Skip-Stop Strategy Patterns optimization to enhance mass transit operation under physical distancing policy due to COVID-19 pandemic outbreak

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, place - urban, mode - rail, mode - mass transit, operations - scheduling, planning - methods


Public transport planning, Train skip-stopping patterns, Passenger travel time, Unserved passengers, COVID-19


After the widespread impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, all public transport, including urban rail transit, inevitably adopted a vigorous physical-distancing policy to prevent the disease from spreading among passengers. Adoption of this measure resulted in a substantial reduction in train service capability and required control of the risk contact exposure duration. Thus, this paper proposes the Skip-Stop Strategy Patterns (3S–P) decision-support model to incorporate social distancing constraints in train operations. The 3S–P model is a two-stage, multi-objective optimization model for scheduling train skip-stop patterns to satisfy the study's two main objectives of minimizing the average passenger travel time and unserved passengers. In the proposed model, the first optimization identifies the optimal train skip-stop patterns, while the second assigns these patterns to establish an hourly train schedule. The paper's case study uses data from the Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS) SkyTrain Silom Line in Bangkok, Thailand and considers the 0.5, 1, 1.5, and 2 m social distancing schemes. The results reveal that the optimal train skip-stop patterns are superior to the all-stop alternative with, on average, a 13.4% faster travel time at the same level of unserved passengers. Furthermore, the non-dominated schedules from the second optimization decrease the numbers of unserved passengers given equal average passenger travel times.


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


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