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Computer Simulation of Peak Hour Operations in a Bus Terminal


  • Norman H. Jennings

    (The Port of New York Authority)

  • Justin H. Dickins

    (The Port of New York Authority)


Every working day between 5 and 6 P.M., 20,000 New Jersey bound commuters enter the Port of New York Authority Bus Terminal in New York City. Over 400 buses arrive in the terminal, load these commuters and depart during this one peak hour. This terminal is located in the heart of the city where land availability is critical. Thus, "limited access" multiple berth platforms are utilized. The commuter operation in the terminal is characterized by the following conditions: 1. Two random inputs cause two converging inter-related waiting lines to be formed--one of buses and one of passengers. Bus waiting lines are critical because of limited bus storage areas. 2. "Limited access" berthing which prevents buses from passing in platform lanes necessitates a commuter traffic simulation method to govern the problem's internal logic. 3. Parameters for bus arrival distribution functions can be controlled to some degree by scheduling policy. The method provides for evaluation of a variety of such policies. 4. Three parties with three independent interests--The Port Authority, the bus owners and operators, and the commuters--must be simultaneously satisfied. Because of these conditions; optimum design constitutes a challenging research problem. A Port Authority Operations Research team studied the problem using traffic simulation and Monte Carlo methods on an IBM 650 Computer.

Suggested Citation

  • Norman H. Jennings & Justin H. Dickins, 1958. "Computer Simulation of Peak Hour Operations in a Bus Terminal," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 5(1), pages 106-120, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:5:y:1958:i:1:p:106-120

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