Nigel H. M. Wilson's research while affiliated with Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other places

Publications (66)

Article
The paper develops a data-driven approach for the inference of passenger itineraries in urban heavy rail systems, the Passenger Itinerary Inference Model (PIIM). In light of increasing demand and crowding, the model can be used to assess the impact of near capacity operations on customers, evaluate system performance, and understand passenger behav...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Passenger path choice in highly congested metro systems is affected by crowding in vehicles and denied boarding to trains. This paper deals with a special situation where passengers choose to stay in the train longer than what would be preferable under normal conditions and transfer at a station further along the line in order to travel backwards a...
Article
Full-text available
Monitoring rail transit system performance is important for effective operations planning. The number of times passengers are denied boarding is becoming a key measure of the impact of near-capacity operations on customers and is fundamental for calculating other performance metrics, such as expected waiting time for service. This paper reviews exi...
Article
Innovative analyses of origin–destination (OD) data derived from automatic fare collection and automatic vehicle location systems in public transport networks enable planners to gain new insights into how passengers travel in the network and the quality of service provided, and can even inform decisions about network improvements. Particularly in l...
Article
Previous research has combined automated fare-collection (AFC) and automated vehicle-location (AVL) data to infer the times and locations of passenger origins, interchanges (transfers), and destinations on multimodal transit networks. The resultant origin–interchange–destination flows (and the origin–destination (OD) matrices that comprise those fl...
Article
Full-text available
With subway systems around the world experiencing increasing demand, measures such as passengers left behind are becoming increasingly important. This paper proposes a methodology for inferring the probability distribution of the number of times a passenger is left behind at stations in congested metro systems using automated data. Maximum likeliho...
Article
With subway systems around the world experiencing increasing demand, measures such as passengers left behind are becoming increasingly important. This paper proposes a methodology for inferring the probability distribution of the number of times a passenger is left behind at stations in congested metro systems using automated data. Maximum likeliho...
Article
Full-text available
High-frequency transit systems are essential for the socioeconomic and environmental well-being of large and dense cities. The planning and control of their operations are important determinants of service quality. Although headway and optimization-based control strategies generally outperform schedule-adherence strategies, high-frequency operation...
Article
Full-text available
Planners must understand how public transportation systems are used in order to make strategic decisions. Smart card transaction data provides vast, detailed records of network usage. Combined with other automatically collected data sources, established inference methodologies can convert smart card transactions into complete linked journeys made b...
Conference Paper
The growing adoption of automated data collection systems in the transit industry, such as automated fare-collection (AFC) and automated vehicle location (AVL), is providing operators with extensive data about the state of the system and its usage by passengers. The paper proposes a framework for using automated data to support the various function...
Article
The paper presents a methodology for assigning passengers to individual trains using: (i) fare transaction records from Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) systems and (ii) Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) data from train tracking systems. The proposed Passenger-to-Train Assignment Model (PTAM) is probabilistic and links each fare transaction to a set...
Article
Monitoring the service quality of high-frequency bus transit is important both to agencies running their own operations and those contracting out, where performance measures can be used to assess contract penalties or bonuses. The availability of automatically collected vehicle movement and demand data enables detecting changes in running times and...
Article
Access distance to public transport is an important metric for planning, modeling, and evaluating public transport networks and is often used in policy goals and statements. However, accurately measuring access (and egress) distance can be difficult. Estimates often rely either on aggregate inferences based on census data or on small samples of dis...
Article
Bus bunching affects transit operations by increasing passenger waiting time and variability. To tackle this phenomenon, a wide range of control strategies has been proposed. However, none of them have considered station and interstation control together. In this study station and interstation control were tackled to determine the optimal vehicle c...
Article
Transit operations are subject to disruptions caused by events. Some events cause unpredictable disruptions (e.g., signal failures in rail transit and traffic accidents along a bus route operating in mixed traffic). Other events, such as concerts or sport contests, cause foreseen disruptions. In some cases, dynamic functions of running times and de...
