Impacts of bus overtaking policies on the capacity of bus stops

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, place - urban, infrastructure - stop, infrastructure - traffic signals, operations - capacity, ridership - drivers, ridership - behaviour, policy - congestion


Bus queues, bus stop capacity


Long bus queues at busy stops plague bus systems in many cities. Since berths are laid-out in tandem, buses’ overtaking maneuvers are often prohibited or restricted, which can significantly reduce a bus stop’s discharge capacity. When overtaking is allowed, aggressive drivers may perform disruptive oblique insertion maneuvers that would undermine stop capacity and compromise safety. This paper develops parsimonious yet realistic simulation models to examine the impacts of different overtaking policies on bus-stop capacity. Key realistic features are considered, including the oblique insertions resulting from overtaking, impacts of a nearby traffic signal, and bus traffic characteristics (reaction and move-up times). Extensive numerical experiments unveil many new findings. Some are at odds with those reported by previous studies. In addition, we examine two strategies that can improve the stop capacity without incurring disruptive oblique insertions. Practical implications of our findings are discussed, especially on choosing the most productive overtaking policy and means to minimize the capacity lost to buses’ mutual blockage at stops. These implications have broad applications to various types of bus stops.


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


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