Estimation of passenger waiting time using automatically collected transit data

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus rapid transit, place - north america, technology - automatic vehicle monitoring, technology - ticketing systems, technology - passenger information, ridership - behaviour


Automatic fare collection (AFC), General feed transit specification (GTFS), Waiting time, Transit, Trip chaining algorithm, Automatic passenger count (APC)


Among the many ways to improve a transit system is a reduction in travel time as experienced by the passenger. Hence, passenger waiting times remain a topic of interest among transit planners. In this study, the effects of transit vehicle delays on passenger waiting time is investigated, as well as the effects of transfer status, boarding location, time of day, and rider travel frequency. The data used in this study were collected using automatic fare collection (AFC) and automatic vehicle location (AVL) technology. A trip chaining algorithm is used to infer the trajectory of each passenger, and as a result produce measures of passenger waiting time and vehicle delay. An analysis of an arterial Bus Rapid Transit (aBRT) line in Saint Paul, Minnesota reveals a waiting time model consistent with previous literature, a positive relationship between vehicle delay and passenger waiting time, and an insignificant relationship between transfer status and passenger waiting time. Finally, a simple model relating waiting time and vehicle delay is provided for the purpose of transit planning and waiting time estimation.


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