Optimal combinations of selected tactics for public-transport transfer synchronization

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - australasia, infrastructure - interchange/transfer, technology - intelligent transport systems


Public transport, Operational tactics, Transfers, Optimization


Handling efficiently and effectively real-time vehicle control is of major concern of public transport (PT) operators. One related problem is on how to reduce the uncertainty of simultaneous arrivals of two or more vehicles at a transfer point. Improper or lack of certain control actions leads to have missed transfers, one of the undesirable features of the PT service. Missed transfers result in increase of passenger waiting and travel times, and of passenger frustration. This work focuses on reducing the uncertainty of missed transfers by the use of control tactics in real-time operation. The developed model improves the PT service performance by optimally increasing the number of direct transfers and reducing the total passenger travel time. This model consists of two policies built upon a combination of two tactics: holding and skip-stop/segment, where a segment is a group of stops. The implementation of the concept is performed in two steps: optimization and simulation. The optimization searches for the best combination of operational tactics. The simulation serves as a validation of the optimal results under a stochastic framework. A case in Auckland, New Zealand is used. The results show that by applying the holding-skip stop, and holding-skip segment tactics the number of direct transfers are increased by about 100% and 150%, and the total passenger travel time is reduced by 2.14% and 4.1%, respectively, compared with the no-tactic scenario. The holding-skip segment tactic results with 47% more direct transfers than the holding-skip stop tactic for short headway operation.


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


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