Modeling the interaction between buses, passengers and cars on a bus route using a multi-agent system

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - australasia, mode - bus, mode - car, operations - capacity, operations - frequency, ridership - demand, planning - route design


Public transport network, bus route, simulation, multi-agent system, bus capacity, service frequency, scenarios


This paper models part of a public transport network (PTN), specifically, a bus route, as a small-size multi-agent system (MAS). The proposed approach is applied to a case study considering a ‘real world’ bus line within the PTN in Auckland, New Zealand. The MAS-based analysis uses modeling and simulation to examine the characteristics of the observed system – autonomous agents interacting with one another – under different scenarios, considering bus capacity and frequency of service for existing and projected public transport (PT) demand. A simulation model of a bus route is developed, calibrated and validated. Several results are attained, such as when the PT passenger load is not close to bus capacity, this load has no effect on average passenger waiting time at bus stops. The model proposed can be useful to practitioners as a tool to model the interaction between buses and other agents.


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