Regional aspects of public transport mobility: Izmir urban region case

Şenbil M., Yetişkul Şenbil E. , Özuysal M.

MEGARON, vol.17, no.1, pp.136-150, 2022 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 17 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.14744/megaron.2022.36693
  • Title of Journal : MEGARON
  • Page Numbers: pp.136-150
  • Keywords: Mobility, Izmir urban region, urban transport, public transit, CITIES


Accessibility can be defined as easiness in reaching locations by means of transportation and its infrastructure. It is a physical characteristic revealing (relative) attractiveness of a location. Mobility, on the other hand, is a real-life counterpart of potentials produced by accessibility, with spatial behavioural dimensions considering socio-economic, cultural and demographic characteristics. For example, different aspects of trip-making behaviour is an important aspect of mobility. This study deals with public transport mobility in Izmir urban region. For the mobility of a public transport system, one has to consider the individual characteristics of a passenger and land-use characteristics of a station or stop. In this study, we try to derive the geography and regional properties of public transport mobility. To this end, one-week electronic card usage data (November 5-11, 2018) has been used for different aspects of mobility. Electronic card readings sum up to 1.7 million times on average during a weekday, which decreases 17% and 49% on Saturdays and Sundays, respectively. Electronic card data stores station or stop where the card is validated, day, time of use, and money charged. Additionally, electronic card data provide the destination station for a one-way trip on a regional suburban line which is known as IZBAN (short for Izmir Suburban Rail System) as the cards are revalidated for fare reimbursement. Similar to other metropolitan areas in Turkey, the public transport system in Izmir has been transforming from rubber-tired systems to rail-dominated public transit systems, which also have regional aspects as well as regional repercussions. Resulting from this transformation, rail system stations have become centres of public transport mobility. In other words, the whole public transport system has been juxtaposed upon the rail system. Accordingly, this study attempts to delineate regional repercussions of the rail system by concentrating on its land-use aspects. Used by thousands of passengers throughout the day, rail stations are evaluated with respect to two views points, station as an areal interaction and station as a node. Areal interaction leads to the station type derived from land use around the station. Accordingly, areal interaction sparks a station-based process of turning space into place. Node property, on the other hand, refers to the directional changes between origin and destination of a trip, i.e., transfer between different rail transit lines. Spatial inferences are also made from these features of the public transport system, such as the number of passengers at stations and stops, the distribution of passengers by hours. Besides, Sub-regions, routes and sections are determined within the city-region and metropolitan area. For the bus network, inferences on land use have been derived from peak hour ratios of electronic card readings. Using mobility data, both rail and bus networks can be merged into integrated service areas. The contribution was made to the development of transportation policies through the findings of public transportation mobility in the Izmir urban region. Three sub-regions are differentiated according to land uses 1) Residential sub -region, 2) Non-residential sub-region, and 3) Mixed land-use sub-region. Each sub-region is associated with a distinct daily passenger pattern according to electronic card data.