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TRANSIT TCRP REPORT 113 COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM Sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration Using Archived AVL-APC Data to Improve Transit Performance and Management

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TCRP OVERSIGHT AND PROJECT TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD 2006 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE SELECTION COMMITTEE (Membership as of June 2006) (as of June 2006) CHAIR OFFICERS David A. Lee CHAIR: Michael D. Meyer, Professor, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute Connecticut Transit of Technology MEMBERS VICE CHAIR: Linda S. Watson, Executive Director, LYNX--Central Florida Regional Transportation Ann August Authority Santee Wateree Regional Transportation Authority Linda J. Bohlinger EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Robert E. Skinner, Jr., Transportation Research Board HNTB Corp. Robert I. Brownstein MEMBERS PB Consult, Inc. Sandra K. Bushue Michael W. Behrens, Executive Director, Texas DOT FTA Allen D. Biehler, Secretary, Pennsylvania DOT Peter Cannito John D. Bowe, Regional President, APL Americas, Oakland, CA Metropolitan Transportation Authority--Metro North Railroad Larry L. Brown, Sr., Executive Director, Mississippi DOT Gregory Cook Deborah H. Butler, Vice President, Customer Service, Norfolk Southern Corporation and Subsidiaries, Ann Arbor Transportation Authority Atlanta, GA Nathaniel P. Ford San Francisco MUNI Anne P. Canby, President, Surface Transportation Policy Project, Washington, DC Ronald L. Freeland Douglas G. Duncan, President and CEO, FedEx Freight, Memphis, TN Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. Nicholas J. Garber, Henry L. Kinnier Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Virginia, Fred M. Gilliam Charlottesville Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority Kim R. Green Angela Gittens, Vice President, Airport Business Services, HNTB Corporation, Miami, FL GFI GENFARE Genevieve Giuliano, Professor and Senior Associate Dean of Research and Technology, Jill A. Hough School of Policy, Planning, and Development, and Director, METRANS National Center North Dakota State University John Inglish for Metropolitan Transportation Research, USC, Los Angeles Utah Transit Authority Susan Hanson, Landry University Prof. of Geography, Graduate School of Geography, Clark University Jeanne W. Krieg James R. Hertwig, President, CSX Intermodal, Jacksonville, FL Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority Gloria J. Jeff, General Manager, City of Los Angeles DOT Celia G. Kupersmith Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation Adib K. Kanafani, Cahill Professor of Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley District Harold E. Linnenkohl, Commissioner, Georgia DOT Clarence W. Marsella Sue McNeil, Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Delaware Denver Regional Transportation District Faye L. M. Moore Debra L. Miller, Secretary, Kansas DOT Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Michael R. Morris, Director of Transportation, North Central Texas Council of Governments Authority Carol A. Murray, Commissioner, New Hampshire DOT Michael H. Mulhern John R. Njord, Executive Director, Utah DOT Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Retirement Fund Sandra Rosenbloom, Professor of Planning, University of Arizona, Tucson Stephanie L. Pinson Henry Gerard Schwartz, Jr., Senior Professor, Washington University Gilbert Tweed Associates, Inc. Michael S. Townes, President and CEO, Hampton Roads Transit, Hampton, VA Robert H. Prince, Jr. DMJM+Harris C. Michael Walton, Ernest H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering, University of Texas at Austin Jeffrey M. Rosenberg Amalgamated Transit Union EX OFFICIO MEMBERS Michael Scanlon San Mateo County Transit District Thad Allen (Adm., U.S. Coast Guard), Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard Beverly Scott Thomas J. Barrett (Vice Adm., U.S. Coast Guard, ret.), Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Sacramento Regional Transit District Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT Frank Tobey First Transit Marion C. Blakey, Federal Aviation Administrator, U.S.DOT Kathryn D. Waters Joseph H. Boardman, Federal Railroad Administrator, U.S.DOT Dallas Area Rapid Transit Rebecca M. Brewster, President and COO, American Transportation Research Institute, Smyrna, GA Frank Wilson George Bugliarello, Chancellor, Polytechnic University of New York, and Foreign Secretary, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County National Academy of Engineering EX OFFICIO MEMBERS Sandra K. Bushue, Deputy Administrator, Federal Transit Administration, U.S.DOT William W. Millar J. Richard Capka, Federal Highway Administrator, U.S.DOT APTA Robert E. Skinner, Jr. Edward R. Hamberger, President and CEO, Association of American Railroads TRB John C. Horsley, Exec. Dir., American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials John C. Horsley David H. Hugel, Acting Administrator, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, U.S.DOT AASHTO J. Richard Capka J. Edward Johnson, Director, Applied Science Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space Administration FHWA Ashok G. Kaveeshwar, Research and Innovative Technology Administrator, U.S.DOT William W. Millar, President, American Public Transportation Association TDC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Louis Sanders Nicole R. Nason, National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator, U.S.DOT APTA Julie A. Nelson, Acting Deputy Administrator, Maritime Administration, U.S.DOT Jeffrey N. Shane, Under Secretary for Policy, U.S.DOT SECRETARY Robert J. Reilly Carl A. Strock (Maj. Gen., U.S. Army), Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, U.S. Army Corps TRB of Engineers

