An infeasible start heuristic for the transit route network design problem

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, planning - methods, planning - network design, planning - route design, operations - frequency


Public transportation, transit network design, heuristic, infeasible start algorithm


This paper develops an efficient heuristic for the transit network design problem, formulated as an integer programming problem. The model includes a preliminary step of route set generation, followed by an iterative procedure that simultaneously selects the best routes and corresponding headways.

The iterative procedure is performed by an infeasible start algorithm that first assigns all candidate routes with the maximal frequency, and then iteratively eliminates routes and decreases frequencies of the less attractive ones. Routes are evaluated through a frequency-based transit assignment model that considers online information.

The proposed model is applied to the Winnipeg transit network. The transit network found by the suggested model comprised fewer, faster and more frequent lines that serve high volume of passengers, compared to the given transit network. The running time of the algorithm is very short compared to existing methods, and its simplicity enables high level and detailed calibration.


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