Article
This paper explores ridership increases in response to incrementally upgraded bus services in U.S. and Canadian cities. Current guidelines for developing bus rapid transit (BRT) corridors reveal a tension between comprehensive implementation of full-fledged corridors on the one hand and incremental, flexible development on the other. A review of th...
Article
As public transit agencies install new technology systems, these agencies are gaining increasing amounts of data. These data have the potential to change how transit agencies operate by generating better information for decision making. Deriving value from these data and applying it to improve service requires changing the institutional processes t...
Article
Understanding travellers’ behaviour is key element in transportation planning. This article presents a route choice model for metro networks that considers different time components as well as variables related to the transferring experience, train crowding, network topology and socio-demographic characteristics. The route choice model is applied t...
Article
Full-text available
Urban Public Transport systems must periodically close certain links for main- tenance, which can have significant effects on the service provided to passengers. In practice, the effects of closures are mitigated by replacing the link with a simple shuttle service. However, alternative shuttle services could reduce inconvenience at lower op- eratin...
Article
Urban public transit providers historically have planned and managed their networks and services with little knowledge of their customers' travel patterns. Although ticket gates and bus fareboxes yield counts of passenger activity in specific stations or vehicles, the relationships between these transactions-the origins, transfers, and destinations...
Article
Full-text available
In 2009, London Overground management implemented a new tactical plan for a.m. and p.m. peak service on the North London Line (NLL). This paper documents that tactical planning intervention and evaluates its outcomes in terms of certain aspects of service delivery (the operator's perspective on system performance) and service quality (the passenger...
Article
Transit operations control, the task of implementing the operations plan in daily operations on a metro line, plays a key role in service delivery because it determines the quality of the service experienced by passengers. Yet, it is one of the most poorly understood aspects of rail transit operations. Faced with a disruption or infeasibility, disp...
Article
This paper explores the potential of using automated fare card data to quantify the reliability of service as experienced by passengers of rail transit systems. The distribution of individual passenger journey times can be accurately estimated for those systems requiring both entry and exit fare card validation. With the use of this information, a...
Article
This paper contributes to the emerging literature on the application of smart card fare payment data to public transportation planning. The research objective is to identify and assess complete, multimodal journeys using Oyster smart card fare payment data in London. Three transfer combinations (bus-to-Underground, Underground-to-bus, and bus-to-bu...
Article
This research explores the application of archived data from Automated Data Collection Systems (ADCS) to transport planning with a focus on bus passenger travel behavior, including Origin-Destination (OD) inference, using London as a case study. It demonstrates the feasibility and ease of applying trip-chaining to infer bus passenger OD from smart...
Article
Service control—the task of implementing the timetable in daily operations on a metro line—plays a key role in service delivery, because it influences the quality of the service provided to passengers. Shortfalls of previous research on the role and importance of service control have been noted. A framework intended to remedy some of these shortfal...
Article
Full-text available
Improving service reliability is becoming a key focus for most public transport operators. One common operational strategy is holding. Holding vehicles can improve reliability, resulting in shorter travel times and less crowding. In this paper both schedule-based and headway-based holding strategies in short headway services are analyzed. Despite s...
Article
This paper explores the potential of using automated fare card data to quantify the reliability of service as experienced by passengers of rail transit systems. The distribution of individual passenger journey times can be accurately estimated for those systems requiring both entry and exit fare card validation. With the use of this information, a...
Article
This paper contributes to the emerging literature on the application of smart card fare payment data to public transportation planning. The research objective is to identify and assess complete, multimodal journeys using Oyster smart card fare payment data in London. Three transfer combinations (bus-to-Underground, Underground-to-bus, and bus-to-bu...
Chapter
Urban rail transit lines are subject to disruptions that can adversely affect passenger level of service and routine operations. This paper focuses upon the development of a real-time disruption response model with an emphasis on the train holding strategy. The paper also discusses the short-turning control strategy which is often used in conjuncti...
Article
Full-text available
This paper explores the weather–ridership relationship and its potential applications in transit operations and planning. Using the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) in Illinois as a case study, the paper investigates the impact of five weather elements (temperature, rain, snow, wind, and fog) on daily bus and rail ridership and variation across mode...
