Optimizing itineraries in public transportation with walks between rides

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, mode - pedestrian, place - europe


Public transportation, Earliest arrival problem, Walks between rides


We study the problem of finding an optimal itinerary to travel from a starting location to a destination location using public transport, where we allow travelers to alternate rides with (short) walks. The main difference with previous research is that we take all possible walks that a traveler can make into consideration. This large number of possible walks poses a potential computational difficulty. However, in this paper we derive theorems for identifying a small subset of walks that only need to be considered. These results are embedded in a solution algorithm, which is tested in a real-life setting for bus transportation in a medium sized city. An extensive numerical study leads to encouraging results. First, only 1% of all possible walks needs to be considered, so that the optimal itinerary can be determined very efficiently. Second, allowing walks has considerable benefits; reducing the travel time in about 6% of all randomly generated examples by more than 10% on average.


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


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