Commuter is analytical software that models people travelling from A to B. Each person may be driving, or walking, or cycling, or be a passenger on a train, bus or taxi.
Commuter can be used for transport analysis, modelling all modes of transport, or it can be used for pedestrian-only analysis in urban spaces, both inside and outside buildings.
Each person is modelled for a whole trip, through all modes. An example trip is:
- leave home by car, drive to park and ride
- walk from car to platform
- wait for train
- take train to city
- walk to office
Following each person from person-origin to person-destination gives a much clearer insight into the total cost of each trip. If the total cost is known, it is easier to assess the potential benefit of new or modified designs.
Commuter does more than visualise a design: it analyses the performance of each design by measuring efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
It is a common misconception that modelling people means modelling pedestrian movements. These two activities are quite different. People travel by many modes; "pedestrian" describes one of those modes.
Commuter is a software tool that allows you to model travel from A to B, where walking is one mode among several. You can follow all trips from origin to destination, where walking may form part of that trip. In addition, Commuter enables dynamic mode choice within a trip, which opens up a new range of modelling possibilities. For example, people waiting for a bus that has been delayed in traffic may opt to walk or take a taxi instead.
Microsimulation software studies often focus mainly on cars. This is often quite valid, as private cars are the dominant mode of travel in many study areas. Some of these studies include "pedestrians" because they are obstacles to vehicle traffic. Often these studies have no interest in where the pedestrians are going once they are no longer an obstacle, and no interest in measuring the delays incurred by those pedestrians.
How would your decision to use a car park be affected if you knew it would take you 10 minutes to cross the road once you parked your car and started to walk to your ultimate destination?
Commuter is designed to model people, "from the ground up".
This results in a faster, more integrated solution
compared to bolting together two systems from different designers.
The software uses proven algorithms at its core, but more importantly, the software gives you the choice of which of those algorithms to use.
- time and distance for driving in a private vehicle
- time and distance for riding on public transport, and price of fare
- time and distance for walking
- time waiting
- price of parking
- carbon emissions
- Assessment of a park-and-ride facility by comparing the total cost of travelling from home to work
- Assessment of parking strategies at an airport, by looking at total travel time from home to check-in, including parking price strategies and willingness to pay for different user groups