The design of interurban bus networks in city centers

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, place - europe, planning - network design, infrastructure - interchange/transfer, economics - operating costs


public transit, transit networks, transport planning


This paper proposes a bilevel formulation for solving the Bus Network Design Problem (BNDP) of interurban services entering a major city. It is focused in interurban services because it is a growing problem in most of major cities, yet new in the literature. The layout of interurban bus routes and the locations of transfer stations in the main city are the key factors to provide a competitive public transportation service to commuters in a metropolitan area. The number of commuters in huge urban concentrations is growing due to the difficulties of living near the city center. The objective function of the first level is defined with the aim of reducing user and agency costs. In the second level the performance of users is addressed. Furthermore, a local search method based on the Tabu Search algorithm was carried out to guide the exploration in the solution domain. The results obtained in a set of test problems have demonstrated that the restart parameters of the algorithm play a significant role in the efficiency of the algorithm. Finally, implementation in the large network of Barcelona (Spain) reduces the total cost by 5% with regard to the present situation.


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


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