwerk kan verlig.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98877
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