Application of agent based simulation for evaluating a bus layout design from passengers’ perspective

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, place - europe, infrastructure - vehicle, ridership - attitudes


Autonomous agents, Simulation, Bus, Public transportation, Passenger behaviour


This paper shows that agent based simulation can evaluate the performance of different bus layout designs from passengers’ perspective, thus helping bus manufacturers to design new layouts that are more attractive for passengers. Including agent-based simulation in the bus design process is an inexpensive and efficient procedure to evaluate new design concepts (wheel-well position, number of doors, etc.) in relation to the preferences, needs and expectations of current and future passengers. Its main advantage is that these new design concepts are evaluated well before manufacturing the first physical prototype. Bus passengers are modelled and simulated as autonomous agents. Eight different types of passengers, which were elaborated from observations of actual passengers, have been modelled. Passengers’ preferences and features have been implemented using a calibrated making decision algorithm. The paper also presents two case-studies to analyse the sensitivity of the performance of two different bus layouts with different number and distributions of passengers.


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


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