Transfer Penalty Estimation of Bus Passengers Considering Travel Frequency in Chengdu, China

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, place - urban, mode - bus, ridership - behaviour, ridership - modelling, technology - passenger information, technology - ticketing systems, technology - automatic vehicle monitoring


Bus, route choice behavior


The paper aims to examine bus passengers’ route choice behavior in the context of transfer penalty estimation. Methodologically, it leverages passengers’ stop-level trip information inferred from automatic vehicle location (AVL) and automated fare collection (AFC) data and compares the stop-level origin–destination (O-D) pairs with direct paths and transfer paths. The route choice models were established with the inclusion of normalized travel frequency as a key variable. A case study was performed using the trip data of adult card holders from the bus systems in Chengdu, China. The results show that the normalized travel frequency is a variable that makes an informative contribution to the explanation of passenger route choices. Specifically, passengers with higher travel frequency prefer to choose the transfer path. Moreover, the transfer penalty function in the context of the monthly travel frequency was obtained and shows that the travel frequency can reduce a passenger’s transfer penalty. Finally, the stabilities of the normalized travel frequency function and transfer penalty function were assessed using the trip data from the weekdays in four weeks with the results showing that the normalized travel frequency function is similar in shape. In addition, the relationship between a passenger’s monthly travel frequency and their familiarity with the bus network was discussed using the second derivative of the normalized travel frequency function.


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