Article
Automatic data collection (ADC) systems are becoming increasingly common in transit systems throughout the world. Although these ADC systems are often designed to support specific fairly narrow functions, the resulting data can have wide-ranging application, well beyond their design purpose. This article illustrates the potential that ADC systems c...
Article
Transfers can have an important influence on customer satisfaction and on whether many customers find transit service an attractive option. An empirical investigation of transfers from commuter rail to subway in downtown Boston, Massachusetts, is performed. The research identifies a higher transfer penalty between commuter rail and subway than betw...
Article
New automated fare collection systems being implemented on urban rail and bus transit systems offer the potential of tapping a rich source of customer usage data to improve transit planning. This is especially true of transit systems that offer smart cards as a payment option allowing long-term individual travel behaviors to be tracked and analyzed...
Article
New automated fare collection systems being implemented on urban rail and bus transit systems offer the potential of tapping a rich source of customer usage data to improve transit planning. This is especially true of transit systems that offer smart cards as a payment option allowing long-term individual travel behaviors to be tracked and analyzed...
Article
Transit riders negatively perceive transfers because of their inconvenience, often referred to as a transfer penalty. Understanding what affects the transfer penalty can have significant implications for a transit authority and also lead to potential improvements in ridership forecasting models. A new method was developed to assess the transfer pen...
Article
In preparation for operating its first modern urban rail transit system, Puerto Rico faces the challenge of creating the human resources knowledgeable in rail transit as well as the construction of the physical infrastructure itself. Because a rail transit system takes a generation or more to build, typically over several phases, professional devel...
Article
Holding is one of the most commonly used real-time control strategies in transit operations. Given a transit network and its operations plan, the holding problem is to decide at a given time at a control station, which vehicle is to be held and for how long, such that the total passenger cost along the route is minimized over a time period. Previou...
Chapter
Rail transit systems are subject to frequent minor disruptions caused by random disturbances. Although these minor disruptions usually last no longer than 10-20 minutes, they can degrade the level of service significantly on a short headway service. This paper describes an integrated real-time disruption control model, formulated as a mixed integer...
Article
This paper describes an innovative professional development program conducted jointly by the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) focusing on a major infrastructure project—Tren Urbano—which is a heavy rail system under construction in San Juan. This program is unusual in several respects. First it is...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A joint multidisciplinary professional development program has been developed which uses the Tren Urbano project as a laboratory for students from the University of Puerto Rico (UPR) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The Tren Urbano project consists of the planning, design, construction and future operation of the first phase of...
Book
This proceedings volume consists of papers presented at the Seventh International Workshop on Computer-Aided Scheduling of Pllblic Transport, which was held at th th the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from August 5 to 8 , 1997. In the tradition of alternating Workshops between North American and Europe - Chicago (1975), Leeds (1980), Montrea...
Article
This paper presents recent research to model and solve real-time transit operations control problems. Types of control strategies studied include deadheading, expressing, and holding, both single and in combination. We formulated mathematical models for these control problems assuming real-time vehicle location information available. Important prop...
Article
This paper explores the operational performance of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Red Line, a conventional heavy rail line, using a simple computer simulation model developed specifically for this purpose. The model incorporates most of the important variables that affect performance, including the signal system, passenger fl...
Article
Rail transit systems are frequently subject to short term disruptions which temporarily block traffic, leading to increased passenger waiting times and overcrowding of trains. This paper focuses on the development of a real-time decision support system for rail transit operations. We develop a deterministic model of a rail system, and mixed integer...
Article
In high frequency transit operations, randomness and incidents often result in highly irregular headways which can significantly decrease service quality. Deadheading is one commonly used real-time operations control strategy that can improve service quality in such situations. When a vehicle is deadheaded, it runs empty from a terminal skipping a...
Article
This paper considers information systems in public transit in which the passenger receives information in real time regarding projected vehicle travel times. Such information systems may have value to passengers in situations where they may choose among different origin-to-destination paths. To provide a preliminary assessment of these systems, an...
