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Integrating short turning and deadheading in the optimization of transit services

Listed author(s):
  • Cortés, Cristián E.
  • Jara-Díaz, Sergio
  • Tirachini, Alejandro
Registered author(s):

    Urban transit demand exhibits peaks in time and space, which can be efficiently served by means of different fleets, increasing frequencies in those groups of stops with larger passenger inflow. In this paper we develop a model that combines short turning and deadheading in an integrated strategy for a single transit line, where the optimization variables are both of a continuous and discrete nature: frequencies within and outside the high demand zone, vehicle capacities, and those stations where the strategy begins and ends. We show that closed solutions can be obtained for frequencies in some cases, which resembles the classical "square root rule". Unlike the existing literature that compares different strategies with a given normal operation (no strategy - single frequency), we use an optimized base case, in order to assess the potential benefits of the integrated strategy on a fair basis. We found that the integrated strategy can be justified in many cases with mixed load patterns, where unbalances within and between directions are observed. In general, the short turning strategy may yield large benefits in terms of total cost reductions, while low benefits are associated with deadheading, due to the extra cost of running empty vehicles in some sections.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice.

    Volume (Year): 45 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 5 (June)
    Pages: 419-434

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:transa:v:45:y:2011:i:5:p:419-434
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    1. Mohring, Herbert, 1972. "Optimization and Scale Economies in Urban Bus Transportation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 591-604, September.
    2. Eberlein, Xu Jun & Wilson, Nigel H. M. & Barnhart, Cynthia & Bernstein, David, 1998. "The real-time deadheading problem in transit operations control," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 77-100, February.
    3. Oldfield, R. H. & Bly, P. H., 1988. "An analytic investigation of optimal bus size," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 319-337, October.
    4. Kraus, Marvin, 1991. "Discomfort externalities and marginal cost transit fares," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 249-259, March.
    5. Sergio Jara-Díaz & Antonio Gschwender, 2003. "Towards a general microeconomic model for the operation of public transport," Transport Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(4), pages 453-469, July.
    6. Alejandro Tirachini & Cristián Cortés & Sergio Jara-Díaz, 2011. "Optimal design and benefits of a short turning strategy for a bus corridor," Transportation, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 169-189, January.
    7. Leiva, Carola & Muñoz, Juan Carlos & Giesen, Ricardo & Larrain, Homero, 2010. "Design of limited-stop services for an urban bus corridor with capacity constraints," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 44(10), pages 1186-1201, December.
    8. Vijayaraghavan, T. A. S. & Anantharamaiah, K. M., 1995. "Fleet assignment strategies in urban transportation using express and partial services," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 157-171, March.
    9. Delle Site, Paolo & Filippi, Francesco, 1998. "Service optimization for bus corridors with short-turn strategies and variable vehicle size," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 19-38, January.
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