Performance evaluation of bus lines with data envelopment analysis and geographic information systems

Yong Lao, Lin Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Data envelopment analysis (DEA) is an optimization-based technique widely used to measure relative efficiencies of public transit agencies. However, the literature on DEA pays little attention to the spatial aspects of transit systems. This study combines DEA and geographic information systems (GIS) to evaluate the performance of bus lines within a public transit system, considering both the operations and operational environment. First, we use GIS to create demographic profiles within the service corridor of each bus line. Then, we apply the DEA method to compute each bus line’s operational efficiency and spatial effectiveness scores. This approach allows for close inspection and comparison of operational and spatial aspects of bus lines. We suggest ways to improve the performance of bus lines based on the characteristics of the two types of scores.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalComputers, Environment and Urban Systems
StatePublished - Jul 2009


  • Data envelopment analysis
  • GIS
  • Transit bus lines
  • Transportation modeling


  • Operations Research, Systems Engineering and Industrial Engineering
  • Geography

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