Evaluating Service Effectiveness of Bus Lines: A Combined Approach Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA)

Public transit is an integral and important component of regional transportation systems. Currently many public transit agencies are under increasing pressure to operate more efficiently as the level of government funding reduces, or as a result of changing ownerships or regulations. This trend has stimulated much research interests to evaluate the performance of public transit systems. A glimpse of the literature reveals that existing research largely focuses on evaluating public transit agencies from management perspectives. Typically, the productivity of a public transit agency, as measured by its operating costs and revenues, is compared with productivities of similar agencies to determine the relative efficiency of the agency. Little attention has been given to the spatial aspects of a public transit system, such as the characteristics of local population, transportation network, employment and recreational destinations, and commuting patterns. However, it is well known that the geographical setting, within which a transit system operates, can exert great impact on its performance and effectiveness. After all, the main goal of a public transit system is to serve people who choose not to use automobiles due to necessity, resource limitation, or other personal reasons. The characteristics of local population, transportation network, and commuting pattern largely determine the passenger demand as well as operational scale for the public transit system. Therefore, it is necessary to examine the performance of public transit systems from the geographical perspective. It is against this background that this study is proposed. The goal is to develop a scientific approach to evaluate the service effectiveness of bus lines, taking into account critical elements in the operational environment. Methodologically, this project aims to integrate geographic information systems (GIS) and data envelopment analysis (DEA). GIS is the digital mapping technology that provides powerful support for spatial analysis and planning. DEA is an optimization-based technique to measure relative efficiencies. The project will mainly address the following three questions: 1. How to identify the service corridor and estimate the potential passenger demand associated with a bus line? 2. How to measure and compare the service effectiveness of bus lines? 3. How to plan transit routes and stops based on the evaluation of bus lines?


    • English


    • Status: Completed
    • Funding: $5000.00
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      California Department of Transportation

      1227 O Street
      Sacramento, CA  United States  95843

      Research and Innovative Technology Administration

      Department of Transportation
      1200 New Jersey Avneue, SE
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Project Managers:

      Thornton, Rusty

    • Performing Organizations:

      California State University, Monterey Bay

      100 Campus Center
      Building 86A
      Seaside, California  United States  93955-8001
    • Principal Investigators:

      Lao, Yong

    • Start Date: 20080801
    • Expected Completion Date: 0
    • Actual Completion Date: 20090531
    • Source Data: RiP Project 18126

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01462580
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Leonard Transportation Center
    • Contract Numbers: 2008-SGP-1034
    • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:06PM