Article
This paper presents a method for determining the optimal number of public transport operating personnel so as to minimize total operating cost subject to a constraint on the minimum level of service reliability. For a given timetable and crew scheduling solution, the number of operators required to be available is known if all service is to be run...
Article
This chapter reviews the operations research models in two major sectors of transportation: urban transportation and aviation. Airports and the air traffic control (ATC) system are the two principal types of infrastructure for the air transportation system. Most existing operations research models are concerned with issues related either to the run...
Article
The optimal size of a transit operating workforce is based on determining the appropriate amount of overtime requested of the workforce. Overtime is typically used to fill in for absent operators if no extra operators are available to do the work on regular time. Relying more heavily on overtime has two risks. First no operator may be willing and a...
Article
The broad aim is to document the views from the inside associated with running a bus and coach service under different competitive and ownership regimes, not necessarily from operators only. Issues to consider include the ability of operators to adapt to changing environments, the financial commitment required to participate in change, the risks in...
Article
Transit organizations are coming under increasing pressure to change in response to financial, demographic, public scrutiny, and responsiveness concerns. The public sector monopoly on providing public transportation service in major metropolitan areas, which has been the norm for the past 20 years, is now recognized as just one of a range of organi...
Article
Workforce planning in the transit industry has received increased attention in the last few years as management emphasis has shifted from expanding transit service to increasing service efficiency and effectiveness. This paper builds upon recent work on the optimal level of reserve personnel and extends the analysis approach to incorporate the prob...
Article
A heuristic algorithm is described for a time-constrained version of the advance-request, multi-vehicle, many-to-many Dial-A-Ride Problem (DARP). The time constraints consist of upper bounds on: (1) the amount of time by which the pick-up or delivery of a customer can deviate from the desired pick-up or delivery time; (2) the time that a customer c...
Article
This paper describes the bus network design problem, summarizes the different approaches that have been proposed for its solution and proposes a new approach incorporating some of the positive aspects of prior work. The proposed approach is intended to be easier to implement and less demanding in terms of both data requirements and analytical sophi...
Article
Many transit systems outside North America are characterized by networks with extensively overlapping routes and buses frequently operating at, or close to, capacity. This paper addresses the problem of allocating a fleet of buses between routes in this type of system; a problem that must be solved recurrently by transit planners. A formulation of...
Article
This paper critically reviews models to predict the performance of flexibly routed transfortation services such as taxi and dial-a-ride. Models of these services have been developed to assist in system design, in evaluation of alternatives, and in regulation. The approaches to modelling such services have been simulation, empirical, deterministic q...
Article
Demand-responsive transportation (DRT) systems represent a broad class of public transportation options characterized by spatial and/or temporal flexibility in serving demand. These systems offer the potential to provide service in lower density areas. This paper presents a model system which provides DRT system designers with a behaviorally consis...
Conference Paper
Based on operational experience with initial computer control procedures, more sophisticated procedures have been developed designed to provide a greater variety of services simultaneously and to allow the operator more discretion in the quality of service provided. This paper describes these second generation control procedures and analyses their...
Chapter
Automated data collection systems are becoming increasingly common in urban public transport systems, both in the US and throughout the developed world. These systems, which include Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL), Automatic Passenger Counting (APC), and Automatic Fare Collection (AFC), are often designed to support specific and fairly narrow func...
Article
Full-text available
Transport modelling – both in traffic and transit fields – has been traditionally based on the assumption of the utility maximization principle. In public transport networks with high frequency services this has led to "hyperpath" route choice models in which passengers reduce their travel time by identifying for each node a set of attractive lines...
Article
Management methods of relevance to public transportation systems. Topics: strategic planning management; labor relations; maintenance planning and administration; financing; marketing and fare policy; and management information and decision support systems. Shows how these general management tasks are dealt with in the transit industry and presents...

