The role of passenger modal shift nodes in the interaction between land use and transport system
In the last years we have observed a sub-urbanization process or 'sprawl' process (low density inhabitant models), caused by new economic and production conditions, by a free diffusion of new habitant models in territory, by new organization models of social relationships and by one-side power of road mode and in particular the private use. Commuters need to reach quickly own destinations and the traffic and parking problems in central areas increase mainly the importance of multi-modal displacements in an integrated transport system between public and private mode. Planner role should re-balance modal choice in favour to public transport and motivate passenger intermodality integrating the private car with transit. The optimal location and design of modal shift nodes for potential users involved in multimodal transfers in a urban and metropolitan context, is one of the most important issues in transport system design and planning. Several algorithms have been developed to face this issue. The main idea was to locate such nodes in areas of adequate size, well connected to the road network and public transit in order to minimize the time required for the transfer, taking into account the variation of transport demand in the various stages of decision-making process (generation, distribution, modal choice and transfer route). The aim of the proposed research is to analyze the attractiveness towards passenger modal shift nodes in relation to their potential territorial role and the optional services they can offer, which are relevant in vast urban areas. In particular, the metropolitan area of Palermo, and its outskirts which is taking the connotations of a large expanded city, will be a good case study to verify the effectiveness of the proposed strategy. The results define the operational criteria for the optimum location of passengers modal shift nodes in an environment characterized by a spread urban area composed by many municipalities, taking into account the role each node has in the territory and its ability to influence the transport demand in space and time.
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