In response to growing traffic congestion and consequent passenger demands for more reliable service, many transit operators are seeking to improve bus operations by investing in technology such as automatic vehicle location (AVL) and automatic passenger counters (APCs).
Transit providers have yet to take advantage of low-cost performance and passenger-activity data associated with AVL-APC technology. This is due, in part, to the traditional separation of operations functions (where the AVL-APC technology has been deployed) from the scheduling and service planning functions of transit organizations (where the needs for data and analysis are located). Pockets of excellent AVL-APC data management for specific applications can be found, but integrated approaches that can be applied across the industry do not exist.
The report, Uses of Archived AVL-APC Data to Improve Transit Performance and Management: Review and Potential, provides a working plan for reviewing the needs, practice, and potential in relation to the use of archived AVL-APC data. Several case studies are presented in the report representing a broad range of transit agencies. Successes as well as failures have been documented in the report.
Initial performance impacts:
- a 9 percent improvement in on-time performance
- an 18 percent reduction in running time variation
- a 3 percent reduction in mean running time
- a 4 percent reduction in headway variation.
The implementation of the bus dispatch system (BDS) and its AVL/APC components has yielded tangible improvements in service quality and measurable savings in operating and administrative costs at Tri-Met.
Strathman, J.G., et al. "Evaluation of Transit Operations: Data Applications of Tri-Met’s Automated Bus Dispatching System," Transportation Research Board, Transportation Research Record. Washington, DC. 2002.
(Our website has many links to other organizations. While we offer these electronic linkages for your convenience in accessing transportation-related information, please be aware that when you exit our website, the privacy and accessibility policies stated on our website may not be the same as that on other websites.)