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Forecasting the Impact of the Grand Paris Express Transport Network

by Chris Hutchinson on Dec 9, 2020

What’s new?

At TravelTime our customers make location-based decisions by analysing public transport networks, such as creating catchment areas or matrices of travel times between many origins and destinations.

Paris train station current 60 mins PT catchment area

As part of this analysis there is often a need to look at not just the current public transport network, but also the impact of future changes to the public transport infrastructure.

For this reason, TravelTime already supports a number of future public transport networks in the UK, including most recently the Northern Line Extension. Now, we have released our first in France — the Grand Paris Express.

The Grand Paris Express is one of Europe’s largest ever public transport infrastructure projects, and involves the addition of 4 new lines, 68 new stations and 200 km of additional railway lines.

One of the explicit aims of the project is to reduce travel times across the wider Paris region. According to the Société du Grand Paris:

Grand Paris Express travel times

This change in future travel times has an impact on current business decisions, such as the potential value of real estate investments, selecting the optimal retail site, or determining the provisioning of public services across the city.

For this reason, we believe that it’s vital for our customers to be able to incorporate these changes into their location analysis today. Keep reading to learn more, or to get started with your own analysis straight away then sign up for a free trial API key here.

What did we do?

Following a similar methodology that we used for planned transport networks in the UK, we took the current French public transport network and added in the Grand Paris Express. These new lines were added in two separate phases, one representing how the network will look in 2025, and one representing the full 2030 network. 

Grand Paris Express Network

We extensively tested these new networks to make sure the results were as expected before deploying then onto new servers so that the full range of TravelTime tools can run on top of them.

What does this look like in practice?

The new public transport networks that include the Grand Paris Express can be accessed directly through the TravelTime API, or through any of the plugins we support for ArcGIS, Alteryx or QGIS.

Here, we’ve used the ArcGIS plugin to explore the differences between the current and future networks in Paris.

Isochrones

Taking a location in Paris and calculating the area that is reachable within 30 minutes by public transport using the current transport network (an ‘isochrone’) and comparing this to what the same area looks like with Grand Paris Express included, the differences are immediately clear.

Below are examples of two stations that will be greatly affected by the addition of Grand Paris Express:

30 minute travel time from Massy Opera stationMassy Opera station - the 30-minute reachable public transport area using the current network (Red) vs with Grand Paris Express 2030 (Purple)

30 minute travel time from Issy RER stationIssy RER station - the 30-minute reachable public transport area using the current network (Red) vs with Grand Paris Express 2030 (Purple)

Routes

A slightly different way to see how the new network will affect access and travel is to calculate the route between these same two stations, again both with and without Grand Paris Express.

Public transport routes with and without Grand Paris Express

The route using the existing network heads in towards central Paris and then back out again, while the route on the Grand Paris Express network goes via Orly Airport.

The difference between these two routes can be further highlighted by comparing the turn-by-turn directions for each, and the total travel time involved:

Existing network route:

Existing network route

Grand Paris Express network route:

Grand Paris Express network route

Comparing the total travel time for the two routes also makes the impact of Grand Paris clear - the total journey time between the two stations is reduced from 59 minutes to 33 minutes.

How can I add the Grand Paris Express to my analysis?

To access the new Grand Paris Express networks either directly through the TravelTime API, or through one of our fully supported plugins, follow the simple steps below.

TravelTime API

Please note that the rest of the URL structure remains the same. So, for example, the endpoint for generating isochrones using the 2030 network becomes: https://grandparis2030.traveltimeapp.com/v4/time-map

ArcGIS

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  • To revert back to the standard public transport network, simply hit the reset button
QGIS
  •  

Screenshot 2021-02-11 at 12.12.37

  • To revert back to the standard public transport network, simply hit the reset button

Alteryx

  • Add any of the TravelTime macros to a workflow then right click on the macro and select Open Macro
  • Locate the final Formula tool before the ‘Download data from endpoint’ Message tool

Alteryx - Grand Paris Express Network

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  • Open the Formula tool and replace “api” with “grandparis2025” or "grandparis2030" in the URL, for example:

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  • Save the macro and return to the original workflow. Alteryx will confirm that the macro has been updated

Alteryx macro confirmation

  • To return to using the standard public transport network, repeat these steps and revert back to “api” in the URL

To get started with your own Grand Paris Express analysis, sign up for a free trial API key here.

If there are other future transport networks that you are interested in having modelled, please contact us at sales@traveltime.com

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