Impacts of Holding Control Strategies on Transit Performance Bus Simulation Model Analysis

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, place - europe, operations - reliability, economics - operating costs, operations - performance


service reliability, holding control strategies, passenger time savings, fleet cost savings, crew management savings


Transit operators are interested in strategies to improve service reliability as it is an important measure of performance and level of service. One of the common practices aimed at reducing service unreliability is holding control strategies. The design of these strategies involves the selection of a set of time point stops and the holding criteria for regulating the departure time. The interactions between passenger activity, transit operations, and traffic dynamics must be dynamically modeled to analyze the impacts of holding strategies on transit performance. An evaluation of different holding criteria and the number and location of time point stops was conducted with BusMezzo, a dynamic transit simulation model. The holding strategies were implemented in the model and applied to a high-frequency trunk bus line in Stockholm, Sweden. The analysis of the results considers the implications of holding strategies from both passenger and operator perspectives. The analysis suggests substantial gains are possible by implementing a holding strategy on the basis of the mean headway from the preceding and the succeeding buses. This strategy is the most efficient for passenger time savings as well as fleet costs and crew management.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Transportation Research Board, Washington, copyright remains with them.