Millisecond-Scale Real-Time Scheduling of Buses: A Controller-Based Approach

Feiyang Wang, Xingquan Zuo, Binglin Wu, Mengchu Zhou, Xing Wan, Yahong Liu, Xinchao Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bus scheduling is vital for public transportation to ensure high transit service quality. In actual bus operation, buses’ travel time may change due to some uncertain factors, which makes the planned scheduling scheme fail to meet users’ actual requirements. This work proposes a Controller-based Bus Scheduling Approach (CBSA). In this approach, each departure time in a timetable is regarded as a decision point, and a controller is devised to select a bus in real-time to depart from the departure time. The controller makes a decision at each departure time to cover all departure times in a given timetable. The controller consists of a Duty Type Converter (DTC) and a Bus Selector (BS). DTC determines bus duty types to improve bus utilization, while BS selects a bus to cover the departure time. Since the controller makes decisions in a real-time manner, it can effectively handle uncertain events and factors (such as uncertain travel time). Some key parameters of the controller are optimized by a particle swarm optimizer (PSO) to improve its performance. CBSA is applied to real-world problem instances. Experimental results show that it outperforms the compared algorithms and a manual scheduling scheme. It can schedule buses in real-time to generate a high-quality scheduling solution under uncertain environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


  • Delays
  • Dynamic scheduling
  • Heuristic algorithms
  • Public transport
  • Real-time systems
  • Schedules
  • Traffic congestion
  • Vehicle dynamics
  • bus scheduling
  • controller
  • particle swarm optimization
  • real-time scheduling


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