A holding control strategy for diverging bus lines

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, place - urban, ridership - demand, operations - coordination, operations - performance


Transit line coordination, Branch and trunk network operations, Corridor management, Real time holding control


Holding has been extensively used as control strategy to regulate public transport operations, especially to maintain even headways and prevent buses of the same line to bunch up. Applying holding to multiple lines requires however to deal with the transition between corridor and branching segments. In this study, we introduce a holding criterion for network configurations with lines that operate jointly along a common corridor and then diverge to individual branches serving different urban areas. The proposed holding decision rule accounts for all different passenger groups in the overlapping segment and considers the transition to individual line operation. The holding rule is evaluated using simulation for different demand levels and compositions and is compared with state-of-the-art control schemes for a real-world network. Results show that the proposed multi-line control yields performance improvements along the shared transit corridor as well as at the line level. The performance of the control scheme is affected by the demand composition and we provide indications regarding the conditions under which multi-line control is advisable.


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


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