Reliability Assessment and Improvements along a Bus Corridor

  • Author / Creator
    Sikder, Rajib
  • Service reliability is an important indicator of transit performance, and has been the subject of much attention in both the research and practice for decades. Reliability of bus service depends on variations in service characteristics such as travel time, schedule adherence, headway, and wait time. As a fundamental property of bus service, reliability determines services’ cost and attractiveness to existing and potential passengers. It is important to the transit agency for resource planning and operation. In this study, two frameworks are developed to assess and improve bus route service reliability. The reliability of a bus route is assessed by measuring variations in service characteristics, and this can be achieved through: 1) selection of performance measures, 2) evaluation of selected measures, and 3) calculation of selected measures. 16 performance measures are selected after conducting a comprehensive literature review, 12 of which are for the assessment of reliability, and 8 for service efficiency. The 16 measures are evaluated with respect to interested party (agency, operator & passenger), service type (high & low frequency service), and analysis level (stop, corridor, route & network). The assessment framework is applied to Route 1 in the City of Edmonton. Historical Route 1 performance data is collected from the Automatic Passenger Counter (APC) database of Edmonton Transit System (ETS). The overall results of estimated measures indicated that a set of performance measures can reflect reliability from every aspect. It was observed that some measures show that Route 1 is reliable, while some indicate unreliability of Route 1. It is also observed that performance of Route 1 during peak periods is worse than off-peak periods. A reliability improvement process through bus route scheduling is also introduced. A schedule-based holding strategy was tested, where early buses with slack time are hold at the timing point until scheduled departure time. In this strategy, slack time is determined from a stochastic optimization model, where the objective is to minimize schedule deviation as well as variation in schedule deviation. Slack time is incorporated into the scheduled departure time. Thus, early buses are required to depart at scheduled departure time. Besides schedule-based holding strategy, transit signal priority (TSP) is also used to improve reliability. In this study, the schedule-based holding strategy is also applied to a bus corridor that has TSP. The application of new schedules that incorporate the holding strategy on bus Route 1 along a corridor with active TSP, in simulation, appears to improve the reliability and efficiency of the bus service.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Specialization
    • Transportation Engineering
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Dr. Amy Kim, Assistant Professor, Transportation Engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Dr. Manish Shirgaokar, Assistant Professor, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
    • Dr. Zhi-Jun (Tony) Qiu, Assistant Professor, Transportation Engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering