A self-adaptive method to equalize headways: Numerical analysis and comparison

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, operations - capacity, operations - coordination, ridership - demand


Bus bunching, Bus holding, Transit operations, Slack time


In uncontrolled bus systems, buses tend to bunch due to the stochastic nature of traffic flows and passenger demand at bus stops. Although schedules and priori target methods introduce slack time to delay buses at control points to maintain constant headways between successive buses, too much slack required delay passengers on-board. In addition, these methods focus on regular headways and do not consider the rates of convergence of headways after disturbances. We propose a self-adaptive control scheme to equalize the headways of buses with little slack in a single line automatically. The proposed method only requires the information from the current bus at the control point and both its leading and following buses. This elegant method is shown to regulate headways faster than existing methods. In addition, compared to previous self-equalizing methods, the proposed method can improve the travel time of buses by about 12%, while keeping the waiting time of passengers almost the same.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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