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TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM TCRP REPORT 113 Using Archived AVL-APC Data to Improve Transit Performance and Management Peter G. Furth NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY Boston, MA WITH Brendon Hemily HEMILY AND ASSOCIATES Toronto, Canada Theo H. J. Muller DELFT UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY Delft, The Netherlands James G. Strathman PORTLAND STATE UNIVERSITY Portland, OR Subject Areas Public Transit Research sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration in cooperation with the Transit Development Corporation TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD WASHINGTON, D.C. 2006 www.TRB.org

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TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM TCRP REPORT 113 The nation's growth and the need to meet mobility, environmental, Price $34.00 and energy objectives place demands on public transit systems. Current Project H-28 systems, some of which are old and in need of upgrading, must expand ISSN 1073-4872 service area, increase service frequency, and improve efficiency to serve ISBN-10: 0-309-09861-0 these demands. Research is necessary to solve operating problems, to Library of Congress Control Number 2006906799 adapt appropriate new technologies from other industries, and to introduce innovations into the transit industry. The Transit 2006 Transportation Research Board Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) serves as one of the principal means by which the transit industry can develop innovative near-term solutions to meet demands placed on it. COPYRIGHT PERMISSION The need for TCRP was originally identified in TRB Special Report Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining 213--Research for Public Transit: New Directions, published in 1987 and written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously based on a study sponsored by the Urban Mass Transportation published or copyrighted material used herein. Administration--now the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). A Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this report by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the Transportation 2000, also recognized the need for local, problem- understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FMCSA, FTA, or Transit Development Corporation endorsement of a particular product, solving research. TCRP, modeled after the longstanding and successful method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for National Cooperative Highway Research Program, undertakes research educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of and other technical activities in response to the needs of transit service any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP. providers. The scope of TCRP includes a variety of transit research fields including planning, service configuration, equipment, facilities, operations, human resources, maintenance, policy, and administrative practices. NOTICE TCRP was established under FTA sponsorship in July 1992. The project that is the subject of this report was a part of the Transit Cooperative Research Proposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, TCRP was Program conducted by the Transportation Research Board with the approval of the authorized as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Governing Board of the National Research Council. Such approval reflects the Governing Board's judgment that the project concerned is appropriate with respect to both the Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA). On May 13, 1992, a memorandum purposes and resources of the National Research Council. agreement outlining TCRP operating procedures was executed by the The members of the technical advisory panel selected to monitor this project and to review three cooperating organizations: FTA, the National Academies, acting this report were chosen for recognized scholarly competence and with due consideration through the Transportation Research Board (TRB); and for the balance of disciplines appropriate to the project. The opinions and conclusions the Transit Development Corporation, Inc. (TDC), a nonprofit expressed or implied are those of the research agency that performed the research, and while they have been accepted as appropriate by the technical panel, they are not educational and research organization established by APTA. TDC is necessarily those of the Transportation Research Board, the National Research Council, responsible for forming the independent governing board, designated the Transit Development Corporation, or the Federal Transit Administration of the U.S. as the TCRP Oversight and Project Selection (TOPS) Committee. Department of Transportation. Research problem statements for TCRP are solicited periodically but Each report is reviewed and accepted for publication by the technical panel according to may be submitted to TRB by anyone at any time. It is the responsibility procedures established and monitored by the Transportation Research Board Executive of the TOPS Committee to formulate the research program by Committee and the Governing Board of the National Research Council. identifying the highest priority projects. As part of the evaluation, the The Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, the National Research TOPS Committee defines funding levels and expected products. Council, the Transit Development Corporation, and the Federal Transit Administration (sponsor of the Transit Cooperative Research Program) do not endorse products or Once selected, each project is assigned to an expert panel, appointed manufacturers. Trade or manufacturers' names appear herein solely because they are by the Transportation Research Board. The panels prepare project considered essential to the clarity and completeness of the project reporting. statements (requests for proposals), select contractors, and provide technical guidance and counsel throughout the life of the project. The process for developing research problem statements and selecting research agencies has been used by TRB in managing cooperative research programs since 1962. As in other TRB activities, TCRP project panels serve voluntarily without compensation. Because research cannot have the desired impact if products fail to reach the intended audience, special emphasis is placed on Published reports of the disseminating TCRP results to the intended end users of the research: transit agencies, service providers, and suppliers. TRB provides a series TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM of research reports, syntheses of transit practice, and other supporting are available from: material developed by TCRP research. APTA will arrange for Transportation Research Board workshops, training aids, field visits, and other activities to ensure that Business Office results are implemented by urban and rural transit industry 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 practitioners. The TCRP provides a forum where transit agencies can cooperatively and can be ordered through the Internet at address common operational problems. The TCRP results support and http://www.national-academies.org/trb/bookstore complement other ongoing transit research and training programs. Printed in the United States of America

