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John D. Graham
This Handbook of Public Transport Research aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the latest research in a growing field: the field of research on urban public transport. The quantity of public transport related research papers has doubled in the last nine years. Why? For two reasons. First, researchers have been increasingly inspired by the topic. It is an applied and practical topic affecting the quality of life of billions of people. It is also a field with significant challenges, seeking new and original solutions. These challenges range from the difficult interface of engineering, operations and human perceptions in user satisfaction and performance management, to the tricky balance between prudent financial management, operations planning and the social access goals making subsidies essential. These challenges require a multi-disciplinary perspective to wicked problems in Engineering, Planning, Psychology and Design, which is why the field is intellectually as well as tactically challenging. The foundation of many of these challenges is the conflicting congestion and environmental relief, and the social equity objectives that justify public transport in cities.
Tao Liu and Avishai (Avi) Ceder
In this chapter we refer to the public transport (PT) operations planning process of a fixed-route system such as bus, rail and passenger ferries. This process commonly includes four basic components, divided into three different levels and usually performed in sequence: (1) network design; (2) timetable development; (3) vehicle scheduling; and (4) crew scheduling and rostering. The framework of this process is shown in Figure 18.1. It is preferable that all four activities be planned simultaneously in order to exploit system capability to the greatest extent and maximize system productivity and efficiency (Ceder 2016). However, since this integrated planning process is extremely cumbersome and complex, especially for medium and large-scale PT agencies, separated treatment is required for each component, with the outcome of one fed as an input into the next component. From the perspective of PT agencies, the highest cost items in the budget are vehicle capital and operating costs, driver wages and fringe benefits. Therefore, it is not surprising to learn that most of the commercially available PT scheduling software packages concentrate primarily on vehicle and crew scheduling activities. In the last fifty years, a considerable amount of effort has been invested in the computerization of the above four components in order to provide more efficient, controllable and responsive PT services. This chapter focuses on the third PT operations-planning component: vehicle scheduling, which is one of the problems at the operational-planning level. The PT vehicle scheduling problem (VSP) refers to the problem of determining the optimal allocation of vehicles to carry out all the trips of a given timetable. A chain of trips is assigned to each vehicle, although some of them may be deadheading (DH) or empty trips in order to attain optimality. The assignment of vehicle chains to garages should be determined in an efficient manner. The major objective of the PT VSP is to minimize fleet size or, correspondingly, to minimize the total cost comprised of fixed costs (acquisition, salaries, administration, etc.) and variable costs (maintenance, fuels, supplies, etc.). The number of feasible solutions to this problem is extremely high, especially in the case of multiple depots.
Lack of capital is one of the most important barriers to the adoption of sustainable and circular economy. Shifting from a linear to a circular business model requires novel innovations in distribution planning, inventory management, production planning and management of reverse logistics networks, with high upfront costs and long payback periods. As implementing a circular economy business model also demands continuous monitoring and improvement of the products’ lifecycle, resources must be allocated to keep all stakeholders in the life cycle value chain committed. The challenging finance gap between need of capital and cash flow generated is recognised one of the most important obstacles of circular economy. Due to its specific importance for circular economy and due to the intrinsic heterogeneity of corporate finance generally, it is crucial to analyse the drivers and obstacles different kind of investors have in creating sustainable value in sustainable and circular economy business models. Short-term legal and financial systems supporting ‘take, make and waste’ business models are not necessarily conducive to the new settings that circular economy requires. Private equity and venture capital is problematic for startups in circular economy as they lack the high growth and relatively fast payback (exit) horizons required by investors. Public listing of equity and bonds is challenging for circular economy business models as they require track record, size and maturity meeting the scale and requirements of capital markets and institutional investors. Albeit ‘near banks’ like Google, Apple and Amazon platforms provide new payment facilities and working capital solutions for circular economy enterprises, especially startups, the most promising vehicles for circular economy business model financing are owner-member-user-based crowdfunding and other forms of peer-to-peer financing and participation arrangements and platforms. They affect directly to the participants’ behaviour by strengthening an open, transparent and interactive lifecycle-based business model, engaging a high number of user participation and commitment, emphasising community and shared ownership aspects and limiting access of short-term profit and takeover-seeking investors. Crowdfunding is increasingly popular to create commitment-based funds for projects in which financial institutions and private equity investors are not investing. A cooperative is specific a peer-to-peer financing model for sustainable businesses especially in its multi-stakeholder form, opening the business to a heterogenous group of financier-member-owners, remaining however as hard to disrupt by takeovers. Cooperative form gives also the user-members a unique possibility to own sharing platforms and other market places themselves. In this chapter, crowdfunding and modern cooperative-based financing are discussed and compared to analyse what kind of dynamics are crucial for a successful financing of a sustainable circular economy business model. Specific attention is given to the drivers that increase the investors’ commitment for long-term circular economy-based behaviour.