Prioritizing Bus Routes for Electrification: A GIS-based Multi-Criteria Analysis Considering Operational, Environmental and Social Benefits and Costs

Authors: Behnam Davazdah Emami, Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, Ying Song*, Geography, Environment and Society, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, Alireza Khani, Civil, Environmental, and Geo-Engineering, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Topics: Transportation Geography, Spatial Analysis & Modeling, Energy
Keywords: Electric bus, Electrification, Public transportation, GIS, AHP, TOPSIS
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM
Room: Virtual 21
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Human and society today is enjoying the unprecedented level of human mobility but is also confronting the environmental degradation resulted from fossil fuel consumptions and greenhouse gas emissions. The electrification of bus transit systems is recognized as one of the practical solutions to mitigate air pollutions and other externalities of the increased mobility. However, the implementation of an electric bus system requires purchases of electric buses and developments of charging infrastructure. To reduce the costs and maximize the benefits, it is crucial to develop an integrated strategy during planning stage. This study applies a GIS-based multi-criteria decision analysis approach to determine the candidate bus lines to convert from diesel-powered into electric-driven. This framework appraises not only the characteristics of bus lines but also the possibility of deploying charging infrastructures in bus terminals. We use 14 criteria to evaluate several aspects of the electrification of bus transit systems from various perspectives. The Analytic Hierarchy Process(AHP) and the Technique of Order Preference Similarity to the Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) are employed to determine the criteria weights and the route ranking, respectively. The results of applying the proposed approach on the bus network of Twin Cities, MN, USA is presented as a case study, which identifies the top 10 bus routes under different scenarios.

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