Improving bus bridging responses via satellite bus reserve locations

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, infrastructure - fleet management


Bus bridging, Unplanned rail disruptions, Replacement buses and depot location


This paper presents a new method for assessing satellite bus reserve location to best service unplanned rail service disruptions by optimising location in relation to travel time to rail replacement, the volume of rail replacement incidents and the scale and spatial distribution of passengers affected.

When rail disruptions unexpectedly occur, re-establishing network connectivity is paramount and the provision of bus bridging (or bus replacement service) is common. Minimising response times are critical in reducing impacts to affected commuters. Currently, reserve buses for such purposes are usually sourced from existing bus depot locations, which are generally situated to suit regular day to day operations. Strategically locating satellite bus reserves according to criteria such as disruption likelihood provides the opportunity to better cater for disrupted demand.

The method is presented and analysis highlights how ideal depot locations within the network changes as consideration is given to travel time to locations where bus bridging commences, likelihood of a disruption warranting bus bridging and commuter volumes affected. The paper discusses the implications of findings for future research and practice.


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


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