Real-Time Control of Buses in a Transit Corridor Based on Vehicle Holding and Boarding Limits

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - vehicle, mode - bus, operations - capacity, operations - traffic


Vehicle holding time, Traffic capacity, Real time control, Operating speed, Mathematical models, Intracity bus transportation, Highway capacity, Bus transit, Boarding limits


A real-time mathematical programming model of buses operating on a transit corridor that incorporates vehicle-capacity constraints is proposed. The objective for the model is to minimize the total times experienced by all passengers in the system, from the moment they arrive at a stop to the moment they reach their destination. Two control policies are considered: (a) vehicle holding, which is applicable at any stop, and (b) boarding limits that constrain the number of passengers entering a vehicle even when the vehicle is at less than physical capacity, to increase operating speed. The objective function is quadratic, but not convex with linear constraints. This problem is solved by using MINOS in a reasonable amount of computation time. A case study in a high-demand scenario shows that the proposed control achieves reductions in the objective function of more than 22% and 12% compared with no control and only holding strategies, respectively.