Public Transport

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 215–235 | Cite as

Optimizing the number and location of time point stops

  • Oded CatsEmail author
  • Ferran Mach Rufi
  • Haris N. Koutsopoulos
Original Paper


Public transport service is subject to multiple sources of uncertainty that impact its reliability. Holding control strategies are a common method to prevent the deterioration of service reliability along the route. This paper expands on previous studies by considering the general case of determining both the optimal number and optimal location of the time point stops (TPS) where holding takes place, and assessing their impacts on transit performance using simulation. Holding times are determined based on a real-time headway-based holding strategy designed to improve service regularity by seeking uniform headways along the route. The evaluation of the performance of alternative TPS layouts is simulation-based, using BusMezzo, a transit operations simulation model which models the dynamic performance of bus transit systems. The proposed framework also considers the multiple objectives incorporating passenger and operator points of view. The simulation-based optimization framework was applied in a case study with one of the premium bus lines in Stockholm, Sweden, using two solution methods—greedy and genetic algorithms. A multi-objective evaluation was conducted considering both passenger and operator perspectives. The results demonstrate that transit performance varies considerably with alternative TPS layouts. The best solution obtained by the proposed methodology reduces total weighted passenger journey times and cycle times compared to both the current layout and the case of no holding control. The proposed method could assist transit agencies and operators in evaluating and recommending alternative time point layouts.


Public transport Simulation Optimization Control Reliability Time point stops 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oded Cats
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Ferran Mach Rufi
    • 2
  • Haris N. Koutsopoulos
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Transport and LogisticsRoyal Institute of Technology (KTH)StockholmSweden
  2. 2.Escola Tècnica Superior d’Enginyers de Camins, Universitat Politècnica de CatalunyaBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Transport and PlanningDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands

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