Citations

... [37] divides passengers of the Beijing URT system into eight types based on socio-economic attributes of passengers, which aims to improve the traditional logit model of passenger route choice. In a latest study [38], the data of Automatic Vehicle Location are combined with AFC data to infer passenger itineraries by the route choice model, so that the left behind passengers can be described more accurately. Considering all of the above evidence, it seems that the research reviewed here reports reliable passenger route choice models in URT networks. ...
... [m] from the authorisation endpoint, while if there is no response, the system will respond by initiating full service braking at 2,035.22 [m] before the place where the authorisation ends. The literature extensively describes the models applied to assess the capacity of railway lines, consequently used in both simulation and analytical methods [9][10][11][12][13][14]. An assessment comparing simulated and real routes of a train equipped with the ATP system was discussed in the work [15]. ...
... A probability distribution for inferring the number of times passengers are left at a station in a crowded subway system was proposed to analyze the number of passengers stranded at stations of one line in the Hong Kong rail transit system using the assumptions of AFC data, Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) data and tap-in walking time distribution [12,13]. Based on this, a mixture distribution model with a priori information on travel time is proposed to implement the probability of passenger detention [14]. The method requires only AFC data, AVL data or the train timetable. ...
... Collected by smart card systems, smart card data provides deep insights for mobility investigation, given that it records detailed logs of individual urban public transportation trips. Studies of smart card data at large scales, motivated by understanding travel behavior patterns [3,6,18], performance assessment of bus transport reform [10,16,36] and planning of the public transportation system [12,37,39], have unraveled interesting properties of the underlying behavior patterns. ...
... Thus, time-varying population data can only be a rough proxy for the demand of cultural services. At the same time, the state of population movement cannot be accurately identified based solely on population time-varying data; therefore, it is necessary to introduce such data as origin-destination (OD) data (Gordon et al., 2018), population movement data (Song et al., 2018), GPS data (Guan et al., 2021), social media data and other big data for conjoint analysis. ...
... For exploring the behaviours and characteristics of waiting passengers on the platform, Zhou et al. [11] selected two stations in the Beijing rail transit system (BRTS) to collect data by field observation and video recording. A probability distribution for inferring the number of times passengers are left at a station in a crowded subway system was proposed to analyze the number of passengers stranded at stations of one line in the Hong Kong rail transit system using the assumptions of AFC data, Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) data and tap-in walking time distribution [12,13]. Based on this, a mixture distribution model with a priori information on travel time is proposed to implement the probability of passenger detention [14]. ...
... Notwithstanding, there are methods to infer the alighting station of each individual using tap-in only AFC system (6,7). An increasing body of literature is available on the use of smart card data in public transit; a review of which can be found in (5,8). Most of these studies focus on origin-destination matrix estimation (9,10); extracting passenger patterns (11)(12)(13); network performance analysis (14,15) and passenger-train assignment (16,17). ...
... In terms of the economic evaluation of public transport services, waiting time is also a critical component in assessing the social benefit/cost of different planning and operation strategies. In the literature, many methods have been developed to estimate the in-station waiting time or transfer time of metro systems using individual-based smart card transactions Sun and Xu, 2012;Sun et al., 2015;Zhu et al., 2018;Qu et al., 2020). However, despite that out-of-station waiting may cover a substantial proportion of overall travel time and the experience is much more unpleasant than waiting inside the train station (e.g., under bad weather (Zhang et al., 2021)), it has received little attention in the research. ...
... Trépanier et al., 2007;Munizaga and Palma, 2012;Sánchez-Martinez, 2017). In case passengers tap in and out at the station / platform rather than within the PT vehicle, a passenger-to-train assignment needs to be performed to infer the most likely PT line a passenger boarded and alighted between the tap in and tap out location (e.g. using the method proposed by Zhu et al., 2017). In Fig. 1 the main steps of data input preparation are summarised. ...
... accessibility is a key factor to be considered when assessing the efficiency and effectiveness of transport networks. One of the main barriers to accessibility is the distance that one has to travel in order to access public transport services (Viggiano et al. 2016). Access distance to public transport is also an important factor to consider when evaluating the efficiency of public transport networks and identifying areas with low accessibility, although accurately measuring access distance can be difficult. ...