Role of Timetable, Rolling Stock Rescheduling, and Information Strategies to Passengers in Public Transport Disruptions

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - scheduling, infrastructure - rolling stock, ridership - perceptions, planning - methods, planning - signage/information


public transport disruption, rescheduling strategies, passenger satisfaction


In the event of public transport disruption, operating companies produce disposition timetables depending on different rescheduling strategies, such as retiming or rerouting, with services fully/partially cancelled, and also taking into account more complex, adjusted, feasible rolling stock circulation. The aim is to reduce passengers’ delays, thereby limiting detriment to passengers’ activities and their related satisfaction. The key relation between the supply of operating companies and passengers’ satisfaction is information disseminated about running services. This paper innovatively combines an optimization model and an agent-based micro-simulation model (MATSim) to explore passengers’ (dis)satisfaction with different disposition timetables and information strategies, which is helpful for operating companies to offer better services to passengers in cases of public transport disruption. Activity-based agent behaviors in a multi-modal network are simulated and agents’ delays and scores for the city of Zürich, Switzerland, analyzed. Passengers’ (dis)satisfaction is indicated by their delays in the directly affected (i.e., disrupted) trip and utility for their whole trips and activities estimated by a score function. Disruption results in immediate delays for passengers whose planned services fail to run, plus delays for passengers on the line where extra services are planned to run (rerouted). The earlier information on the disposition timetable is disseminated to passengers, the higher their satisfaction during disruption. Compared with full cancellation of train services, computing a precise feasible rolling stock circulation able to handle partial train cancellations can significantly benefit passengers, especially those whose planned services are disrupted, against minor delays incurred by other group of passengers.


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