A framework for the sustainability assessment of (Micro)transit systems

Buenk, Reinhart ; Grobbelaar, Sara S. (Saartjie) ; Meyer, Isabel (2019-10-24)

CITATION: Buenk, R., Grobbelaar, S. S. & Meyer, I. 2019. A framework for the sustainability assessment of (Micro)transit systems. Sustainability, 11(21):5929, doi:10.3390/su11215929.

The original publication is available at https://www.mdpi.com

Publication of this article was funded by the Stellenbosch University Open Access Fund.

Article

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The increasing global focus on sustainability is bringing the question of the sustainability of transport systems—which are still exhibiting numerous negative effects as evidence of their unsustainability—to the fore. While sustainability is an often-discussed concept, tools to guide the practical implementation thereof are limited. This paper presents a framework for an inventory of indicators against which to measure the sustainability of transport systems. While the framework is validated for urban transport systems for increased mobility (here referenced as microtransit systems), the concept is investigated in the context of transport systems in general. A systematic review of the literature was used to develop a framework of 12 areas and 50 indicators of sustainability. Expert reviews, an Analytical Hierarchical Process (AHP), and an Equally Weighted Average (EWA) method were employed to allocate weights to the indicators and to validate the framework for microtransit systems. The framework contributes to the literature by identifying, categorizing, and integrating concepts related to sustainability in transport systems. It is intended to aid short-term decision-making in the design of urban transport systems, to continuously monitor the long-term progress of transport systems against sustainability goals, and to guide policy development. Future work would include enhanced empirical validation of the framework in the context of other types of transport systems, beyond microtransit.

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