Inferring the route-use patterns of metro passengers based only on travel-time data within a Bayesian framework using a reversible-jump Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulation

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - subway/metro, technology - ticketing systems, technology - passenger information, ridership - modelling


Smart-card data, Route choice, Bayesian estimation, Gaussian mixture model, Reversible jump Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) sampler


The passenger share and the average travel time for multiple routes connecting an origin–destination pair on a metro network has been examined based on a known number of used routes. Determining how many routes were used based only on travel times from smart-card data is a difficult task, even though the automatic fare collection system can provide a massive amount of travel data. The present study proposes a robust approach to incorporate the number of used routes as an unknown parameter into a Bayesian framework based on a reversible-jump Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm. Other route-use patterns such as the passenger share and the mean and variance of route travel times were also estimated. The performance of the present approach was compared with the existing method, which depends on the Bayesian information criterion (BIC). The present approach showed better performance in reproducing the observed number of routes used, and also provided greater flexibility in recognizing route-use patterns through the marginal posterior distribution of other unknown parameters.


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


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