Public transport vehicle scheduling featuring multiple vehicle types

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - australasia, mode - bus, economics - operating costs, economics - benefits, operations - scheduling


Vehicle scheduling, Multiple vehicle types, Optimal timetables


Vehicle scheduling is a crucial step of the public transport planning process because it results in the number of vehicles required, thus it is directly related to fixed cost and labor cost. It is desirable, therefore, to minimize the number of vehicles used and operational cost. This paper proposes a new methodology for the multiple vehicle types vehicle scheduling problem (MVT-VSP). The methodology is based on a minimum-cost network flow model utilizing sets of Pareto-optimal timetables for individual bus lines. Given a fixed fleet size the suggested methodology also allows a selection of the optimal timetable. The method developed enables to stipulate the use of a particular vehicle type for a trip or to allow for a substitution either by a larger vehicle or a combination of smaller vehicles with the same or higher total capacity. Moreover, a variation of the method portrayed makes it possible to construct sub-optimal timetables given a reduction of the vehicle-scheduling cost. It is demonstrated that a substitution of vehicles is beneficial and can lead to significant cost reductions in the range of more than 27%. The suggested methodology is applied to a real-life case study in Auckland, New Zealand, and the results show improvements of greater than 15% in terms of the cost of fleet compared with vehicle schedules that are provided by standard models.


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


Transportation Research Part B Home Page: