An incentive-based optimizing strategy of service frequency for an urban rail transit system

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, place - urban, mode - rail, mode - subway/metro, operations - frequency, operations - crowding, economics - operating costs, planning - service level, planning - service quality, planning - travel demand management


Urban rail transit, Service frequency, Incentive strategy, Stackelberg game


The service level of urban rail transit is very much affected by the service frequency. This paper proposes an optimizing strategy of service frequency to achieve a tradeoff between service quality and operating cost. Then, an incentive strategy is introduced into the optimizing process of service frequency, to motivate part of passengers to shift their trips from peak to off-peak periods, eventually mitigating the crowdedness and discomfort. Finally, numerical experiments based on a city’s metro in China are performed and the results demonstrate that the proposed strategy can significantly improve the riding experience and decrease the operating cost.


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


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