Optimization of headway and bus stop spacing for low demand bus routes

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, economics - operating costs, infrastructure - stop, ridership - demand, operations - scheduling, planning - methods, planning - route design


Stop spacing, headway, low demand, operator cost, user cost, NSGA-II


We propose a methodology for optimization of service headway and stop spacing along a low-demand bus route that minimizes operator and user costs. This study develops analytical cost models that are representative of low-demand routes by using negative binomial distribution for passenger demand for boarding and alighting pattern to estimate the probability of stopping and both random and planned arrival of passengers are considered to estimate the waiting time. Pareto optimal solutions obtained using multi-objective evolutionary algorithm, NSGA-II indicate that optimal values of headway and stop spacing are underestimated if optimized based on assumptions typical of high-demand routes which is passenger demand for boarding and alighting at bus stops randomly following a Poisson process. With the aid of the study methodology, transit planners will be able to improve the service utilization and passenger accessibility along an under-performing low demand routes by recommending minimal modifications to the existing route and bus schedule.


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