Optimal bus fleet management strategy for emissions reduction

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, mode - bus, economics - benefits, economics - subsidy, organisation - management, technology - emissions, planning - environmental impact, planning - standards


Bus fleet management, Emissions reduction, Remaining life additional benefit–cost analysis, Government subsidy, Vehicle replacement, Diesel retrofits


Transportation is a major cause for environmental degradation via exhaust emissions. For many transit-oriented metropolitan areas, bus trips often constitute a sizeable mode share. Managing the bus fleet, in particular updating buses to comply with the newer emissions standards, therefore, can have a substantial impact on transportation-induced air quality. This paper presents the approach of remaining life additional benefit–cost (RLABC) analysis for maximising the total net benefit by either early-retiring or retrofitting the current bus fleet within their lifespans. By referring to the net benefits for different bus types estimated by RLABC analysis, the most beneficial management scheme for the current bus fleet can be identified. Optimal bus fleet management (BFM) models based on the RLABC analysis for the operator and the government are developed. Then a government subsidy plan is produced to achieve win–win solutions, which will offer efficient and flexible management schemes. To illustrate the approach, the largest bus company in Hong Kong, which carries more than 23% of the total trips in Hong Kong, is taken as a case study example. Instead of adopting a fixed retirement plan, such as replacing buses at the age of 17 as is currently practised, the proposed method develops an optimal BFM scheme that progressively phases out buses or retrofits them. This study produces promising results to demonstrate the large benefit of this approach for optimal bus fleet management.


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


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