Time-Dependent Urban Customized Bus Routing with Path Flexibility

Rongge Guo, Wenyi Zhang, Wei Guan, Bin Ran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Urban customized bus companies are increasingly motivated by design efforts that entail more efficient route scenarios to incorporate adaptation to temporal and spatial heterogeneity in travel demand. However, such motivations are usually hindered by ubiquitous arrival unpunctuality resulting from traffic congestion. To resolve this problem, we suggest a time-dependent bus route planning methodology that explicitly considers path flexibility between nodes to be visited. First, we establish a mixed-integer programming model to formulate the problem, where decision-making considerations in bus route planning, path choice between nodes, and passenger assignment are concurrently integrated. Then, we develop a hybrid metaheuristic (combining tabu search and variable neighborhood search) to solve the model, in which satisfactory performance is observed from the numerical test in a small-sized example. Finally, the problem and methodology are addressed in a city-scale instance, where the effects of time-window features and traffic congestion, as well as the benefits from path flexibility inclusion in terms of cost, travel time, and distance are investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9186321
Pages (from-to)2381-2390
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems
Issue number4
Early online date3 Sep 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes


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