In Denver, transit AVL decreased early and late arrivals by 12 and 21 percent, respectively.

August 2000
Denver,Colorado,United States

Summary Information

The Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) AVL system was implemented to develop more efficient schedules, improve the ability of dispatchers to adjust on-street operations, and increase safety through better emergency management.

In conjunction with the new AVL system, the entire dispatcher-to-field communications system was replaced providing more capacity to communicate data.

This study attempted to evaluated AVL and isolate the impacts of an improved communication system.


Between 1992 and 1997, RTD decreased the number of vehicles that arrived at stops early by 12 percent and decreased the number of passengers per vehicle that arrived at stops late by 21 percent. In part, these improvements were the result of improved schedule adherence.

The AVL system proved to be highly accurate at determining positions. In 304 tests of the system, the system was within the acceptable threshold 292 times. The thresholds ranged from 100 to 300 feet, depending on the location of the test. This was a success rate of more than 96 percent. RTD experienced a 23 percent decrease in lost service hours in part due to improved radio reliability. The decrease in service delays that resulted from higher system reliability meant improved service to customers because more vehicles were available for service.


For additional information pertaining to the impacts of CAD/AVL on RTD transit operations see the corresponding report:
Denver RTDS Computer-Aided Dispatch/Automated Vehicle Location Systems - The Human Factors Consequences (September 1999).

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Assessment of the Denver Regional Transportation District Automatic Vehicle Location System

Author: Weatherford, Matt

Published By: Federal Transit Administration, U.S. DOT

Prepared by Castle Rock Consultants for the U.S. DOT through the Volpe National Transportation System Center

Source Date: August 2000

EDL Number: 13589

Other Reference Number: Report No. DOT-VNTSC-FTA-00-04



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automated vehicle location, computer aided dispatch, automatic vehicle locator, AVL, CAD, AVL/CAD

Benefit ID: 2000-00132