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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 410234, 9 pages
Research Article

Bus Travel Time Deviation Analysis Using Automatic Vehicle Location Data and Structural Equation Modeling

School of Transportation, Southeast University, Sipailou 2, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210096, China

Received 23 August 2015; Revised 16 October 2015; Accepted 22 October 2015

Academic Editor: Dongsuk Kum

Copyright © 2015 Xiaolin Gong et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


To investigate the influences of causes of unreliability and bus schedule recovery phenomenon on microscopic segment-level travel time variance, this study adopts Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) to specify, estimate, and measure the theoretical proposed models. The SEM model establishes and verifies hypotheses for interrelationships among travel time deviations, departure delays, segment lengths, dwell times, and number of traffic signals and access connections. The finally accepted model demonstrates excellent fitness. Most of the hypotheses are supported by the sample dataset from bus Automatic Vehicle Location system. The SEM model confirms the bus schedule recovery phenomenon. The departure delays at bus terminals and upstream travel time deviations indeed have negative impacts on travel time fluctuation of buses en route. Meanwhile, the segment length directly and negatively impacts travel time variability and inversely positively contributes to the schedule recovery process; this exogenous variable also indirectly and positively influences travel times through the existence of signalized intersections and access connections. This study offers a rational approach to analyzing travel time deviation feature. The SEM model structure and estimation results facilitate the understanding of bus service performance characteristics and provide several implications for bus service planning, management, and operation.