Is public transport based on transfers optimal? A theoretical investigation

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, infrastructure - interchange/transfer, ridership - demand


Public transport, Transfers, Lines structures, Optimal frequency, Optimal bus size


We analyze the effect of unbalanced demand on the type of optimal service structures, e.g. trunk–feeder or direct lines, on a simplified linear urban corridor with three zones, two origin–destination pairs and a common link, where demands can be served with up to two complementary, substitute or exclusive lines. The best lines structure is identified as a function of the demand imbalance under total cost minimization (operators plus users). The conditions under which services with transfers dominate are identified and discussed.


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


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