An integrated framework for assessing service efficiency and stability of rail transit systems

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - rail, operations - capacity, operations - reliability, planning - service level


Rail transportation, System stability, System efficiency, Capacity analysis


A well-designed service plan efficiently utilizes its infrastructure and ensures an acceptable level of service stability with consideration of potential incidents that disturb or disrupt the rail transit services. To perform service evaluation, an integrated process combining capacity, resource usage, and system reliability is required to quantify service efficiency and stability in a consistent way. This study adopts capacity-based indices, “capacity utilization” and “expected recovery time”, as the attributes for service efficiency and stability, and develops a comprehensive evaluation framework with three corresponding modules to incorporate capacity, service plan, and system reliability and maintainability simultaneously. The capacity analysis module computes the rail transit capacities under normal and degraded operations. The reliability module classifies and fits the proper reliability and maintainability distributions to the historical interruption data. The service efficiency and stability module analyzes the results of the previous two modules and evaluates the service efficiency and stability of rail transit service plans. Empirical results show that the established evaluation framework can not only evaluate the service efficiency and stability but also identify critical sections and time slots. This tool can help rail transit operators rapidly assess their operational changes and investment strategies related to efficiency and stability so as to provide efficient and stable services to their customers.


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


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