All Aboard at All Doors: Route Selection and Running-Time Savings Estimation for Multiscenario All-Door Bus Boarding

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, mode - bus, operations - frequency, operations - performance, planning - service improvement, technology - automatic vehicle monitoring, technology - passenger information


boarding time, all-door boarding, automatic vehicle location, running-time, dwell time


The time that buses spend waiting for passengers to board can be a significant portion of a bus route's overall running time. A key determinant of boarding time is the number of doors through which passengers are permitted to board. Transit agencies that allow boarding through all doors, instead of just through the front door, typically enjoy decreased boarding times and decreased running times. This study focused on the feasibility of an all-door boarding policy for La Société de transport de Montréal (STM), the public transit agency of Montreal, Canada. The potential benefits of such a policy were assessed through three main steps. First, a selection methodology was developed to determine which of STM's bus routes would benefit most from various all-door boarding strategies. Second, a multivariate regression analysis was implemented with STM's archived automatic vehicle location and automatic passenger counter data to estimate the dwell and running-time savings that would result under various implementation scenarios. Third, a sensitivity analysis was developed to demonstrate the savings associated with implementing the policy. The findings showed that all-door boardings could yield substantial savings in running time, with morning peak savings as much as 15.8% on the best routes. In many cases, the running-time savings were enough to remove a bus from a route while still maintaining existing frequencies. The findings from this research may be beneficial for transit planners and operators since the presented methodologies show substantial savings from all-door boarding and can be adopted by other transit agencies.


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