Determination and assessment of an effective commercial speed of bus lines on the road network of Sfax city, Tunisia

  • Hana ElleuchEmail author
  • Amjad Kallel
  • Mohamed Jamel Rouis
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Geotechnical Engineering for Urban and Major Infrastructure Development


Over the previous few decades, Sfax city has witnessed a huge urbanization movement pushing the city boundaries beyond agricultural areas. This has been accompanied by an enormous extension of its transport network to meet the city dwellers need for commuting to distant employment zones. The demand for mobility has therefore risen because of the combination of an increasing population and longer distances. The failure of the city public transport system led citizens to rely more and more on individual transportation means (80% vs 20% in 2012), which resulted in two major problems: traffic jams and pollution. To face this worsening situation, the authorities suggested the alternative of inserting a double-track tramway in special crossable areas and in the middle of its roads. However, sharing the traffic space between the tramway and the conventional means of transport may result in such problems as the lack of space and the negative impact of the neighboring traffic on the tram’s commercial speed making it impossible to reach 20 km/h. The current research attempted to determine the commercial speed based on the road network. Busses were used to carry out a commercial speed measure campaign during peak hours adopting the manual time recording approach. The obtained results show that the commercial speed on 13 lines varies between 10.2 and 18 km/h. On three ring roads, it varies between 8.8 and 23 km/h. The decrease of the commercial speed value may generate congested traffic. Sfax city had better opt for an elevated or underground railway network than a tram, which would make the situation worse.


Congestion Commercial speed Obstacles Tramway lines Stopping time 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the help of the entire team of the Sfax regional transport company and their support during the study.


