Developing link-based particle number emission models for diesel transit buses using engine and vehicle parameters

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - vehicle, planning - methods, ridership - commuting, mode - bus


Transit buses, Statistical methods, Statistical analysis, Particles, Mathematical statistics, Links (Networks), Engines, Emission models, Diesel buses


To better assess health impacts from diesel transportation sources, particle number emissions can be modeled on a road network using traffic operating parameters. In this work, real-time particle number emissions rates from two diesel transit buses were aggregated to the roadway link-level and modeled using engine parameters and then vehicle parameters. Modern statistical methods were used to identify appropriate predictor variables in the presence of multicollinearity, and controlled for correlated emission measurements made on the same day and testing route. Factor analysis helped to reduce the number of potential engine parameters to engine load, engine speed, and exhaust temperature. These parameters were incorporated in a linear mixed model that was shown to explain the variation attributable to link-characteristics. Vehicle specific power and speed were identified as two surrogate vehicle travel variables that can be used in the absence of engine parameters, although with a loss in predictive power compared to the engine parameter model. If vehicle speed is the only operating input available, including road grades in the model can significantly improve particle number emission estimates even for links with mild grade. Although the data used are specific to the buses tested, the approach can be applied to modeling emissions from other vehicle models with different engine types, exhaust systems, and engine retrofit technologies.


Transportation Research Part D Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/13619209