University of London Centre for Transport Studies Working Paper 


by Rodrigo Fernández


Buses have been the main public transport system in most cities, and bus-stops are the places were passengers and buses meet each other. Under moderate-to-high demand conditions bus-stops can cause more delays to buses and passengers than those found at junctions or on roads. This has an adverse effect onthe level of service of the bus system and, in turn, on the decline ofbus patronage, increase in car usage, expansion of road congestion, andbroadening of urban environmental impacts. The study of bus-stop interactionscould play an important role in the release of some of these consequences.

For the analysis of the bus-stop problem there have been partial advances in the development of ad-hoc tools. These have taken the form of simulation models for bus operations at bus-stops or along corridors. However, itis necessary to have a deeper understanding of particular interactionsto take better decisions in the context of designing public transport systems.This constitutes the aim of the research in progress. Its objectives canbe summarised as follows:

(a) to investigate further those phenomena that occur withinand between bus-stops and its surrounding area, starting from a conceptualization of the problem;
(b) to improve or develop modelling approaches related to the behaviourat bus-stops, as well as to perform some experiments that allow us to understand better that behaviour;
(c) to provide some guidelines to assist in the design of bus facilities, following the results obtained in (a) and (b).
According to the above objectives, a structure for investigating the complete problem of bus-stop interactions has been defined. Then, the problem hasbeen focused on analysing specific interactions that occur within complexbus-stops, because it appears to be the next necessary step in the comprehensionof this subject. As a broad working hypothesis can be stated that undercertain operational conditions interactions have adverse effects on theperformance of the whole bus-stop which can be managed by appropriate designs.In order to test the hypothesis and discover cause-effect relationships,a parallel modelling framework is being developed. This seems to be suitablegiven the nature of the problem, which involves many independent processesoccurring at the same time. Modelling strategies are being explored andexperiments are been considered. Over these issues this research will progressin the future.

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