An Analytic Stochastic Model for the Transit Vehicle Holding Problem

Hickman, Mark D.
August 2001
Transportation Science;Aug2001, Vol. 35 Issue 3, p215
Academic Journal
This paper describes an analytic model that determines the optimal vehicle holding time at a control stop along a transit route. This model is based on a stochastic transit service model presented by Andersson and Scalia-Tomba (1981) and enhanced by Marguier (1985). The use of a stochastic service model allows greater realism in the analytic modeling. Making use of these results, the paper presents an analytic model that may be used to determine the optimal holding time for a vehicle at a control stop. As it is formulated, the single vehicle holding problem is a convex quadratic program in a single variable, and is easily solved using gradient or line search techniques. The analytic holding model overcomes two noted problems in the literature: it includes stochastic service attributes of vehicle running times and passenger boarding and alighting processes, and the model may be used for real-time control purposes. The use and potential benefits of the model are illustrated in a simple example. This model may be useful in developing a computerized decision support system to enhance the effectiveness of transit operational decision-making.


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