An activity-based approach for scheduling multimodal transit services

Zhi Chun Li, Hing Keung William Lam, S. C. Wong, Agachai Sumalee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


This paper proposes a new activity-based transit assignment model for investigating the scheduling (or timetabling) problem of transit services in multi-modal transit networks. The proposed model can be used to generate the short-term and long-term timetables of multimodal transit lines for transit operations and service planning purposes. The interaction between transit timetables and passenger activity-travel scheduling behaviors is captured by the proposed model, as the activity and travel choices of transit passengers are considered explicitly in terms of departure time choice, activity/trip chain choices, activity duration choice, transit line and mode choices. A heuristic solution algorithm which combines the Hooke-Jeeves method and an iterative supply-demand equilibrium approach is developed to solve the proposed model. Two numerical examples are presented to illustrate the differences between the activity-based approach and the traditional trip-based method, together with comparison on the effects of optimal timetables with even and uneven headways. It is shown that the passenger travel scheduling pattern derived from the activity-based approach is significantly different from that obtained by the trip-based method, and that a demand-sensitive (with uneven headway) timetable is more efficient than an even-headway timetable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)751-774
Number of pages24
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2010


  • Activity-based model
  • Scheduling/timetabling problem
  • Transit assignment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Development
  • Transportation


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