Modeling Commuter Express Bus System

by Robert K. George, Mechanical Design Engineer; Texas Instruments, Dallas, Texas,
Judith S. Liebman, Asst. Prof. of Operations Research; Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, Ill.,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1977, Vol. 103, Issue 1, Pg. 183-198

Document Type: Journal Paper


This paper presents a procedure for routing buses on an express basis between commuter stations and specific locations of high worker density. The use of two integer programming models based on a set of predetermined alternative routes is explored to develop efficient routings when characteristics such as distance, cost, and time span must be considered. When one of these models was used to develop routes for a possible additional express bus system in Chicago, the computer-based optimization resulted in routes somewhat better than an original set of routes derived manually. Although the relatively minor improvement (3.7%) achieved by the computer-based process might not always be worth the additional expense such effort always entails, the use of mathematical programming models enables extensive sensitivity analysis to be undertaken relatively painlessly and enables a wide variety of alternatives to be examined.

Subject Headings: Computer models | Computer programming | Sensitivity analysis | Commute | Buses | Optimization models | Routing (transportation) | Bus stops | Chicago | Illinois | United States

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