Master’s thesis focusing on cycling speed and travel times finished!

AINOKAISA TARNANEN’S MASTER’S THESIS “GIS-based modelling of cyclists’ speed and travel times in Helsinki region” was examined in September. In her thesis Ainokaisa developed a travel time model for calculating cyclists’ travel times in Helsinki region and examined the effect of different factors to cycling and the spatial differences in cycling speeds. Another objective was to assess how realistic it is to model cyclists’ travel times with constant speed on a regional scale. GPS data of cycling was collected from volunteers who had been tracking their cycling in Helsinki region with mobile sports applications. Road network for cycling and walking by Helsinki Region Transport was used as the modelling network.

The results show that slope, traffic lights and other junctions affect cycling speeds on an individual level but not on the regional scale. In general, the effect of signalized junctions is the greatest, whereas steep uphill slopes have the greatest effect on route-based mean speeds. The cycling speeds vary by cycling frequency: the more frequent cyclists have greater mean speeds. Spatial examination shows that mean cycling speeds in parts of central Helsinki are 0.8 times slower than in rest of the area.

A travel time model based on the constant speeds corresponding to the different median speeds of frequent and less frequent cyclists was implemented on the network. According to the results constant speed can be seen as an adequate assumption to model comparable cyclists’ travel times in Helsinki region. However, personal and spatial differences in cycling speeds should be taken into account. Travel times calculated with this model can be combined to the Helsinki region travel time matrix providing information on cycling alongside car, public transport and walking travel times and distances.

Thesis is available here:

You can find more information on Digital Geography Lab’s ongoing biking projects here:

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