Real-Time Dispatching on Atlanta Streetcar

Kari Watkins and Russ Clark
Simon Berrebi


The streetcars run in the heart of downtown. They are subject to unstable operating conditions caused by traffic congestion, sporadic event, and obstructed right-of-way. These perturbations make the Atlanta Streetcar prone to streetcar-bunching, which causes undue passenger wait and crowding. We have developed a real-time dispatching method that considers every streetcar on the route to dispatch them with even headways while maintaining a high frequency of service. The dispatching method will replace the current schedule on the Atlanta Streetcar as a case study for several weeks. We will evaluate the impact of real-time dispatching on operations, driver behavior, and passenger waiting time.

Kari Watkins

Under the direction of Dr. Kari Edison Watkins in Civil & Environmental Engineering, UTIL conducts research to improve sustainable transportation through better information. The members of the lab are interested in real-time information for transit, open data to enable the creation of tools to overcome barriers to transit use and digital civic engagement to solve transportation problems.