Maximizing bus discharge flows from multi-berth stops by regulating exit maneuvers

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, infrastructure - stop, operations - capacity


Bus-stop congestion, Bus-stop queueing models, Bus-stop capacity, Bus-stop exit maneuvers


Upon having loaded and unloaded their passengers, buses are often free to exit a multi-berth bus stop without delay. A bus need not wait to perform this exit maneuver, even if it requires circumventing one or more other buses that are still dwelling in the stop’s downstream berths. Yet, many jurisdictions impose restrictions on bus entry maneuvers into a stop to limit disruptions to cars and other buses. Buses are typically prohibited from entering a stop whenever this would require maneuvering around other buses still dwelling in upstream berths. An entering bus is instead required to wait in queue until the upstream berths are vacated.

Analytical models are formulated to predict how bus discharge flows from busy, multi-berth stops are affected by allowing buses to freely exit, but not freely enter berths. These models apply when: a bus queue is always present at the stop’s entrance; buses depart the entry queue and enter the stop as per the restriction described above; and the stop is isolated from the effects of nearby traffic signals and other bus stops. We find that for these restricted-entry stops, bus-carrying capacities can often be improved by regulating the exit maneuvers as well. This turns out to be particularly true when the stop’s number of berths is large. Simulations show that these findings still hold when a stop is only moderately busy with entry queues that persist for much, but not all of the time. The simulations also indicate that removing any restrictions on bus exit maneuvers is almost always productive when stops are not busy, such that short entry queues form only on occasion, and only for short periods. We argue why certain simple policies for regulating exit maneuvers would likely enhance bus-stop discharge flows.


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


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