Don’t stop just yet! A simple, effective, and socially responsible approach to bus-stop consolidation

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - urban, place - north america, mode - bus, infrastructure - stop, operations - service span, operations - frequency, planning - service quality


Public transit, Bus operations, Bus stop consolidation, Stop spacing, Service coverage, Walking distance


Bus-stop consolidation is one of the most cost-effective ways for a transit agency to improve the quality of their bus services. By removing unnecessary stops, buses will have reduced runtimes, which can lead to higher frequencies and/or fewer buses on a route. Unfortunately, current research on bus stop consolidation and stop spacing focuses on complex mathematical models that are difficult for agencies to apply, and that overlook many important real-world considerations. The goal of this paper is to propose a new bus stop consolidation methodology that is realistic, simple, and effective, while at the same time being sensitive to people with reduced mobility and adaptable to the needs of different agencies. The new methodology is tested on the bus network of the Société de transport de Montreal (STM). Adopting this simple methodology is expected to remove 23 % of the network’s stops while only reducing the system coverage area by 1 %. The removal of these stops could result in morning-peak savings of 109 h of operating time and the elimination of a bus from up to 75 routes at the system level. This methodology can be applied to any urban bus network, and thus can be of interest to transit agencies and transportation researchers.


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