Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Freyss M., Giesen R. and Muñoz J.C. (2013)

Continuous approximation for skip-stop operation in rail transit

Revista : Transportation Research Part C-Emerging Technologies
Volumen : 36
Páginas : 419-433
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


Operating speed of a transit corridor is a key characteristic and has many consequences on its performance. It is generally accepted that an increased operating speed for a given fleet leads to reduced operating costs (per kilometer), travel and waiting times (three changes that can be computed precisely), an improved comfort and level of service, which can attract new passengers who are diverted from automobile (items harder to estimate precisely). That is why several operation schemes which aim to increase the operating speed are studied in the literature, such as deadheading, express services, and stop skipping.A novel category of solutions to this problem for one-way single-track rail transit is to perform accelerated transit operations with fixed stopping schedules. The concept is quite simple: as the time required for stopping at each station is an important part of travel time, reducing it would be a great achievement. Particular operations that take advantage of this idea already exist. This paper focuses on one of them: the skip-stop operation for rail transit lines using a single one-way track. It consists in defining three types of stations: AB stations where all the trains stop, and A and B stations where only half of the trains stop (stations type A and B are allocated interchangeably). This mode of operation is already described in the literature (Vuchic, 1973, Vuchic, 1976 and Vuchic, 2005) and has been successfully implemented in the Metro system of Santiago, Chile.This work tackles the problem with a continuous approximation approach. The problem is described with a set of geographically dependent continuous parameters like the density of stations for a given line. Cost functions are built for a traditional (all-stop) operation and for skip-stop operation as described above. A simple example is presented to support this discussion. Finally, a discussion about the type of scenarios in which skip-stop operations are more beneficial is presented.