Preserving an aging transit fleet: An optimal resource allocation perspective based on service life and constrained budget

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - rolling stock, mode - bus, economics - capital costs


Transit fleet, Net present cost, Integer programming, Branch and bound algorithm


Local, county and state level transit agencies with large fleets of buses and limited budgets seek a robust fund allocation mechanism to maintain service standards. However, equitable and optimal fund allocation for purchasing, operating and maintaining a transit fleet is a complex process. In this study, we develop an optimization model for allocation of funds among different fleet improvement programs within budget constraints over the planning period. This is achieved by minimizing the net present cost (NPC) of the investment within the constraint of a minimum level of fleet quality expressed as a surrogate of the remaining life of the fleet. Integer programming is used to solve the formulated optimization problem using branch and bound algorithm. The model formulation and application are demonstrated with a real world case study of transit agencies. It is observed that minimizing NPC provides a realistic way to allocate resources between different program options among different transit agencies while maintaining a desired quality level. The proposed model is generalized and can be used as a resource allocation tool for transit fleet management by any transit agency.


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


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