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COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAMS CRP STAFF FOR TCRP REPORT 113 Robert J. Reilly, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Christopher W. Jenks, TCRP Manager S. A. Parker, Senior Program Officer Eileen P. Delaney, Director of Publications Natalie Barnes, Editor TCRP PROJECT H-28 PANEL Field of Policy and Planning James W. Kemp, New Jersey Transit Corporation, Newark, NJ (Chair) Fabian Cevallos, University of South Florida, Weston, FL Thomas Friedman, King County (WA) Metro Transit, Seattle, WA Erin Mitchell, Metro Transit--Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minneapolis, MN Yuko Nakanishi, Nakanishi Research and Consulting, Rego Park, NY Gerald Pachucki, Utah Transit Authority, Salt Lake City, UT Kimberly Slaughter, S.R. Beard & Associates, LLC, Houston, TX Wei-Bin Zhang, University of California--Berkeley, Richmond, CA Sarah Clements, FTA Liaison Louis F. Sanders, APTA Liaison Kay Drucker, Bureau of Transportation Statistics Liaison Peter Shaw, TRB Liaison

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FOREWORD By S. A. Parker Staff Officer Transportation Research Board This report will be of interest to transit personnel responsible for planning, scheduling, and managing reliable bus transit services in congested areas. This report will also be useful to other members of technology procurement teams, representing operations, mainte- nance, information systems, human resources, legal, finance, and training departments. In response to growing traffic congestion and passenger demands for more reliable ser- vice, many transit operators are seeking to improve bus operations by investing in automatic vehicle location (AVL) technology. In addition, automatic passenger counters (APCs), which can collect passenger-activity data compatible with AVL operating data, are begin- ning to reach the mainstream. Many operators are planning, implementing, or operating AVL-APC systems. The primary application of AVL technology has been in the area of real- time operations monitoring and control; consequently, AVL data has not typically been stored or processed in a way that makes it suitable for subsequent, off-line analysis. In con- trast, APC data is generally accessed for reporting and planning purposes long after oppor- tunities for real-time use have expired. Beyond the area of real-time operations control, AVL technology holds substantial promise for improving service planning, scheduling, and performance analysis practices. These activities have historically been hampered by the high cost of collecting operating and passenger-activity data; however, AVL and APC systems can capture the large samples of operating data required for performance analysis and management at a fairly low incremen- tal cost. Compared to real-time applications of AVL data, off-line analysis of archived data has different demands for accuracy, detail, and ability to integrate with other data sources. Operators and vendors need effective strategies for designing AVL-APC systems to capture and process data of a quality needed for off-line analysis, and for archiving and taking advantage of this promising data source. The objective of TCRP Project H-28 was to develop guidance for the effective collection and use of archived AVL-APC data to improve the performance and management of tran- sit systems. This report offers guidance on five subjects: Analyses that use AVL-APC data to improve management and performance AVL-APC system design to facilitate the capture of data with the accuracy and detail needed for off-line data analysis Data structures and analysis software for facilitating analysis of AVL-APC data Screening, parsing, and balancing automatic passenger counts Use of APC systems for estimating passenger-miles for National Transit Database reporting

