Bus bunching phenomenon in the city of Fribourg

This research project aims at understanding the problem of bus bunching at certain time and place in the city of Fribourg and proposing and testing solutions to avoid this phenomenon.

To be attractive a public transport system has to be efficient and of high quality service. One of the frequent problems it might face is deviations from schedules. A late bus usually carries more passengers, spends more time at stops (dwell times) and creates further delays. At the same time, the following bus might encounter fewer passengers and runs faster. After a while the two buses get closer and “bus bunching” occurs.

There are a number of potential causes that can lead to bus bunching. This project aims at understanding the problem in the city of Fribourg and proposing and testing solutions.

This project will (1) identify specific time periods and locations in the city of Fribourg where bus bunching happens; (2) estimate the magnitude and frequency of the phenomenon in both time and space; (3) develop a methodological framework to identify the relative attributes that cause bus bunching; (4) propose solutions that can decrease its occurrence based on control theory of hybrid systems and (5) test the developed framework for different values of parameters in an event-based simulator.

This research project will last six months and will be carried out by the Urban Transport Systems Laboratory of Prof. Nikolas Geroliminis. It is supported by Transports publics fribourgeois.

Principal investigator Prof. Nikolas Geroliminis
Sponsor Transports publics fribourgeois
Period 2016
Laboratory LUTS
Collaboration TRACE