A model for estimating the optimal cycle length of demand responsive feeder transit services

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - interchange/transfer, mode - demand responsive transit, planning - network design, place - north america


Optimal cycle, Demand responsive, Feeder transit, Transit performance, Continuous approximations, First/last mile


The general lack of first/last mile connectivity is one of the main challenges faced by today’s public transit. One of the possible actions towards a solution to this problem is the planning, design and implementation of efficient feeder transit services. This paper develops an analytical model which allows for an easy computation of near optimal terminal-to-terminal cycle length of a demand responsive feeder service to maximize service quality provided to customers, defined as the inverse of a weighted sum of waiting and riding times. The model estimates the recommended cycle length by only plugging in geometrical parameters and demand data, without relying on extensive simulation analyses or rule of thumbs. Simulation experiments and comparisons with real services validate our model, which would allow planners, decision makers and practitioners to quickly identify the best feeder transit operating design of any given residential area.


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


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