Detecting and improving public-transit connectivity with case studies of two world sport events

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, mode - rail, mode - subway/metro, place - australasia, place - europe, infrastructure - interchange/transfer, operations - coordination, operations - capacity, operations - scheduling, planning - service improvement


Public‐transit coordination, Transit connectivity, Weak transit segments, Max-flow procedure


Improving public-transit (PT) connectivity is one of the most vital tasks in transit-operations planning. A poor connection can cause some passengers to stop using the transit service. Service-design criteria always contain postulates to improve routing and scheduling coordination (intra- and inter-agency transfer centers/points and synchronized/timed transfers). However, ostensibly the lack of well-defined connectivity measures precludes the weighing and quantifying of the result of any coordination effort, and thus makes it difficult for the decision makers to draw any firm conclusion. This work provides an initial methodological framework, concepts and tools for detecting weak segments in inter-route and inter-modal chains (paths) for possible revisions/changes. The approach used is based on a description of PT connectivity network involved with attributes and passenger flows. Formulations are developed to detect weak segments of the PT network, and the max-flow algorithm is utilized to find out the locations of the bottlenecks within this network. Two case studies are presented of two major cities undergoing two major sporting events; the city of London in the United Kingdom hosting the XXX Olympic Games in 2012 and the city of Auckland in New Zealand that hosted the 7th Rugby World Cup (RWC) in 2011. These cities are used to offer a comparison of the bottlenecks in their PT networks. The results indicate that in the City of London, the PT lines of Tube (Bakerloo), Rail (London Euston) and Bus (Route 18) leading to the Wembley Stadium Station are the bottlenecks and in the City of Auckland, the bottlenecks are the PT lines of Bus (Routes 212–249) and Rail (Western Line) leading to the Eden Park Stadium. It is evident that improving the capacity and accessibility of these lines will increase the maximum flow (throughput) to their respective sport stadiums. Overall, the PT connectivity measures help to detect the weakest arc, path or node in comparison with other identified arcs, paths, or nodes within the PT network. These tools can assist decision makers in planning for future PT improvements.


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


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