Title

USING NON-REAL-TIME AUTOMATIC VEHICLE LOCATION DATA TO IMPROVE BUS SERVICES

Authors

A X. HORBURY

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1999

Subject Area

infrastructure - vehicle, planning - route design, mode - bus

Keywords

Vehicle locating systems, United Kingdom, Speed measurement, Passenger service, Great Britain, Bus transit operations, Bus routes, AVL, Automatic vehicle location, Automatic location systems

Abstract

Although real-time Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) data is being utilized successfully in the U.K., little notice has been given to the benefits of historical (non-real-time) AVL data. This paper illustrates how historical AVL data can be used to identify segments of a bus route which would benefit most from bus priority measures and to improve scheduling by highlighting locations at which the greatest deviation from schedule occurs. A new methodology which uses historical AVL data and on-bus passenger counts to calculate the passenger arrival rate at stops along a bus route has been used to estimate annual patronage and the speed of buses as they move between stops. Estimating the patronage at stops using AVL data is more cost-effective than conventional methods (such as surveys at stops which require much more manpower) but retains the benefits of accuracy and stop-specific estimates of annual patronage. The passenger arrival rate can then be used to calculate how long buses spend at stops. If the time buses spend at stops is removed from the total time it takes the bus to traverse a link, the remaining amount of time can be assumed to be the time the bus spends moving and hence the moving speed of the bus can be obtained. It was found that estimation of patronage and the speed of buses as they move between stops using AVL data produced results which were comparable with those obtained by other methods. However the main point to note is that this new method of estimating patronage has the potential to provide a larger and superior data set than is otherwise available, at very low cost.

Comments

Transportation Research Part B Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/01912615