Transit network design and scheduling: A global review

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

economics - profitability, land use - planning, mode - mass transit, operations - scheduling, planning - network design, planning - service quality, ridership - commuting


Worldwide, Transit network design, Transit, Service quality, Quality of service, Public transit, Profitability, Planning, Passenger service quality, Network scheduling, Mass transit, Local transit, International


This paper presents a global review of the crucial strategic and tactical steps of transit planning: the design and scheduling of the network. These steps influence directly the quality of service through coverage and directness concerns but also the economic profitability of the system since operational costs are highly dependent on the network structure. The authors first exhibit the context and the goals of strategic and tactical transit planning. The authors then establish a terminology proposal in order to name sub-problems and thereby structure the review. Then, the authors propose a classification of 69 approaches dealing with the design, frequencies setting, timetabling of transit lines and their combinations. The authors provide a descriptive analysis of each work so as to highlight their main characteristics in the frame of a two-fold classification referencing both the problem tackled and the solution method used. Finally, the authors expose recent context evolutions and identify some trends for future research. This paper aims to contribute to unification of the field and constitutes a useful complement to the few existing reviews.


Permission to publish abstract given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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