Friday Exception Scheduling in Transit Systems: An Exploratory Analysis When Data Are Limited

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, place - north america, operations - scheduling, operations - frequency, economics - benefits, economics - operating costs, ridership - behaviour, ridership - commuting


ridership patterns on Friday, operating different schedules on Friday, base level of weekday ridership, service frequency, residential and employment land uses served


Most transit agencies operate the same schedule Monday through Friday, except on holidays. Recent work suggests that agencies potentially could save money by operating different schedules on Friday. This research paper aims to identify factors associated with different ridership patterns on Friday, especially when limited data are available. Ridership data for seven bus routes serving Newark, New Jersey, were analyzed, along with characteristics of the routes and areas they serve. These data were limited in that they were provided as a PDF file and were for one month only. Land uses associated with commuting, specifically those with a mix of high residential density and employment density, were found to have different ridership patterns on Friday. A three-part screening process is outlined, looking at the base level of weekday ridership, service frequency, and the residential and employment land uses served. Based on this, two routes serving Newark were identified for which an alternative schedule potentially could be implemented on Friday. This screening process will be useful for transit agencies with limited data resources and that may benefit from Friday exception scheduling, when it is feasible to implement.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by National Center for Transit Research, University of South Florida, copyright remains with them.