Evaluating the impact of waiting time reliability on route choice using smart card data

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, place - urban, ridership - behaviour, ridership - perceptions, technology - passenger information, technology - ticketing systems


Public transport, waiting time, reliability, revealed preferences, smart card data


Unreliable waiting times may cause frustration and anxiety amongst public transport travellers. Although the effect of travel time reliability has been studied extensively, most studies have used stated preferences which have disadvantages, such as an inherent hypothetical bias, or have analysed revealed preferences for road traffic. Here, we derive revealed preferences from passively collected smart card data to analyse the role of waiting time reliability in public transport route choice. We study waiting time reliability as regular and irregular deviations from scheduled values, examining a number of indicators for the latter. Behaviour in morning peak and off-peak hours is contrasted and differences in reliability coefficients for different modes in the network, and for origin and transfer stops are reported. Results from The Hague indicate relatively low reliability ratios with travellers perceiving a 5-minute standard deviation in realised waiting times as an extra 1–5.6 min of planned waiting time.


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