Integrated public transport timetable synchronization and vehicle scheduling with demand assignment: A bi-objective bi-level model using deficit function approach

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - demand, operations - scheduling, planning - integration, planning - service improvement


Public transport, Timetable synchronization, Vehicle scheduling, Demand assignment, Bi-objective bi-level model, Deficit function


In the operations planning process of public transport (PT), timetable synchronization is a useful strategy utilized to reduce transfer waiting time and improve service connectivity. However, most of the studies on PT timetable synchronization design have treated the problem independently of other operations planning activities, and have focused only on minimizing transfer waiting time. In addition, the impact of schedule changes on PT users’ route/trip choice behavior has not been well investigated yet. This work develops a new bi-objective, bi-level integer programming model, taking into account the interests of PT users and operators in attaining optimization of PT timetable synchronization integrated with vehicle scheduling and considering user demand assignment. Based on the special structure characteristics of the model, a novel deficit function (DF)-based sequential search method combined with network flow and shifting vehicle departure time techniques is proposed to achieve a set of Pareto-efficient solutions. The graphical features of the DF can facilitate a decision-making process for PT schedulers for finding a desirable solution. Two numerical examples are illustrated to demonstrate the methodology developed.


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


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