An Adaptive Long-Term Bus Arrival Time Prediction Model with Cyclic Variations

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, technology - intelligent transport systems, technology - geographic information systems


real-time bus information, trip planning, reduce waiting times, cyclic variations in data, Double-Seasonal Holt-Winter’s Exponential Smoothing approach


Real-time bus arrival information systems at transit stops can be useful to passengers for efficient trip planning and reducing waiting times. The accuracy of such systems depends upon the ability of the model to account for variations in the data series and to adjust according to changing traffic conditions. Many of the existing studies on passenger information systems have modeled the system based on stationary relations, not taking into account the cyclic variations in data, which is often suitable for demonstration purposes but not for long-term implementation. The present study models the changing relationships using Double-Seasonal Holt-Winter’s Exponential Smoothing approach, which allows for self-updating parameters at four levels. It accounts for both long-term and short-term seasonal fluctuations in data while maintaining the dynamic treatment of real-time bus information. The model also takes into account delays using the real-time running information of the bus and incorporates it into subsequent forecasts for better accuracy. Real-time data from GPS transmitters in buses were used for validation of the proposed model. The results show that the proposed model performs better than the currently-used elementary field methods and is able to forecast bus travel times with a reasonable accuracy.


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