Date of Award

6-2016

Degree Name

MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering

Department

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Advisor

Robert L. Bertini & Anurag Pande

Abstract

Transit travel time and operating speed influence service attractiveness, operating cost, system efficiency and sustainability. The Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) provides public transportation service in the tri-county Portland metropolitan area. TriMet was one of the first transit agencies to implement a Bus Dispatch System (BDS) as a part of its overall service control and management system. TriMet has had the foresight to fully archive the BDS automatic vehicle location and automatic passenger count data for all bus trips at the stop level since 1997. More recently, the BDS system was upgraded to provide stop-level data plus 5-second resolution bus positions between stops. Rather than relying on prediction tools to determine bus trajectories (including stops and delays) between stops, the higher resolution data presents actual bus positions along each trip. Bus travel speeds and intersection signal/queuing delays may be determined using this newer information.

This thesis examines the potential applications of higher resolution transit operations data for a bus route in Portland, Oregon, TriMet Route 14. BDS and 5-second resolution data from all trips during the month of October 2014 are used to determine the impacts and evaluate candidate trip time models. Comparisons are drawn between models and some conclusions are drawn regarding the utility of the higher resolution transit data.

In previous research inter-stop models were developed based on the use of average or maximum speed between stops. We know that this does not represent realistic conditions of stopping at a signal/crosswalk or traffic congestion along the link. A new inter-stop trip time model is developed using the 5-second resolution data to determine the number of signals encountered by the bus along the route. The variability in inter-stop time is likely due to the effect of the delay superimposed by signals encountered. This newly developed model resulted in statistically significant results. This type of information is important to transit agencies looking to improve bus running times and reliability. These results, the benefits of archiving higher resolution data to understand bus movement between stops, and future research opportunities are also discussed.

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