Date of Award

December 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Yue Liu

Committee Members

Yue Liu, Jie Yu, Lingqian Hu, Xiao Qin, Lingfeng Wang


Efficiency Assessment, Public Transport, Subsidy Allocation


Over the past several decades, contending with traffic congestion and air pollution has emerged as one of the imperative issues across the world. Development of a transit-oriented urban transport system has been realized by an increasing number of countries and administrations as one of the most effective strategies for mitigating congestion and pollution problems. Despite the rapid development of public transportation system, doubts regarding the efficiency of the system and financing sustainability have arisen. Significant amount of public resources have been invested into public transport; however complaints about low service quality and unreliable transit system performance have increasingly arisen from all walks of life. Evaluating transit operational efficiency from various levels and designing incentive-based mechanisms to allocate limited subsidies/resources have become one of the most imperative challenges faced by responsible authorities to sustain the public transport system development and improve its performance and levels of service.

After a comprehensive review of existing literature, this dissertation aims to develop a multi-dimensional framework composed of a series of robust multi-criteria evaluation models to assess the operational and financial performance of transit systems at various levels of application (i.e. region/city level, operator level, and route level). It further contributes to bridging the gap between transit efficiency evaluation and the subsequent subsidy allocation by developing a set of incentive-based resource allocation models taking various levels of operational and financial efficiencies into consideration. Case studies using real-world transit data will be performed to validate the performance and applicability of the proposed models.