Intermodal transit system coordination

Shoaib M. Chowdhury, Steven I.Jy Chien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


In urban areas where transit demand is widely spread, passengers may be served by an intermodal transit system, consisting of a rail transit line (or a bus rapid transit route) and a number of feeder routes connecting at different transfer stations. In such a system, passengers may need one or more transfers to complete their journey. Therefore, scheduling vehicles operating in the system with special attention to reduce transfer time can contribute significantly to service quality improvements. Schedule synchronization may significantly reduce transfer delays at transfer stations where various routes interconnect. Since vehicle arrivals are stochastic, slack time allowances in vehicle schedules may be desirable to reduce the probability of missed connections. An objective total cost function, including supplier and user costs, is formulated for optimizing the coordination of a general intermodal transit network. A four-stage procedure is developed for determining the optimal coordination status among routes at every transfer station. Considering stochastic feeder vehicle arrivals at transfer stations, the slack times of coordinated routes are optimized, by balancing the savings from transfer delays and additional cost from slack delays and operating costs. The model thus developed is used to optimize the coordination of an intermodal transit network, while the impact of a range of factors on coordination (e.g., demand, standard deviation of vehicle arrival times, etc) is examined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-287
Number of pages31
JournalTransportation Planning and Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation


  • Coordination
  • Intermodal
  • Optimization
  • Planning
  • Scheduling
  • Transit system


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