A Quality Control Framework for Bus Schedule Reliability GCP-08-06

Jie Lin, Ming L. Wang, & Darold T. Barnum

The views expressed in this report represent those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the Great Cities Institute or the University of Illinois at Chicago.

This paper develops and demonstrates a quality control framework for bus schedule reliability. Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) devices provide necessary data; Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) yields a valid summary measure from partial reliability indicators; and Panel Data Analysis provides statistical confidence boundaries for each route-direction’s DEA scores. If a route-direction’s most recent DEA score is below its lower boundary, it is identified as in need of immediate attention. The framework is applied to 29 weeks of AVL data from 24 Chicago Transit Authority bus routes (and therefore 48 route-directions), thereby demonstrating that it can provide quick and accurate quality control.

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