The impact of scheduling on service reliability: trip-time determination and holding points in long-headway services

This paper presents research on optimizing service reliability of longheadway
services in urban public transport. Setting the driving time, and thus the
departure time at stops, is an important decision when optimizing reliability in urban
public transport. The choice of the percentile out of historical data determines the
probability of being late or early, while the scheduled departure time determines the
arrival pattern for travelers. A hypothetical line and a case study are used to determine
the optimal percentile value for long-headway services without and with holding
points. If no holding points are applied, it is shown that the 35-percentile value
minimizes the additional travel time to 25 % of the reference situation. In the case of
holding, two holding points combined with a 30–60-percentile value yield the best
performance: a further reduction of the additional travel time with 60 %.

Read the full paper: Paper Public Transport Van Oort 2012

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