Modeling and optimizing urban bus transit considering headway variation for cost and service reliability analysis

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - urban, mode - bus, economics - operating costs, planning - service level, planning - service improvement, planning - methods, operations - reliability, ridership - demand


Urban bus transit, bus stops, stochastic vehicle arrivals, headway, optimization, genetic algorithm, reliability


Due to the stochastic nature of traffic conditions and demand fluctuations, it is a challenging task for operators to maintain reliable services, and passengers often suffer from longer travel times. A failure to consider this issue while planning bus services may lead to undesirable results, such as higher costs and a deterioration in level of service. Considering headway variation at route stops, this paper develops a mathematical model to optimize bus stops and dispatching headways that minimize total cost, consisting of both user and operator costs. A Genetic Algorithm is applied to search for a cost-effective solution in a real-world case study of a bus transit system, which improves service reliability in terms of a reduced coefficient of variation of headway.


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