Title

REAL-TIME CONTROL OF BUSES FOR SCHEDULE COORDINATION AT A TERMINAL

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2003

Subject Area

operations - coordination, infrastructure - station, infrastructure - interchange/transfer, planning - route design, ridership - commuting, ridership - forecasting, ridership - forecasting, mode - bus

Keywords

Travel time, Transfers, Technology, Schedules, Scenarios, Real time control, Projections, Passenger counting, Monitoring systems, Monitoring, Journey time, Headways, Forecasting, Communications networks, Communication systems, Bus transit operations, Bus terminals, Bus stations, Bus routes

Abstract

Bus transit operators can now execute a variety of real-time strategies for coordinating the movement of buses along their routes. This paper compares control strategies that depend on technologies for communication, tracking and passenger counting, to those that depend solely on local information (e.g., time that a bus arrived at a stop, and whether other connecting buses have also arrived). The authors also develop methods to forecast bus arrival times, which are most accurate for lines with long headways, as is usually the case in timed transfer systems. Simulations are used to test these methods. Results demonstrate that technology provides benefits in terms of minimizing the average passenger trip time. Technology is found to be most advantageous when there are many connecting buses, the schedule slack is close to zero, and the headway is large. The most technology-enabled strategy tested tends to balance the time saved for late-arriving transfer passengers against the delay for passengers who are either already on-board or will board at subsequent stops.

Comments

Transportation Research Part A Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/09658564