Fixed-Route Transit Ridership Forecasting and Service Planning Methods


Daniel Boyle

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - methods, planning - route design, planning - surveys, land use - planning, ridership - forecasting, ridership - forecasting


Case studies, Fixed routes, Forecasting, Public transit, Ridership, Service planning, State of the practice, Surveys, Transit operating agencies


This synthesis documents the state of the practice in fixed-route transit ridership forecasting and service planning. It identifies forecasting methodologies, resource requirements, data inputs, and organizational issues. It also analyzes the impacts of service changes and reviews transit agency assessments of the effectiveness and reliability of their methods and of desired improvements. This report will be of interest to transit planners and managers as they develop and refine forecasting methodologies for their own agencies. A survey was undertaken to acquire information on methodologies used in a variety of situations, satisfaction with these methods, and suggestions for improvements. Following a review of the survey results, case studies were developed that included transit agencies of various sizes and from different geographic regions, agencies with a variety of approaches and methods related to ridership forecasting, and agencies that could offer insight to the industry as a whole.


Permission to link to report given by TRB