Transit Capacity and Quality of Service Manual, 4th Edition

The Transit Capacity and Quality of Service Manual (TCQSM) was initially produced in 1999 by Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Project A-15. The manual was intended to serve as a comprehensive resource document presenting information on principles and practices related to transit capacity for all transit modes, and quality of service from the passenger’s point-of-view. The manual was designed to serve as the transit counterpart to the Highway Capacity Manual (HCM), an authoritative, regularly updated document presenting highway capacity and quality of service principles and practices. TCQSM 1st Edition primarily synthesized existing research, with the quality of service material being its primary original material. TCQSM 2nd Edition was produced by TCRP Project A-15A and published in 2003 as TCRP Report 100. The production of the 2nd Edition filled gaps in knowledge, added a quality of service framework for demand-response transit, incorporated capacity procedures for less common transit modes, and made improvements throughout the manual in response to user feedback. TCRP Project A-15C produced TCQSM 3rd Edition of the manual, published in 2013 as TCRP Report 165. This edition incorporated the findings of research completed during the previous 10 years and addressed new trends in the transit industry, such as the widespread interest in bus rapid transit, changes in vehicle technology, and an increased emphasis on security. Over the years, TCQSM has been one of TCRP’s best-accessed document and remains a cornerstone of the TCRP report series. It is being used by numerous universities as a basic transit education tool in various courses. Also, TCQSM has become known and applied throughout the world, having been downloaded in more than 116 countries, requested to be translated into Chinese, and serving as the foundational reference for a World Bank guide on transit capacity principles and practices for cities in developing countries. Throughout its history, TCQSM has served as an implementation tool for other TCRP research. A total of 47 TCRP research reports and syntheses contributed to the 3rd Edition in some way, either as foundational research for capacity and quality-of-service methods, as key references for a section within a chapter or for material used across multiple chapters, or presented as sources for additional information. Since the 3rd Edition was published, a number of TCRP research efforts have been completed or are underway that can contribute updated material to TCQSM; these are listed in Section VIII. In addition to incorporating the wealth of research that has occurred, TCQSM needs to address new trends in the transit industry. Numerous new transit technologies and practices have emerged in the industry. For example, topics such as transit automation, micromobility, TNCs, shared-use services, electric buses, and the use of big data to measure service quality need to be addressed. In addition, the capacity and quality of service effects of the COVID-19 pandemic can provide lessons for similar events that may occur in the future. The objective of the research is to develop an updated 4th Edition of TCQSM to reflect the latest transit capacity and quality of service applications and research.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $400000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project A-47

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Transit Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Schwager, Dianne

  • Start Date: 20211214
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01789436
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project A-47
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Nov 22 2021 3:16PM