Comparing Public Transport Alternatives Using AHP-TOPSIS and Sustainability Indicators -Case Study: City of Isfahan

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Department of Urbanism, Lusofona University,

2 Department of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Geo-resources, Tecnioc Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal.

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Transportation Engineering, Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran.



This paper concerns the problem of decision making on the selection of public transportation modes. The problem is formulated through sustainability indicators and the objective framework is based upon AHP-TOPSIS. In this research, the city of Isfahan (Iran) is our case study. The definition of different points of view was developed through interviews to stakeholders, experts in transportation and urban planning as well as end-users. In this regard, feasible alternatives of public transport modes, such as Metro, Tramway (Light Rapid Transit), Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Regular Bus (RB), were compared for demand corridors with similar characteristics and operating conditions. Besides, different aspects and criteria of sustainable transportation including economic, social and environmental dimensions are taken into consideration. Our findings address different orders of desirability and the suitability of public transport modes. In the view of end-users, Metro and Tramway are the most desirable modes due chiefly to service quality factors such as minimal travel time and comfort-ability. However, the local government is more interested to reduce total costs and therefore, the recommended alternatives are BRT and RB. To consolidate these results, an interview is conducted; city council members as well as senior experts in traffic and transportation fields are surveyed.