Optimal bus service patterns and frequencies considering transfer demand elasticity with genetic algorithm

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, place - north america, operations - frequency, operations - capacity, infrastructure - interchange/transfer, infrastructure - stop, economics - operating costs, ridership - elasticity, ridership - demand


bus, service planning, cost, optimization, genetic algorithm


This paper attempts to optimize bus service patterns (i.e., all-stop, short-turn, and express) and frequencies which minimize total cost, considering transfer demand elasticity. A mathematical model is developed based on the objective total cost for a generalized bus route, which is optimized subject to a set of constraints ensuring sufficient capacity, an operable bus fleet, and service frequency conservation. To optimize the integrated service of a bus route with many stops, which is a combinatorial optimization problem, a genetic algorithm is developed and applied to search for the solution. A case study, based on a real-world bus route in New Jersey, is conducted to demonstrate the applicability and effectiveness of the developed model and the solution algorithm. Results show that the proposed methodology is fairly efficient, and the optimized bus service significantly reduces total cost.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Taylor&Francis, copyright remains with them.