Modeling capacity flexibility of transportation networks

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - capacity, planning - travel demand management


System flexibility, Network capacity, Reserve capacity, Traffic equilibrium, Bi-level program


Flexibility of the transportation system is one of the important performance measures needed to deal with demand changes. In this paper, we provide a quantitative assessment of capacity flexibility for the passenger transportation network using bi-level network capacity models. Two approaches for assessing the value of capacity flexibility are proposed. One approach is based on the concept of reserve capacity, which reflects the flexibility with respect to changes in terms of demand volume only. The second approach allows for variations in the demand pattern in addition to changes in demand volume in order to more fully capture demand changes. Two models are developed in the second approach to consider two types of capacity flexibility. The total capacity flexibility allows all users to have both route choice and destination choice when estimating capacity flexibility. The limited capacity flexibility estimates how much more demand volume could be added to a fixed demand pattern by allowing the additional demand to deviate from the fixed demand pattern. Numerical examples are provided to demonstrate the different concepts of capacity flexibility for a passenger transportation system under demand changes.


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


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