Optimizing limited-stop bus services along a public transit corridor with a differential fare structure

Chunyan Tang, Ying En Ge, William H.K. Lam

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Limited-stop bus services are a highly efficient way to release more potential of the public transit system to meet travel demand, especially under constraints on vehicle fleet size and transportation infrastructure. This work first proposes a visualized fare table for the design of limited-stop bus services along a public transit corridor, along which many lines of public transit carry a heavy load of demand back and forth every working day. Based on this proposed fare table, a set of fare strategies and desired aims of fare policy, a differentiated fare structure is established to improve social equity and increase revenue. The nature of the structure can help travellers understand how to be charged between their origins and destinations (e.g. flat, time-based, stop-based or quality-based pricing) and then plan their trips efficiently. Secondly, a model is formulated to minimize the total social cost in designing a fixed demand limited-stop bus service system with a differentiated fare structure. Thirdly, numerical results are carried out with sensitivity analysis within three scenarios of differentiated fare structures. It is found that a differentiated fare structure has a great effect on passenger path choice behaviour and resulting optimal design of bus services. An attractive feature of this differentiated fare structure is that it could not only enhance the operator’s revenue and social equity but also reduce passenger transfers and social cost.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)476-489
Number of pages14
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Differentiated fare structure
  • Environmental improvemen
  • Limited-stop bus service
  • Public transit
  • Social cost

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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