Delay resistant timetabling

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

operations - scheduling


punctuality, customer satisfaction, travel time


In public transport punctuality has prominent influence on the customers’ satisfaction. Our task is to support a management decision to optimally invest passengers’ nominal travel time to secure the nominal schedule against delay. For aperiodic scheduling we clarify the notion and use of a fixed amount of time supplements, so-called buffers, both theoretically and by realistic examples. The general tool to solve such optimization problems is a sampling approach. We show how this approach is mathematically justified. As its applicability to large networks is limited, we show an efficient alternative for the case of series-parallel graphs. For periodic timetabling we propose two heuristic approaches to ensure a certain level of delay resistance at the least expense of slightly increased nominal passengers travel time, and analyze in detail their advantages and drawbacks. This work has been supported by the DFG Research Center Matheon in Berlin, and by the EU Specific Targeted Research Project ARRIVAL.