Transport model of Sofia

The movement of people and goods is one of the most basic and key systems of cities, which has a serious impact on the structural development of the territory and the functioning of urban spaces. The transport system is closely related with one of the most valuable resources - time, as a serious motive for past and future innovations is the reduction of time spent on the move. Other factors for the development of the sector also play a role such as the increase of transport volume, the reduction of the used energy, environmental footprint and reducing accidents. The main goal is to improve the efficiency of the system itself - faster movement of more people and goods, with less consumed energy and less used urban space.

Over the years, various systems for the movement of people and goods have emerged, which are generally divided into mass and individual. With technological advancement, more and more flexible transportation vehicles are emerging, but they are mainly aimed at individual users. Innovations create more opportunities for travel and comfort for consumers, but also often have negative effects that are difficult to predict and evaluate even by experts. The aim in modern planning is to identify the negatives before they occur and to take measures in advance to eliminate or mitigate them.

Over time, as practice is accumulated, it can shape knowledge about which transport solutions are favorable according to the context in which they are applied. The main elements of the transport system consume significant public resources, both for their construction and maintenance. These features determine the need for far-sighted infrastructure planning of the infrastructure so that it performs its intended function for decades and in the most environmentally and human friendly way.

Transport models are a valuable tool for overcoming these challenges. They represent mathematical models of supply and demand in the transport system. Their role is to simulate mobility in a certain area, which can be used to predict the effect of certain transport solutions such as construction of a new street, change the route of a public transport line, increase of the cost of parking in an area with paid parking, creation of a new buffer parking and others.

 Along with the development of information technology, data collection tools and mathematical modeling, transport modeling is increasingly used among cities striving for better integration of transport infrastructure in the environment and more efficient mobility management. The modeling process includes many parameters - physical characteristics of space and transport systems, economic, social, behavioral, environmental factors and even climate features. This complexity means that а transport model cannot predict the future, but in the hands of experts it becomes a powerful tool for assessing the impact and effectiveness of urban planning decisions and investments.

The Sofiaplan team made a proposal on what the Transport Model of Sofia Municipality can represent and how it would be appropriate to work. The proposal, together with the comments received on it, is submitted to the municipal leadership for consideration.