A robust transfer inference algorithm for public transport journeys during disruptions

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Disruptions in public transport have major impact on passengers and disproportional effects on passenger satisfaction. The availability of smart card data gives opportunities to better quantify disruption impacts on passengers’ experienced journey travel time and comfort. For this, accurate journey inference from raw transaction data is required. Several rule-based algorithms exist to infer whether a passenger alighting and subsequent boarding is categorized as transfer or final destination where an activity is performed. Although this logic can infer transfers during undisrupted public transport operations, these algorithms have limitations during disruptions: disruptions and subsequent operational rescheduling measures can force passengers to travel via routes which would be non-optimal or illogical during undisrupted operations. Therefore, applying existing algorithms can lead to biased journey inference and biased disruption impact quantification. We develop and apply a new transfer inference algorithm which infers journeys from raw smart card transactions in an accurate way during both disrupted and undisrupted operations. In this algorithm we incorporate the effects of denied boarding, transferring to a vehicle of the same line (due to operator rescheduling measures as short-turning), and the use of public transport services of another operator on another network level as intermediate journey stage during disruptions. This results in an algorithm with an improved transfer inference performance compared to existing algorithms.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication20th EURO Working Group on Transportation Meeting, EWGT 2017
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event20th EURO Working Group on Transportation Meeting - Budapest, Hungary
Duration: 4 Sep 20176 Sep 2017
Conference number: 20

Publication series

NameTransportation Research Procedia
ISSN (Electronic)2214-241X


Conference20th EURO Working Group on Transportation Meeting
Abbreviated titleEWGT 2017
Internet address


  • Disruptions
  • public transport
  • smart card data
  • transfer inference


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