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Tools for (1) analyzing running times and (2) designing scheduled running times using archived AVL and APC data were created as an extension of the existing software TriTAPT (Trip Time Analysis in Public Transport), a product of the Delft University of Technology. In addition, TriTAPT was used to demonstrate one of the advanced data structures recom- mended, that of a "virtual route" consisting of multiple overlapping routes serving the same street. Under the terms of this project, TriTAPT is available without license fee to U.S. and Canadian transit agencies through 2009. To request TriTAPT, please send an email to Tri- TAPT@neu.edu. From the TRB website (http://www4.trb.org/trb/crp.nsf/All+Projects/TCRP+H-28), the following items can be accessed: (1) an electronic version of this report; (2) spreadsheet files with prototype analyses of passenger waiting time (using AVL data) and passenger crowd- ing (using APC data); and (3) case studies (as appendixes to TCRP Web Document 23: Uses of Archived AVL-APC Data to Improve Transit Performance and Management: Review and Potential).

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CONTENTS 1 Summary 8 Chapter 1 Introduction 8 1.1 Historical Background 9 1.2 Research Objective 10 1.3 Research Approach 12 1.4 Report Outline 14 Chapter 2 Automatic Vehicle Location 14 2.1 Location Technology 14 2.2 Route and Schedule Matching 17 2.3 Data Recording: On- or Off-Vehicle 19 2.4 Data Recovery and Sample Size 21 Chapter 3 Integrating Other Devices 21 3.1 Automatic Passenger Counters 21 3.2 Odometer (Transmission Sensors) 22 3.3 Door Switch 22 3.4 Fare Collection Devices 22 3.5 Other Devices 23 3.6 Integration and Standards 25 Chapter 4 Uses of AVL-APC Data 25 4.1 Becoming Data Rich: A Revolution in Management Tools 29 4.2 Key Dimensions of Data Needs 29 4.3 Targeted Investigations 29 4.4 Running Time 33 4.5 Schedule Adherence, Long-Headway Waiting, and Connection Protection 35 4.6 Headway Regularity and Short-Headway Waiting 36 4.7 Demand Analysis 39 4.8 Mapping 39 4.9 Miscellaneous Operations Analyses 40 4.10 Higher Level Analyses 41 Chapter 5 Tools for Scheduling Running Time 41 5.1 Running Time Periods and Scheduled Running Time 43 5.2 Determining Running Time Profiles Using the Passing Moments Method 45 Chapter 6 Tools for Analyzing Waiting Time 45 6.1 A Framework for Analyzing Waiting Time 46 6.2 Short-Headway Waiting Time Analysis 48 6.3 Long-Headway Waiting Time Analysis

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51 Chapter 7 Tools for Analyzing Crowding 51 7.1 Distribution of Crowding by Bus Trip 51 7.2 Distribution of Crowding Experience by Passenger 54 Chapter 8 Passenger Count Processing and Accuracy 54 8.1 Raw Count Accuracy 55 8.2 Trip-Level Parsing 58 8.3 Trip-Level Balancing Methods 63 Chapter 9 APC Sampling Needs and National Transit Database Passenger-Miles Estimates 63 9.1 Sample Size and Fleet Penetration Needed for Load Monitoring 63 9.2 Accuracy and Sample Size Needed for Passenger-Miles 66 Chapter 10 Designing AVL Systems for Archived Data Analysis 66 10.1 Off-Vehicle versus On-Vehicle Data Recording 66 10.2 Level of Spatial Detail 68 10.3 Devices to Include 69 10.4 Fleet Penetration and Sampling 69 10.5 Exception Reporting versus Exception Recording 70 Chapter 11 Data Structures That Facilitate Analysis 70 11.1 Analysis Software Sources 72 11.2 Data Screening and Matching 73 11.3 Associating Event Data with Stop/Timepoint Data 74 11.4 Aggregation Independent of Sequence 75 11.5 Data Structures for Analysis of Shared-Route Trunks 75 11.6 Modularity and Standard Database Formats 77 Chapter 12 Organizational Issues 77 12.1 Raising the Profile of Archived Data 77 12.2 Management Practices to Support Data Quality 77 12.3 Staffing and Skill Needs 78 12.4 Managing an Instrumented Sub-fleet 78 12.5 Avoiding Labor Opposition 79 Chapter 13 Conclusions 81 References 83 Appendixes