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The research uses high resolution bus data to examine sources of delay on urban arterials. A set of tools were created to help visualize trends in bus behavior and movement, which allowed for larger traffic trends to be visualized along urban corridors and urban streets. By using buses as probes and examining aggregated bus behavior, contoured speed plots were used to understand the behavior of roadways outside the zone of influence of bus stops. These speed plots can be utilized to discover trends and travel patterns with only a few days’ worth of data. Congestion and speed variation can be viewed by time of day and plots can help indicate delays caused by intersections, crosswalks, or bus stops.

This type of information is important to transit authorities looking to improve bus running times and reliability. Congested areas can be detected and ranked. Speed plots can be utilized to reevaluate bus stop locations, e.g. near-side vs. far-side, and to identify locations where improvement are needed, e.g. queue jump lanes. Transportation agencies can also benefit from this type of information because arterial performance measures are difficult to estimate.

Biographical Information

Nicholas Stoll was born in Missouri and spent much of his childhood in Kansas. After graduating from St. Olaf College with undergraduate degrees in Mathematics, Physics, and China Studies, Nicholas spent a year in China before beginning a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning in 2013 and a Masters in Transportation Engineering in 2014 at Portland State University. His interests lie at the intersection of transportation planning, intelligent transportation systems, data visualization, as well as in international development. Having spent the previous summer interning in China and Qatar, Nicholas hopes to one day return overseas to work.


Transportation -- Oregon -- Portland Metropolitan Area -- Planning, Geographic information systems -- Applications to traffic engineering, Local transit -- Oregon -- Portland


Transportation | Urban Studies and Planning

Persistent Identifier

Utilizing High Resolution Bus GPS Data to Visualize and Identify Congestion Hot-spots in Urban Arterials



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