The value of new public transport links for network robustness and redundancy

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, mode - tram/light rail, economics - benefits, operations - capacity, operations - scheduling, infrastructure - interchange/transfer


public transport, network robustness, network resilience, welfare, network expansion


A common argument for introducing new links or services to transport networks is that they will contribute to greater capability to withstand system breakdowns. This paper presents a methodology for assessing the value of new links for public transport network robustness, considering disruptions of other lines and links as well as the new links themselves. The value is evaluated in terms of passenger welfare under disruptions and can be compared to traditional welfare benefits and investment costs. Distinction is made between the value of robustness, defined as the change in welfare during disruption compared to the baseline network, and the value of redundancy, defined as the change in welfare losses due to disruption. The paper introduces the total values of robustness and redundancy by considering a full space of scenarios and their respective frequencies. Using a model that considers passengers’ dynamic travel choices, stochastic traffic conditions, timetables and capacity constraints, results are more nuanced than analyses based only on network topology and other static attributes. A new cross-radial light rail transit line in Stockholm, Sweden, is evaluated. The new link increases welfare levels under all scenarios and has a positive value of robustness. However, disruption costs increase under some scenarios and the value of redundancy is negative. In general, the value of redundancy depends on the new link's role as complement or substitute and passengers’ ability to utilise spare capacity during short-term unexpected disruptions.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Taylor&Francis, copyright remains with them.