Coordinated optimization of tram trajectories with arterial signal timing resynchronization

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - urban, mode - tram/light rail, infrastructure - bus/tram priority, infrastructure - traffic signals, operations - scheduling, operations - coordination, planning - methods


Tram, Timetable, Signal timings, Coordinated optimization


Modern trams run on exclusive rail lanes along urban streets, but they usually share the right of way with general traffic at intersections and often get interrupted by traffic signals. To improve tram operation reliability, this paper develops a methodology to optimize a multi-period tram timetable by simultaneously adjusting bidirectional scheduled tram trajectories and traffic signal timings. The objective balances the operational priorities of minimizing tram running time and maximizing timetable adherence. The scheduled trajectories depict tram movements along the roads and dwell processes at stations. Arterial signal timings are resynchronized to favor tram movements. The proposed methodology was evaluated in a simulation of a real-world tram line. Compared with a traditional approach, the proposed methodology reduced tram running time, number of stops at intersections and schedule delay by 11.1%, 82.4% and 37.5%, respectively. The impact on general traffic could be assumed neutral since cycle lengths, green splits and vehicular bandwidths were kept unchanged.


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


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