A systematic analysis of multimodal transport systems with road space distribution and responsive bus service

Fangni Zhang, Nan Zheng, Hai Yang, Nikolas Geroliminis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


A smart design of transport systems involves efficient use and allocation of the limited urban road capacity in the multimodal environment. This paper intends to understand the system-wide effect of dividing the road space to the private and public transport modes and how the public transport service provider responds to the space changes. To this end, the bimodal dynamic user equilibrium is formulated for separated road space. The Macroscopic Fundamental Diagram (MFD) model is employed to depict the dynamics of the automobile traffic for its state-dependent feature, its inclusion of hypercongestion, and its advantage of capturing network topology. The delay of a bus trip depends on the running speed which is in turn affected by bus lane capacity and ridership. Within the proposed bimodal framework, the steady-state equilibrium traffic characteristics and the optimal bus fare and service frequency are analytically derived. The counter-intuitive properties of traffic condition, modal split, and behavior of bus operator in the hypercongestion are identified. To understand the interaction between the transport authority (for system benefit maximization) and the bus operator (for its own benefit maximization), we examine how the bus operator responds to space changes and how the system benefit is influenced with the road space allocation. With responsive bus service, the condition, under which expanding bus lane capacity is beneficial to the system as a whole, has been analytically established. Then the model is applied to the dynamic framework where the space allocation changes with varying demand and demand-responsive bus service. We compare the optimal bus services under different economic objectives, evaluate the system performance of the bimodal network, and explore the dynamic space allocation strategy for the sake of social welfare maximization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-230
Number of pages23
JournalTransportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018


  • Dedicated bus lane
  • Dynamic user equilibrium
  • Macroscopic fundamental diagram
  • Multimodal system
  • Responsive transit service

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