High-Load Transit Line Passenger Transmission and Productiveness Efficiencies

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, operations - capacity, operations - performance, organisation - management, place - urban, planning - route design, planning - service quality


Urban, transit systems, capacity, efficiency, productive performance


The performance of urban transit systems may be quantified and assessed by using transit capacity and productive capacity in planning, design, and operational management activities. In another paper, important productive performance measures of an individual transit service and transit line were defined; these definitions are extended in this paper to quantify efficiency and operating fashion of transit services and lines. Comparison of a hypothetical bus line's operation during a morning peak hour and daytime hour demonstrates the usefulness to the operator of productiveness efficiency and passenger transmission efficiency, passenger churn, and average proportion line length traveled in understanding the productive performance, operating characteristics, and quality of service of the services and lines. Productiveness efficiency can flag potential pass-up activity under high-load conditions, as well as ineffective resource deployment. Proportion line length traveled can directly measure operating fashion. These measures can be used to compare between lines and routes and various operating scenarios and time horizons within a given line to target improvements. The next research stage is investigating within-line variation by using smart card passenger data and field observation of pass-ups. Insights will be used to further develop practical guidance for operators.


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