Transit Capacity and Quality of Service Manual, 2nd Edition

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - capacity, infrastructure - station, infrastructure - stop, mode - bus, mode - rail, mode - tram/light rail, mode - subway/metro


Automated guideway transit, Bus stops, Bus terminals, Bus transit, Canada, Ferries, Glossaries, Intermodal terminals, Light rail transit, Manuals, Passenger terminals, Public transit, Quality of service, Rail transit, Rail transit stations, Railroad commuter service, Rapid transit, Subway stations, Transit capacity, Transit centers, United States


This manual is intended to be a fundamental reference document for public transit practitioners and policy makers. The manual contains background, statistics, and graphics on the various types of public transportation, and it provides a framework for measuring transit availability and quality of service from the passenger point of view. The manual contains quantitative techniques for calculating the capacity of bus, rail, and ferry transit services, and transit stops, stations, and terminals. Example problems are included. The manual is divided into nine parts: (1) Introduction and Concepts - summarizes the content and intended application of the manual and presents an overview of transit quality of service and capacity concepts; (2) Transit in North America - presents an overview of the various transit modes, services, and facilities provided in the United States and Canada; (3) Quality of Service - describes the factors that influence passengers' perceptions of their quality of travel on transit and provides quantitative methods for evaluating these factors; (4) Bus Transit Capacity - provides procedures for evaluating bus loading area (berth), stop, and facility (including busway, freeway high occupancy vehicle lane, arterial street bus lane, and mixed traffic lane) capacity; (5) Rail Transit Capacity - provides both generalized and more detailed procedures for evaluating the capacity of heavy rail (rapid) transit, light rail, commuter rail, automated guideway transit, and ropeways; (6) Ferry Capacity - addresses the capacity of passenger and auto ferries, focusing particularly on potential constraints at the dock; (7) Stop, Station, and Terminal Capacity - provides procedures to evaluate the capacity of and design passenger comfort level for various elements of bus stops, transit centers, transit stations, intermodal terminals, and similar facilities; (8) Glossary - presents a comprehensive glossary of terms used in the transit industry; and (9) Index - provides an overall index to the manual.


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