Measuring Bus Stop Dwell Time and Time Lost Serving Stop with London iBus Automatic Vehicle Location Data


Steve Robinson

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, place - europe, technology - automatic vehicle monitoring, infrastructure - stop


Dwell time, bus stop, automatic vehicle location systems, transit agencies


consider the time lost by the bus decelerating and accelerating from a stationary speed to serve the stop. This paper identifies eight features that are observed when a bus serves a bus stop. These features were used to propose a definition of dwell time that can be measured with bus automatic vehicle location systems. A proposed metric gives the time that would have been saved had the bus stop not been present in the road network. Metrics were calculated for all bus stops on Route 45 in London; more than 50,000 stop visit events were used for the calculation. The time lost arriving at (i.e., decelerating) and departing from (i.e., accelerating) the bus stop was typically 11.6 s. This interval was often much longer than the time lost when the doors were open at the bus stop. Buses were shown to lose significant time serving a bus stop even if the bus never came to a halt at the stop. The method proposed in this paper can be used by transit agencies to measure the actual drive time of buses, removing the component of time lost serving the bus stop. The method can be used to identify bus stops that may need redesign to reduce the time lost in arriving and departing. A novel contribution of this research is that all proposed metrics can be automatically measured with modern automatic vehicle location systems, allowing easy collection of information.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Transportation Research Board, Washington, copyright remains with them.