  1. Abid, H. (2005). ETIC. SDOTGS. Bilan environnemental du TCSPGoogle Scholar
  2. INS (2004). National Statistical Institute-General census of population and habitat. Cars ownership per household. Accessed 10 June 2017
  3. INS (2014). National Statistical Institute-General census of population and habitat. Cars ownership per household. Accessed 10 June 2017
  4. Alkubaisi MIT (2014) Predefined evaluating criteria to select the best tramway route. Journal of Traffic and Logistics Engineering 2.
  5. An, J.H. (2011). Le choix d'un système de transport durable: analyse comparative des systèmes de transport desurface guidées. VTT Graduate School: University Paris - Est.Google Scholar
  6. Balay, J.M. (2009). Dimensionnement des voies du tramway. LCPC Plenaries 2009: Civil Engineering Science and Technology: Technical Road Days. Nantes - 3rd and 4th of February 2009Google Scholar
  7. Bennasr, A. (2003).L'étalement urbain de Sfax.. Faculty of arts and humanities. University of Sfax 2003Google Scholar
  8. Bennasr, A., Matteudi, E., Roux, J. M. (2013). Atelierinternational de coopération 2013: Regarder Sfax (master II). Planning Institute of Grenoble. Geography Department of the University of Sfax. Accessed 5 Feb 2018
  9. Cascetta, E. (2001).Transportation systems engineering: theory and methods.
  10. Calvert SC, Snelder M (2017). A methodology for road traffic resilience analysis and review of related concepts. Transportmetrica A: Transport Science 14:130–154.
  11. Certu. (2000). Guide de planification de la route pour le transport collectif. Lyon, January 2000.
  12. Charfi, F. (2016). Stratégie Sfax 2030: Analyse stratégique de l'état de développement de la région. Accessed 7 March 2018
  13. Certu. (2006). Matérialisation du Gabarit Limite d'Obstacle des transports guidés urbains: Etat des lieux etanalyse des pratiques. Lyon, November 2016Google Scholar
  14. Chakroborty P, Das A (2003). Principals of transportation engineering. PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  15. Collet P (2009) Régulation de la circulation et aménagement des carrefours à la mise en place d'un TCSP:L'exemple des deux lignes de tramways de l'agglomération dijonnaise. Lumière university Lyon 2:2009Google Scholar
  16. Courtois, X., Dobruzkes, F. (2008). The (in)efficiency of trams and buses in Brussels: a fine geographical analysis. Brussels studies 2008. URL: Accessed 2 March 2018
  17. Das AK, Saw K, Katti BK (2016). Traffic congestion modelling with reference to speed profiles under mixed traffic conditions: a case study of Surat corridor. Global research and development journal for engineering recent advances in civil engineering for global sustainabilityGoogle Scholar
  18. Dindar, S., Kaewunruen, S. (2018). Assessment of turnout-related derailments by various causes. In: Pombo J., Jing G. (eds) Recent Developments in Railway Track and Transportation Engineering. GeoMEast 2017. Sustainable Civil Infrastructures. Springer, ChamGoogle Scholar
  19. Eleuch, M. (2014). Stratégie de développement des transports urbains à Sfax. Casablanca, 23 September 2014. Accessed 15 March 2018
  20. Elleuch H, Rouis J (2018) J. Euro-Mediterr J Environ Integr 3:10.
  21. Fattah M.Y., Mahmood M.R., Aswad M.F. (2018). Experimental and numerical behavior of railway track over geogrid reinforced ballast underlain by soft clay. In: Pombo J., Jing G. (eds) Recent developments in railway track and transportation engineering. GeoMEast 2017. Sustainable civil infrastructures. Springer, ChamGoogle Scholar
  22. Fouchard, B. (2012). Les critères de choix des modes lourds dans les villes de la Méditerranée. Communicationpresented at the day of 15 November 2012, infrastructure optimization and alternative mobility. FranceGoogle Scholar
  23. Hasiak, S., Richer, C. (2012). Appraising territorial effects of tram based systems, 1st PHASE – State of the art. Nord Picardie. Janvier 2012Google Scholar
  24. Hagui A, Tlili A (2014). La réalité représentative des communes du Grand Sfax: cas des communes périphériques. International. Journal of Spaces and Urban Territory, Knowledge journals 57:19–31 Accessed 20 March 2018Google Scholar
  25. Haj Taieb, M. (2008). Stratégie de développement du Grand Sfax 2016. Janvier 2008. SfaxGoogle Scholar
  26. Haj Taieb, R. (2012). Les transports urbains à Sfax: problèmes et solutions. National Urban Transportation DayTunis 11 December 2012Google Scholar
  27. Haj Taieb, R. (2015). Energy, climate and air quality challenges: the role of urban transport policies in developing countries. CODATU. 2–5 February 2015, Istanbul - Turkey. 2015Google Scholar
  28. Jian, Y., Li, S., Zhu, K.Q. (2005). Traffic delay studies at signalized intersections with global positioning system devices. Institute of Transportation Engineers. ITE Journal 75(8), pp 30–39Google Scholar
  29. Landry, J. (2015). La réduction des délais des autobus urbains. Quebec 2000. Accessed 20 Feb 2018
  30. Maurya, A.K., Das, S., Dey, S., Nama, S. (2016). Study on speed and time headway distributions on two-lane bidirectional road in heterogeneous traffic condition.
  31. Missaoui, M., Zerai, K., Fridhi, A., Baroudi, M., Baroudi, J. (2013). Atlas de Sfax.TOPGEO. Accessed 5 March 2018
  32. Molugaram, K., Rao, S. (2017). Statistical techniques for transportation engineering ISBN: 9780128116425Google Scholar
  33. Mrvelj, S., Matulin, M., Jelušić. (2010). Public transport priority system: impact on quality of service. Croatia 2010.
  34. Odoni, A. (2016). Transportation engineering theory, practice, and modeling. ISBN-13: 978–0128038185Google Scholar
  35. Osman, O.A., Ishak, C. (2017). Prediction of travel time estimation accuracy in connected vehicle environments. Recent Developments in Railway Track and Transportation Engineering: DOI
  36. Prasetijo, J., Zhang, G., Zainal, Z.F., Musa, W. Z., Guntor, N.A.A. (2018). Performance level of road geometric design based on motorcycle – cars linear speed profile. In: Pombo J., Jing G. (eds) Recent Developments in Railway Track and Transportation Engineering. GeoMEast 2017. Sustainable Civil Infrastructures. Springer, ChamGoogle Scholar
  37. Sharma, R.K., Varsha, R.K., Sharma, S.K., Gupta, A., Gupta, S., Chaudhary, M. (2016). Speed and delay study “A case from India Gate to Jawahar Circle”. Poornima Institute of Engineering and Technology. 2016Google Scholar
  38. Semaly E, Maunsell F (2003). Comparative performance data from French tramways systems. Procedia Soc Behav Sci:1877–0428Google Scholar
  39. Tian, Z., Jia, L., Dong, H., Su, F., Zhang, Z. (2016). Analysis of urban road traffic network based on complex network. Procedia Engineering 137:537–546.

Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hana Elleuch
    • 1
    Email author
  • Amjad Kallel
    • 1
  • Mohamed Jamel Rouis
    • 1
  1. 1.Sfax National School of EngineeringUniversity of SfaxSfaxTunisia

Personalised recommendations