Real-Time Public Transport Operations: Library of Control Strategies

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - australasia, operations - coordination, operations - performance, operations - reliability, technology - intelligent transport systems


public transport (PT), multimodal system, real-time control, service reliability, coordinated transfers


Modern public transport (PT) operations have evolved into a complex multimodal system in which small-scale disorder can propagate. Large-scale disruptions to passengers and PT agencies result. Various studies have been developed to model PT control at the operational level; however, the main downside of possible real-time control actions is the lack of intelligent modeling and a systematic process that can activate such actions immediately. This study presents a real-time control procedure to increase service reliability and to improve successful coordinated transfers in a complex PT system. The developed method aims at minimizing total travel time for passengers and reducing the uncertainty of meetings between PT vehicles. A library of operational tactics is first built to serve as a basis of the real-time decision-making process. The methodology developed is applied to a real-life case study in Auckland, New Zealand. The results showed improvements in system performance and confirmed the use of real-time control actions to maintain reliable PT service.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Transportation Research Board, Washington, copyright remains with them.