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Abstracts from the

Journal of Public Transportation

Volume 9, No. 5, 2006 

Modeling Bus Priority Using Intermodal Dynamic Network Assignment-Simulation Methodology

Khaled F. Abdelghany, Southern Methodist University
Ahmed F. Abdelghany, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Hani S. Mahmassani, University of Maryland
Akmal S. Abdelfatah, American University of Sharjah


This article presents a modeling framework that represents bus priority at signalized intersections in the context of its potential network-level and intermodal effects. The model incorporates bus priority within an intermodal dynamic traffic assignment-simulation model. It dynamically assigns travelers to different modes and routes in the network according to prevailing traffic conditions, which result from applying a certain network control/bus priority scheme. The model considers changes in traffic conditions as a result of (1) drivers’ route choice adjustments due to changes in traffic signals settings and (2) modal shifts by travelers to take advantage of improved transit service. Three different bus priority strategies are considered: phase (green) extension, red truncation, and phase advance. A set of simulation experiments is performed to compare these strategies using two different assignment scenarios: single-mode assignment and intermodal assignment. The results of these experiments highlight the importance of considering reassignment and potential modal shifts in evaluating traffic network performance under different control schemes, especially when these schemes are expected to affect the modal split in the network such as bus priority. Full text (pdf)

Slugging in Houston—Casual Carpool Passenger Characteristics

Mark W. Burris, Texas A&M University
Justin R. Winn, Wilbur Smith Associates


In the last 30 years, determined travelers have developed a new method of travel that offers the benefits of traveling on an HOV lane without forming traditional carpools. Casual carpools, also known as “slugging,” are impromptu carpools formed among strangers to meet the occupancy requirements of HOV lanes. In this research, survey respondent data from Houston, Texas, were used to examine casual carpool passengers.

Results of the analyses revealed that being on a commute trip, making more trips per week, being between the ages of 25 and 34, and having professional/managerial or administrative/clerical occupations all increased the likelihood of a traveler choosing to casual carpool. Additionally, having a household income between $25,000 and $35,000 significantly reduced the likelihood of casual carpooling.

Understanding the types of travelers who casual carpooled and the information gleaned in these analyses can be used to better evaluate HOV and HOT lane use and performance. Casual carpool passengers can comprise a significant portion of HOV/HOT lane person movement and should be considered when investigating HOV or HOT lane implementation.  Full text (pdf)

Office Development, Rail Transit, and Commuting Choices

Robert Cervero, University of California, Berkeley


Decentralized employment growth has cut into transit ridership across the United States. In California, about 20 percent of those working in office buildings near rail stations regularly commute by transit, nearly three times transit’s modal share among those working away from rail stations. Mode choice models reveal that office workers are most likely to rail-commute if frequent feeder bus services are available, their employers help cover the cost of taking transit, and parking is in short supply. Factors like trip-chaining and the absence of restaurants and retail shops near suburban offices, however, deter transit-commuting. Policy-makers can promote transit-commuting to offices near rail stops by flexing parking standards, introducing high-quality feeder buses, and initiating workplace incentives such as deeply discounted transit passes. While housing has generally been the focus of transit-oriented development, unless the other end of the commute trip—the workplace—is also convenient to transit, transit will continue to struggle in winning over commuters in an environment of increasingly decentralized employment growth. Full text (pdf)

Predicting the Impact of Demand- and Supply-Side Measures on Bus Ridership in Putrajaya, Malaysia

Nor Ghani Md. Nor and Abd Rahim Md. Nor, National University of Malaysia
Ahmad Zainuddin Abdullah, University Putra Malaysia


Putrajaya is a unique Malaysian city from a transport policy perspective because of its explicit goal to achieve a 70 percent share of public transport to its core precincts. A study was recently commissioned with the aim of quantifying travelers’ responses to policy measures to ensure effective strategy formulation. This article describes and discusses the methods, results, and policy implications of the study. Econometric estimation results show that improvement in public transport alone is incapable of inducing sufficient modal shift to achieve the goal of a 70:30 split between public and private transport. Although service quality positively influences ridership, modal split is generally not very sensitive to variation in the quality of public transport service. Thus, demand management measures appear to be indispensable as a policy tool to reduce dependence on private transport. Full Text (pdf)

Smart Bicycles in an Urban Area: Evaluation of a Pilot Scheme in London

Robert B. Noland and Muhammad M. Ishaque, Imperial College, London


Automated or smart bicycle systems are seen as a way to enhance mobility and provide a convenient access and egress mode for public transport. This article summarizes an evaluation of a pilot system that was introduced in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham in August 2004. Underground and commuter rail stations, as well as a heavily-used bus network, serve this densely populated area of London. A survey of users was conducted and data were collected from actual use of the system. Analysis of these data provided some insights into the capabilities of these types of systems to enhance existing public transport services. In particular, it was found that the potential of the system lies primarily with the leisure and recreational market and with providing links to public transport stations. The pilot included “sponsored” nonpaying users who tended to use the system more for commuting and utilitarian trips.  Full text (pdf)

Development, Evaluation, and Selection of Advanced Transit Signal Priority Concept Directions

Amer Shalaby and Jinwoo Lee, University of Toronto
John Greenough and Stanley Hung, LEA Consulting Ltd.
Michael D. Bowie, Fortran Traffic Systems


This article presents a process to define the framework for an advanced Transit Signal Priority (TSP) algorithm. For this study, traffic and transit agencies from a broad range of municipalities in Ontario, Canada, provided their views and expertise on various TSP-related issues, including practical needs, design implementation, performance measures, and challenges in developing effective TSP control systems. Based on their inputs as well as the objectives of the project, a set of TSP control concept directions was developed that are characterized with different methodologies and technologies. A listing of selection criteria was also established to evaluate the proposed TSP concept directions. Using these criteria, a ranking and evaluation process was undertaken to select one final TSP control concept that is of interest to potential users of advanced TSP systems. The work described in this article provides a successful example of a process to build consensus among stakeholders for advancing TSP developments. Full text (pdf)


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