Optimization of grid bus transit systems with elastic demand

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41 Scopus citations


Current analytic models for optimizing urban bus transit systems tend to sacrifice geographic realism and detail in order to obtain their solutions. The models presented here shows how an optimization approach can be successful without oversimplifying spatial characteristics and demand patterns of urban areas and how a grid bus transit system in a heterogeneous urban environment with elastic demand is optimized. The demand distribution over the service region is discrete, which can realistically represent geographic variation. Optimal network characteristics (route and station spacings), operating headways and fare are found, which maximize the total operator profit and social welfare. Irregular service regions, many-to-many demand patterns, and vehicle capacity constraints are considered in a sequential optimization process. The numerical results show that at the optima the operator profit and social welfare functions are rather flat with respect to route spacing and headway, thus facilitating the tailoring of design variables to the actual street network and particular operating schedule without a substantial decrease in profit. The sensitivities of the design variables to some important exogenous factors are also presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-91
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Advanced Transportation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Strategy and Management


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