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Sustainable benchmarking of a public transport system using analytic hierarchy process and fuzzy logic: a case study of Hyderabad, India

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To achieve a well-balanced sustainable public transport system in an Indian scenario, a thorough performance assessment and benchmarking of existing systems in conventional and sustainable dimensions is necessary. Although institutionalisation of sustainable benchmarking of public transport systems is habituated across the globe, it is not largely practised in India. Based on this, we aim at developing a comprehensive mode-specific benchmarking framework for the urban bus system under Indian conditions with a case study of Hyderabad city. The developed framework consists of 29 evaluators structured into eight indicator groups. As the significance of these indicator groups and evaluators varies in the framework, the same has been determined by an expert opinion survey by applying multi-criteria decision-making techniques such as ‘analytic hierarchy process’ and ‘direct weighting.’ The assessment revealed that the overall performance of the urban bus system is approximately 70%. The parameters associated with the sectors of ‘passenger information systems’ and ‘social sustainability’ were found to underperform and required improvement. A better performance was observed among the service- and quality-oriented sectors. The associated intangibility in weighting and ranking during the process of benchmarking was addressed through the application of a fuzzy logic technique, and the ‘overall normalised rate of performance’ of the urban bus system was determined to be 74%. Based on these factors, the present study achieves a successful development and application of mode-specific benchmarking of public transport systems in the Indian context.

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Fig. 1

Source: HMDA (2012)


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The authors thank the management of HMDA for their willingness to share the data of their ‘Comprehensive Transportation Study’ and their diligence in maintaining a high-quality data set. The authors thank Dr. Bandhan Bandhu Majumdar, Department of Civil Engineering, BITS Pilani, Hyderabad Campus, for his valuable advice on the application of the AHP technique for conducting an expert opinion survey.

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Correspondence to Pradeep Chaitanya Jasti.

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Jasti, P.C., Ram, V.V. Sustainable benchmarking of a public transport system using analytic hierarchy process and fuzzy logic: a case study of Hyderabad, India. Public Transp 11, 457–485 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12469-019-00219-8

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  • Sustainable benchmarking
  • Public transportation
  • Performance evaluation
  • AHP
  • Expert opinion
  • Fuzzy logic