Real-Time Bus-Holding Control Strategy to Reduce Passenger Waiting Time

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus rapid transit, place - asia, technology - passenger information, technology - automatic vehicle monitoring, technology - intelligent transport systems, operations - coordination


bus-holding strategy, bus rapid transit (BRT), real-time data, automatic vehicle location, automatic passenger count


This paper presents research on a real-time bus-holding control strategy that minimizes passenger waiting time. This bus-holding strategy forces buses to hold at stations for a while after a passenger exchange is finished. A mathematical model is proposed to determine the optimal holding time. Both onboard and on-station passenger waiting times have been taken into account. Given the real-time nature of the problem, a heuristic method based on gradient descent algorithms was developed. The proposed control strategy was evaluated by using data derived from a shuttle bus rapid transit (BRT) line in the city of Mashhad, Iran. The BRT line was simulated and calibrated by available empirical and real-time data from the automatic vehicle location and automatic passenger counting systems. The results indicate that the proposed bus-holding strategy reduces total passenger waiting time by 8.65%.


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