Inferring Passenger Travel Demand to Improve Urban Mobility in Developing Countries Using Cell Phone Data: A Case Study of Senegal

Merkebe Getachew Demissie, Santi Phithakkitnukoon, Titipat Sukhvibul, Francisco Antunes, Rui Gomes, Carlos Bento
2016 IEEE transactions on intelligent transportation systems (Print)  
A rise in population, along with urbanization, has been causing an increase in demand for urban transportation services in the sub-Saharan Africa countries. In these countries, mobility of people is mainly ensured by bus services and a large-scale informal public transport service, which is known as paratransit (e.g., car rapides in Senegal, Tro Tros in Ghana, taxis in Uganda and Ethiopia, and Matatus in Kenya). Transport demand estimation is a challenging task, particularly in developing
more » ... in developing countries, mainly due to its expensive and time-consuming data collection requirements. Without accurate demand estimation, it is difficult for transport operators to provide their services and make other important decisions. In this paper, we present a methodology to estimate passenger demand for public transport services using cell phone data. Significant origins and destinations of inhabitants are extracted and used to build origin-destination matrices that resemble travel demand. Based on the inferred travel demand, we are able to reasonably suggest strategic locations for public transport services such as paratransit and taxi stands, as well as new transit routes. The outcome of this study can be useful for the development of policies that can potentially help fulfill the mobility needs of city inhabitants.
doi:10.1109/tits.2016.2521830 fatcat:4qmareswbjhytjv7imykjkcsiy