Route layout analysis for express buses

S. C. Wirasinghe
U. Vandebona

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For a fixed bus route, the path is the fundamental parameter that determines the passenger catchment area, which, via the dispatching policy, determines the timetable and fleet size. However, the path cannot be chosen independent of the other parameters; they have a symbiotic relationship, even though the planning time frames are different ranging from ‘years’ for the path of the route to ‘days’ for the crew schedule. The express route planning problem deals with the optimum selection of the sequence of passenger generators to be served by the planned route. An analytical model is developed to enable minimization of operating cost and costs of passenger access, waiting and travel times. Applications of this model have provided an insight to the relative importance of different cost components. The analytical model first selects an initial trial path for the purpose of comparison and then the optimum path is sought by considering a process of swapping, adding and removing generators or extending the route. Routes based on both grid and non-grid road networks are considered. In particular, non-grid road network based routes have a clear optimum. The cost of access is shown to be the influential parameter with respect to route selection. The insights gained from such analysis are highlighted.