Passenger Travel Time Reliability for Multimodal Public Transport Journeys

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, mode - subway/metro, mode - tram/light rail, place - europe, place - urban, operations - reliability, planning - service quality, planning - methods, technology - passenger information, technology - automatic vehicle monitoring


Urban transit, travel time reliability, multimodal transfers


Urban transit networks typically consist of multiple modes and the journeys may involve a transfer within or across modes. Therefore, the passenger experience of travel time reliability is based on the whole journey experience including the transfers. Although the impact of transfers on reliability has been highlighted in the literature, the existing indicators either focus on unimodal transfers only or fail to include all components of travel time in reliability measurement. This study extends the existing “reliability buffer time” metric to transit journeys with multimodal transfers and develops a methodology to calculate it using a combination of smartcard and automatic vehicle location data. The developed methodology is applied to a real-life case study for the Amsterdam transit network consisting of bus, metro, and tram lines. By using a consistent method for all journeys in the network, reliability can be compared between different transit modes or between multiple routes for the same origin–destination pair. The developed metric can be used to study the reliability impacts of policies affecting multiple transit modes. It can also be used as an input to behavioral models such as mode, route, or departure time choice models.


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