Bus Service Level and Horizontal Equity Analysis in the Context of the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem

Maurici Ruiz-Pérez, Joana Maria Seguí-Pons
2021 ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information  
The modifiable areal unit problem is of great importance in geographic science. The use of a specific zoning impacts the social and economic imbalances that can be generated in the deployment of services, facilities, and infrastructure. In this article, GIS is used together with simulation and optimization tools to analyse the effects of bus frequency changes in the levels of service and horizontal equity derived from different types of territorial zoning. The city of Palma (Balearic Islands,
more » ... ain) was chosen as a case study for the method, for which different geographical areas are used: neighbourhoods, census sections, cadastral blocks, and a 400 x 400 m mesh. The results show significant variations of the optimal frequencies obtained, depending on the type of zoning used. In general, smaller zonings show much higher sensitivity for the detection of imbalances between the population and bus service level. Likewise, orthogonal zonings also prove useful for identifying service and population concentration over other zonings. The use of large spatial units could lead to the misdiagnosis of needs and the implementation of actions that do not actually improve the level of service or the equity of the transport service. It is recommended to consider combining zonings of different sizes simultaneously, in order to accurately highlight imbalances and to argue for transport service improvements.
doi:10.3390/ijgi10030111 fatcat:q63ic4daijb2degoqdptvttd4e