Methodology for Delay-Based Passenger Car Equivalencies for Urban Transit Buses

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - traffic, infrastructure - stop, place - urban, mode - bus, mode - car


Urban areas, Transit buses, Traffic volume, Traffic queuing, Traffic flow, Traffic delay, Stop (Public transportation), Signalized intersections, Signalised intersections, Passenger car equivalence, Field data, Dwell time, Chicago (Illinois), Bus stops


A delay-based passenger car equivalent (D-PCE) methodology for stopping transit buses is presented in this paper. It is based on a D-PCE approach developed in 2000. Field data collected at a near-side bus stop in Chicago, Illinois, were used to determine the total additional delay experienced by bus queues and to illustrate the D-PCE methodology. The relationships between total additional delay, D-PCE, and the factors contributing to delay such as bus dwell time, the number of vehicles queued behind the bus, the bus position within the queue, and the bus arrival–departure time within the cycle were evaluated. The approach is illustrated for cases when the stopping bus was in the first position in the queue. It was found that a bus in first position replaces 5.9 passenger cars. It was also observed that the total additional delay and D-PCE values increased with the factors contributing to additional delay.