A review of public transport transfer synchronisation at the real-time control phase

Konstantinos Gkiotsalitis*, Oded Cats, Tao Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
116 Downloads (Pure)


We perform a systematic review of real-time control strategies for transfer synchronisations in public transport. In particular, we review inter-station and intra-station control measures that can be applied in near real-time, including vehicle holding, stop-skipping, speed control, short-turning, rescheduling, interlining, rerouting, and boarding limits. The topic of public transfer synchronisation at the operational phase is both a technically challenging and timely topic. It is technically challenging because finding optimal control measures is a computationally intensive problem and these measures should be computed in near real-time. It is also timely because of the emerging developments in shared mobility, Mobility-as-a-Service schemes, on-demand public transport, and vehicle automation that pose new opportunities as well as challenges in designing seamless passenger transfers. In our systematic review, we analyse the modelling approaches for real-time transfer synchronisation, including mathematical programmes, heuristics, rule-based approaches, and stochastic optimisation models. We then critically discuss the available literature and provide a future outlook, outlining six research directions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-107
Number of pages20
JournalTransport reviews
Issue number1
Early online date2 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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