First Advisor

Miguel Figliozzi

Date of Award

Fall 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Civil & Environmental Engineering and University Honors


Civil and Environmental Engineering




Bus travel -- Oregon -- Portland, Traffic congestion -- Measurement, Travel time (Traffic engineering)




Congestion can influence transit service attractiveness, operating cost, and system efficiency. This paper examines archived transit data to compare the effects of different intersection geometries on traffic congestion. The Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) has been archiving automatic vehicle location (AVL) and automatic passenger count (APC) data for all bus trips at the stop level since 1997 as part of their bus dispatch system (BDS). In 2013, TriMet implemented a higher resolution bus AVL data collection system. This 5-second resolution (5-SR) bus position data provides information about buses between stops in addition to their stop level data. The 5-SR data allows for the creation of a quantitative congestion analysis at specific locations. The objective of this paper is to use the high-resolution congestion analysis for a particular bus route in Portland, OR to analyze intersections with similar demands (i.e. through bus travel, similar traffic volumes, and far-side bus-stops) but different geometries. Results suggest that buses moving through intersections with a separated right turn lane may experience significantly less congestion than buses moving through intersections with a combination through/right turn lane. Interestingly, the travel lane (i.e. in the right turn or through lane) of the buses also may make a significant difference to the congestion experience by buses at the intersection. Buses in the through lane may experience less delay than buses in the right-turn lane.


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