Influential vectors in fuel consumption by an urban bus operator: Bus route, driver behavior or vehicle type?

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, place - europe, place - urban, economics - operating costs, infrastructure - vehicle


Fuel efficiency, Bus operator, Regression models, Elasticities, Lisbon metropolitan area


Energy costs account for an important share of the total costs of urban and suburban bus operators. The purpose of this paper is to expand empirical research on bus transit operation costs and identify the key factors that influence bus energy efficiency of the overall bus fleet of one operator and aid to the management of its resources.

We estimate a set of multivariate regression models, using cross-section dataset of 488 bus drivers operating over 92 days in 2010, in 87 routes with different bus typologies, of a transit company operating in the Lisbon’s Metropolitan Area (LMA), Rodoviária de Lisboa, S.A.

Our results confirm the existence of influential variables regarding energy efficiency and these are mainly: vehicle type, commercial speed, road grades over 5% and bus routes; and to a lesser extent driving events such as: sudden longitudinal decelerations and excessive engine rotation. The methodology proved to be useful for the bus operator as a decision-support tool for efficiency optimization purpose at the company level.


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


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