Optimal stop spacing and headway of congested transit system considering realistic wait times

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - scheduling, operations - performance, infrastructure - stop, operations - capacity


public transportation, wait time, travel time, planning, optimization


This paper revisits the classical transit scheduling problem and investigates the relationship between stop spacing and headway, considering realistic wait time and operable transit capacity. Headway and stop spacing are important determinants for planning a transit system, which influence the service level as well as the cost of operation. A mathematical model is developed, and the objective function is user travel time which is minimized by the optimized stop spacing and headway, subject to the constraints of operable fleet size and route capacity. Optimal stop spacing and headway solutions are obtained in a numerical example. Sensitivity analysis is conducted, and the effect of model parameters on user travel time is explored.