Bus travel time modelling using GPS probe and smart card data: A probabilistic approach considering link travel time and station dwell time

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, place - asia, operations - reliability, technology - geographic information systems


GPS probe data, link travel time, smart card data, station dwell time, travel time reliability


Path travel time estimation for buses is critical to public transit operation and passenger information system. State-of-the-art methods for estimating path travel time are usually focused on single vehicle with a limited number of road segments, thereby neglecting the interaction among multiple buses, boarding behavior, and traffic flow. This study models path travel time for buses considering link travel time and station dwell time. First, we fit link travel time to shifted lognormal distributions as in previous studies. Then, we propose a probabilistic model to capture interactions among buses in the bus bay as a first-in-first-out queue, with every bus sharing the same set of behaviors: queuing to enter the bus bay, loading/unloading passengers, and merging into traffic flow on the main road. Finally, path travel time distribution is estimated by statistically summarizing link travel time distributions and station dwell time distributions. The path travel time of a bus line in Hangzhou is analyzed to validate the effectiveness of the proposed model. Results show that the model-based estimated path travel time distribution resembles the observed distribution well. Based on the calculation of path travel time, link travel time reliability is identified as the main factor affecting path travel time reliability.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Taylor&Francis, copyright remains with them.