Unreliability effects in public transport modelling.

Niels van Oort, Ties Brands, Erik de Romph, Jessica Aceves Flores

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Nowadays, transport demand models do not explicitly evaluate the impacts of service reliability of transit. Service reliability of transit systems is adversely experienced by users, as it causes additional travel time and unsecure arrival times. Because of this, travellers are likely to perceive a higher utility from more reliable transport systems. In order to mimic and measure the impacts of service reliability on a transit demand model a three-step approach is proposed using automated vehicle location and smart card data. The approach consists of determining the probabilistic distribution of transit trip times, defining demand patterns and estimating the average impacts of unreliability per passenger. This approach was successfully tested on the model of the city of Utrecht in The Netherlands. By adding service reliability as a variable parameter of transit systems the results of the demand model improved, showing that the absolute difference between the observed and the estimated demand decreased by 18%. In addition, the proposed approach allows measuring the effects of expected changes in level of service reliability on traveller behaviour. Finally, we identify future research topics required to improve the estimation of those effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-130
JournalInternational journal of transportation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • public transport assignment
  • public transport modelling
  • Reliability
  • METIS-311513
  • IR-100383


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