In transportation, dwell time or terminal dwell time refers to the time a vehicle such as a public transit bus or train spends at a scheduled stop without moving. Typically, this time is spent boarding or deboarding passengers, but it may also be spent waiting for traffic ahead to clear, trying to merge into parallel traffic, or idling time in order to get back on schedule. Dwell time is one common measure of efficiency in public transport, with shorter dwell times being universally desirable.
Dwell times are particularly important for a rail system. Rail headways increase where the dwell times are high. Dwell times are an important focus for rail systems; a reduction in a dwell time can often result in a reduced headway.
Passengers who want to board and alight from a train need time to do so. Almost always passengers disembark first, and then passengers waiting on a platform board. A variety of different factors determine how long this takes, including the si