Title

FLEET SIZE AND MIX OPTIMIZATION FOR PARATRANSIT SERVICES

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2004

Subject Area

operations - traffic, infrastructure - vehicle, infrastructure - fleet management, planning - methods, organisation - management, mode - bike, mode - paratransit

Keywords

Vehicle size, Vehicle mix, Traffic composition, Research, Recommendations, Performance, Paratransit services, Optimization, Optimisation, Mixed traffic, Life cycle costing, Heuristic methods, Future, Fleet management, Dial a ride, Case studies

Abstract

Most paratransit agencies use a mix of different types of vehicles ranging from small sedans to large converted vans as a cost-effective way to meet the diverse travel needs and seating requirements of their clients. Currently, decisions on what types of vehicles and how many vehicles to use are mostly made by service managers on an ad hoc basis without much systematic analysis and optimization. The objective of this research is to address the underlying fleet size and mix problem and to develop a practical procedure that can be used to determine the optimal fleet mix for a given application. A real-life example illustrates the relationship between the performance of a paratransit service system and the size of its service vehicles. A heuristic procedure identifies the optimal fleet mix that maximizes the operating efficiency of a service system. A set of recommendations is offered for future research; the most important is the need to incorporate a life-cycle cost framework into the paratransit service planning process.