Autonomous shuttle bus service timetabling and vehicle scheduling using skip-stop tactic

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - australasia, mode - bus, infrastructure - fleet management, technology - intelligent transport systems, operations - scheduling, planning - integration, planning - methods, planning - travel demand management, ridership - demand


Public transport, Timetable, Skip-stop operation, Deficit function, Fleet size, Graphical approach


The development of new technologies that allow us to know more precisely real-time public transport (PT) passenger demand enables the introduction of new methodologies to improve autonomous shuttle bus service (ASBS) from the perspective of both the user and the operator. This work develops a new methodology to determine the optimized PT timetable integrated with vehicle scheduling, including the possibility of using the skip-stop tactic based on real-time passenger demand. The consideration of a skip-stop operation allows for a reduction in the passengers’ total travel time and in the number of autonomous shuttle vehicles in use. The analysis is based on the deficit function (DF) graphical concept and considers the constraints of the vehicle with regard to capacity. The methodology is developed for a single-depot bidirectional circle ASBS route using the DF as a multi-decision choice model. Because of the complexity involved in large-size genetic algorithm problems, a binary-variable iteration method is applied to attain efficient solutions. A case study in Auckland, New Zealand, is employed to assess the new model. The case study shows a reduction of 1.83% in total passenger travel time and 8.11% in the number of vehicles as compared to solutions that do not consider the skip-stop tactic. Moreover, it is shown that the advanced DF-based methodology could be used to develop fully autonomous PT in a network in the future.


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


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