Characteristics of light rail travel time: examples from France

Wu, Jianping, McDonald, Mike and Hounsell, Nick (1997) Characteristics of light rail travel time: examples from France Journal of Public Transportation, Vol. 6, No. 3, Centre for Urban Transportation Research, US, 2003, pp1-14., 1, (2), pp. 73-92.


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The total journey time of light rail vehicles (LRVs) is made up of running time, dwell time (station stops for passenger boarding and alighting), and signal delay (delay of LRVs being stopped by the regular traffic signals). Data from operational surveys of six modern light rail systems in France has shown that LRV running time was 65-71 percent of the total journey time and dwell time was 22-27 percent, while signal delay was 7 to 8 percent of the total journey time. The average operating speed of the light rail transit (LRT) ranged from 17.7 to 22.8 km/h and has an approximate linear relationship to passenger stop frequency (stops/km).

Light rail dwell time has been found to follow a log-normal distribution, although the values differed significantly between different LRT systems. The means of the dwell time distribution have the range of 16 to 31 seconds in off-peak periods and 21 to 37 seconds in peak periods. Factors that influence light rail dwell time include the number of passengers at the stops, the number of standees in the vehicles, vehicle design (number of doors, door size, low floor or high floor vehicle, etc.), fare collection system, and the location of LRT stops.

The findings in this paper could be used by LRT planners and operators directly in developing and assessing operating and service changes and in providing input to long-range planning procedures. The results can also be used in microscopic simulation modeling studies of LRT in an urban network, such as the TRGMSM model.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 1077-291X (print)
Related URLs:
ePrint ID: 74073
Date :
Date Event
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2010
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2017 20:48
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