Switching service types for multi-region bus systems

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, infrastructure - fleet management, planning - travel demand management, planning - integration


Bus services, fixed-route, flexible-route, demand density, multiple local regions, multiple time periods, optimization


Conventional fixed-route bus services are generally preferred to flexible-route services at high demand densities, and vice versa. This paper formulates the problem of integrating conventional and flexible services that connect a main terminal to multiple local regions over multiple time periods. The system’s vehicle size, route spacing (for conventional services), service area (for flexible services), headways and fleet sizes are jointly optimized to minimize the sum of supplier costs and user costs. The route spacing for conventional bus services and service area for flexible bus services are also optimized for each region. The proposed solution method, which uses a genetic algorithm and analytic optimization, finds good solutions quickly. Numerical examples and sensitivity analyses confirm that the single fleet variable-type bus service may outperform either the single fleet conventional bus service or the single fleet flexible bus service when demand densities vary substantially among regions and time periods.


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