RS Industries LTD
Tel Aviv, Israel
September 2019 – February 2020
The project owners wanted to know if the partially tolled Fast Lane running parallel to Highway 1 would remain operational and profitable if they were to double the capacity of the park and ride facility serving the airport.
The road was already at or beyond capacity, particluarly in the morning peak times, so the customer was particularly interested in whether the free section of the Fast Lane, could cope with the increased demand and if a roundabout located at the Regional Road 412 entrance of the park and ride could cause congestion problems.
Israel’s Highway 1 connects Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, passing Gurion Airport. Between the airport and the Kubbutz Galuyot interchange on the outskirts of Tel Aviv, a fast lane runs parallel to the main carriageway. The fast lane is free between the airport and a 1,800-space Park&Ride facility; the rest of the fast lane is restricted based on vehicle type, number of passengers or the payment of a dynamic toll.
The park and ride has multiple shuttle buses to different locations in Tel Aviv, or car sharing services; it is also accessible from Regional Road 412.
To test the effect of extending the park and ride to 3,600 parking spaces, two different scenarios were evaluated at microscopic level to identify potential issues depending on which direction the vehicles accessed the car park.
Utilising a year’s data, typical day patterns were created using Aimsun’s Pattern Generator, used for demand generation and model calibration.
Modellers replicated a realistic toll pattern and the decision making of the individual vehicles.
This meant modelling 13 vehicle types, including toll-exempt vehicles, preregistered vehicles and new users, both of which can decide whether to use the fast lane or not depending on their perceived value of time with the option to park then continue by bus or rideshare, pick up passengers, or pay a toll.
Separate models were used for the initial fast lane decision, then for behaviour within the facility. A custom Aimsun AAPI was used to communicate with a Conduct+ system to calculate toll prices and HOV2+ HOV3+ conditions.
Vehicle occupancy was tracked for HOV2+ and HOV3+ behaviour while Car to Ride transfer time was modelled based on dynamic parking occupancy.
The model validation consisted of a complex combination of reproducing correct flow and speed on the detectors, toll data, travel time, the vehicle split on the Fast Lane (registered toll user, on the spot toll payment, toll exempt, bus, truck, etc.) and car park occupancy.
The customer has been provided with results for the two scenarios, which in turn they could present to their clients to provide an idea where in the network the extension of the car park could be problematic. These issues could then be addressed before the implementation to avoid a negative impact on the operation of the Fast Lane and car park, as well as profitability of the facility.
The results confirmed bottlenecks in the network and critical capacity issues. Results also demonstrated that it was possible to connect Aimsun Next with the Conduct+ server, which builds the base for potential following phases and future connection developments to other toll servers.
The MTM is one of the most complex large-scale simulation models in existence – an analytical tool that permits the consistent assessment of the network-wide cumulative impact of current and future traffic management projects.