Competitiveness of public transit considering travel time reliability: A case study for commuter trips in Hangzhou, China

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, place - urban, mode - bus, mode - car, mode - subway/metro, policy - congestion, ridership - commuting, planning - methods, operations - performance


Public transit, Competitiveness, Travel time reliability, Commuting, Multi-source data


Enhancing the temporal competitiveness of public transit (PT) over private cars is a crucial strategy for promoting PT mode share and alleviating traffic congestion, especially for commuter trips. However, to our best knowledge, previous studies have rarely considered the impact of time reliability and analyzed the critical stages (e.g., accessing, waiting, transferring) that affect PT competitiveness. To fill these research gaps, we develop a comprehensive set of indicators to evaluate the effect of temporal reliability on the competitiveness of PT compared to private cars for commuter trips. We then conduct a detailed examination of the commuting competitiveness of PT at both the Origin-Destination (OD) and Traffic Analysis Zone (TAZ) levels by combining data from various sources obtained from Hangzhou, China. The results show that the average competitiveness of PT increases after considering reliability. Metro competitiveness rises significantly, and bus competitiveness increases for short trips but decreases for long trips. Furthermore, the bus is far less competitive than the metro, and TAZs near the metro stations could be highly competitive. Moreover, in-bus time affects bus competitiveness primarily, and improving the accessibility of metro stations is essential to enhance metro competitiveness. In conclusion, the proposed methodology presents a comprehensive approach to assess the competitiveness of PT versus cars, including travel time reliability. This methodology enables a more nuanced understanding of the factors influencing PT competitiveness and offers valuable insights for strategically intervening to enhance its performance effectively.


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


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