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Ex ante heuristic measures of schedule reliability


  • Carey, Malachy


Measures of reliability and punctuality of scheduled public transport services are important in planning, management, operating and marketing of these services. Various methods can be used to measure reliability. Analytic methods are usually practical for only very simple structured systems. Simulation methods are very time consuming and require data which may not be available. As a result, the most widely used measures are ad hoc or heuristic. However, the assumptions and properties of these measures, and the relationships between them, are seldom discussed, hence we discuss them here. We consider existing measures, extensions of these, and new measures. For specificity, we use the example of train arrivals and departures at a train station: stations with several hundred trains per day and multiple platforms are common in many countries, for example throughout Europe. Some measures of reliability are based on the observed delays, hence can be used only after the event. However, we here focus on measures which can be used in advance, for example for estimating the reliability of proposed schedules or changes in schedules at the design stage. In this we distinguish between measures which require some information about probabilities of delay and those which do not. We also distinguish between exogenous delays, which are beyond the influence of the scheduler (delays due to problems in engineering or operations), and knock-on delays which are affected by schedule design: both types are of interest for schedule reliability, but the latter are of more interest for measuring schedule robustness.

Suggested Citation

  • Carey, Malachy, 1999. "Ex ante heuristic measures of schedule reliability," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 473-494, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:transb:v:33:y:1999:i:7:p:473-494

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Allen, W. Bruce & Mahmoud, Mohamed M. & McNeil, Douglas, 1985. "The importance of time in transit and reliability of transit time for shippers, receivers, and carriers," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 447-456, October.
    2. Carey, Malachy, 1994. "Reliability of interconnected scheduled services," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 51-72, November.
    3. Carey, Malachy & Kwiecinski, Andrzej, 1995. "Properties of expected costs and performance measures in stochastic models of scheduled transport," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 182-199, May.
    4. Hallowell, Susan F. & Harker, Patrick T., 1998. "Predicting on-time performance in scheduled railroad operations: methodology and application to train scheduling," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 279-295, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zhi-Chun Li & William Lam & S. Wong, 2009. "The Optimal Transit Fare Structure under Different Market Regimes with Uncertainty in the Network," Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 191-216, June.
    2. Wang, Shuaian & Meng, Qiang, 2012. "Liner ship route schedule design with sea contingency time and port time uncertainty," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 46(5), pages 615-633.
    3. Dennis Huisman & Leo G. Kroon & Ramon M. Lentink & Michiel J. C. M. Vromans & Dennis Huisman & Leo G. Kroon & Ramon M. Lentink & Michiel J. C. M. Vromans, 2005. "Operations Research in passenger railway transportation," Statistica Neerlandica, Netherlands Society for Statistics and Operations Research, vol. 59(4), pages 467-497.
    4. repec:eee:ejores:v:266:y:2018:i:1:p:1-15 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Vromans, Michiel J.C.M. & Dekker, Rommert & Kroon, Leo G., 2006. "Reliability and heterogeneity of railway services," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 172(2), pages 647-665, July.
    6. Olsson, Nils O.E. & Haugland, Hans, 2004. "Influencing factors on train punctuality--results from some Norwegian studies," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 387-397, October.
    7. Jovanović, Predrag & Kecman, Pavle & Bojović, Nebojša & Mandić, Dragomir, 2017. "Optimal allocation of buffer times to increase train schedule robustness," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 256(1), pages 44-54.
    8. Kroon, Leo & Maróti, Gábor & Helmrich, Mathijn Retel & Vromans, Michiel & Dekker, Rommert, 2008. "Stochastic improvement of cyclic railway timetables," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 553-570, July.
    9. Wang, Shuaian & Meng, Qiang & Bell, Michael G.H., 2013. "Liner ship route capacity utilization estimation with a bounded polyhedral container shipment demand pattern," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 57-76.
    10. Wu, Cheng-Lung & Caves, Robert E., 2002. "Towards the optimisation of the schedule reliability of aircraft rotations," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 8(6), pages 419-426.

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