Analyzing the trade-off between minimizing travel times and reducing monetary costs for users in the transit network design

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - methods, planning - network design, planning - service level, economics - operating costs


Transit network design, travel time, costs


The efficiency of the planning process in public transport is represented through different measures, which are practically impossible to optimize simultaneously. This study defines a bi-objective optimization problem for the transit network design to analyze the trade-off between minimization of travel times and reducing monetary costs for passengers (which was not addressed in the literature) while considering a hard constraint for operational costs. Indeed, the minimization of monetary costs for passengers is relevant in transport systems without a complete integrated fare system, where passengers may pay for each trip-leg; thus, modeling monetary costs for users is essential when referring to the system’s accessibility and route choice. To achieve our goal, we implement an epsilon-constraint algorithm capable of obtaining high-quality approximations of the Pareto front for benchmark instances in hours of computational time, which is reasonable for strategic planning problems. Numerical results show that the conflict between both objectives is evident, and it is possible to identify the more useful lines to optimize each objective, leading to relevant information for the decision-making process. Finally, we perform a sensitivity analysis on the budget parameter of our optimization problem, showing the classic trade-off between the operational costs and the level of service in terms of travel time and monetary cost.


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


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