Departmental Papers (ESE)


Most transit networks are designed empirically. For bus net­works this process 1s often satisfactory because bus routes and networks are very dependent on local conditions, and they can be easily modified, allowing easy corrections of problems which line design may cause in operations. However, with transit systems which have extensive infrastructure, most typically metro lines and networks, corrections are ex­tremely difficult to make. Develop­ment of an optimal network and avoidance of design features which result in operational pro­blems are therefore of great im­portance. Yet, the experiences from the design and operation of such large older metro systems as London, Moscow, New York, Pan's and Tokyo, or from numerous recently built medium-size metro systems, such as Hong Kong, San Francisco, Sao Paulo and Washington, remain largely unknown to the designers of new metro networks.

This paper presents a theoretical analysis of transit lines and networks and its applications. The focus is on network geometry and operational characteristics. The basic design and operational elements, such as geometric forms of lines, headways, schedules, etc., are discussed in general terms, valid for any mode; however, the main focus is on metro systems because of the par­ticular importance of these analyses for fixed, permanent systems.

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version


Publication Source

Public Transport International



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Copyright/Permission Statement

Posted with permission from UITP.



Date Posted: 10 January 2017