Bus Drivers' Responses to Real-Time Schedule Adherence and the Effects on Transit Reliability

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, technology - intelligent transport systems, technology - automatic vehicle monitoring, operations - reliability, operations - scheduling, planning - surveys


real-time information, survey, bus drivers, transit reliability, timepoint stops


Bus drivers have responded positively toward real-time bus information in various surveys. However, empirical studies on their actual responses are limited. On the basis of actual automatic vehicle location data, this study quantified bus drivers' responses to real-time schedule adherence and their effects on transit reliability. Bus trips that were ahead of and behind schedule were analyzed separately at timepoint stops, regular stops, and along the roadways between stops. Results revealed that bus drivers would use real-time information to keep on schedule. Early buses were found to be more likely to make adjustments in response to information than were late buses along the roadways. Moreover, bus drivers' responses to real-time information was found to improve transit reliability: 50% of the improvement was the result of drivers' responses to schedule adherence at timepoint stops and 50% was the result mainly of drivers' responses to schedule adherence along the roadways. The likelihood that drivers would make adjustments at regular stops to adhere to schedule was low.


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