Applying Spatial Aggregation Methods to Identify Opportunities for New Bus Services in London

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, place - urban, mode - bus, technology - automatic vehicle monitoring, technology - passenger information, planning - methods, planning - route design, planning - service quality, planning - service improvement, operations - performance


origin–destination (OD) data, network improvements, new bus routes


Innovative analyses of origin–destination (OD) data derived from automatic fare collection and automatic vehicle location systems in public transport networks enable planners to gain new insights into how passengers travel in the network and the quality of service provided, and can even inform decisions about network improvements. Particularly in large, complex networks, systematic, data-driven approaches to network evaluation and planning are essential. New methodologies are needed to transform OD data into informative metrics and planning recommendations. This paper proposes a framework for this process and applies it to London’s public transport network. Though there are many ways to improve public transport networks, this paper focuses on the addition of new bus routes to reduce circuity. The proposed framework includes three steps that combine OD-level analysis with spatial aggregation methodologies for the identification of corridors for new bus services. First, bus stops and rail stations were clustered into geographic zones. Second, a subset of zonal OD pairs with circuitous service were identified as candidates for improvement through new bus routes, based on performance standards established with user-defined parameters. Third, an algorithm that clusters OD pairs into corridors was applied to identify promising corridors for new bus services. This paper discusses corridors identified for new services in the London case study.


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