Designing a home-to-work bus service in a metropolitan area

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, infrastructure - stop, planning - route design, place - europe


Home-to-work bus service, Efficiency, effectiveness, equity trade-offs, Generalized vehicle routing problem, Time windows, Multi-objective location-routing


This paper presents a model and an algorithm for the design of a home-to-work bus service in a metropolitan area. This type of service must display an equilibrium between conflicting criteria such as efficiency, effectiveness, and equity. To this end, we introduce a multi-objective model in which, among other aspects, equity is considered by time windows on the arrival time of a bus at a stop. Time windows can have other uses such as, for example, guaranteeing synchronization of the service with other transportation modes. This is one of the guiding principles of the proposed model which is based on concepts that simultaneously tackle several issues at once. Along this line, we propose a cluster routing approach to model both bus stop location and routing in urban road networks where turn restrictions exist. The resulting multi-objective location-routing model is solved by a tabu search algorithm. As an application, we analyze a home-to-work bus service for a large research center located in Rome, Italy. This case study provides a benchmark for the algorithmic results, and shows the practical relevance of the proposed methodology.


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


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