Effects of Transit Real-Time Information Usage Strategies

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

technology - intelligent transport systems, ridership - behaviour, planning - travel demand management, economics - value of time


Real-time information (RTI), passenger benefits, route choice, demand management


Real-time information (RTI) is becoming increasingly available to transit travelers. This paper discusses the effects of RTI access available before the start of a journey in relation to line loads as well as passenger benefits. That RTI access can affect the choice of departure time and stop as well as the route choice is considered. Two types of travelers with access to RTI are distinguished: travelers who want to arrive at their destinations as soon as possible and passengers who prefer to stay slightly longer at their current locations if doing so can reduce their travel time. For illustration, a network with irregular service arrivals is used and the optimal strategy approach of Spiess and Florian is used as a benchmark for passengers without RTI access. As expected, results showed that travelers without RTI access travel longer but also that particular combinations of traveler strategy and RTI provision lead to counterintuitive effects. Results further illustrated that the two RTI access strategies that travelers use can lead to significant differences in loads. Implications for demand management are discussed.


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