Transit network design for small-medium size cities

Ernesto Cipriani
Gaetano Fusco
Sergio Maria Patella
Marco Petrelli
Luca Quadrifoglio


This paper proposes a novel heuristic to solve the network design problem for public transport in small-medium size cities. Such cities can be defined as those with a diameter of a few kilometers with up to a few hundred thousand residents. These urban centers present a specific spatial configuration affecting the land use and mobility system. Transportation demand is widespread in origin and concentrated in a small number of attraction points close to each other. This particular structure of demand (‘many-to-few’) suggests the need for specific methodologies for the design of a transit system at a network level. In this paper, such design methodologies are defined in terms of models and solution procedures and tested on a selected case study. The solution methods show promising results. The key variables of the model are the routes and their frequencies. The constraints of the problem affect the overall demand to be served, the quality of the proposed service (transfer, load factors) and the definition of routes.