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476660-00063-1 Report Abstract

Vehicle and Driver Scheduling for Public Transit

Kristen Torrance, Ashley R. Haire and Randy B. Machemehl, University of Texas at Austin, August 2009, 44 pp. (476660-00063-1)

The problem of driver scheduling involves the construction of a legal set of shifts, including allowance of overtime, which cover the blocks in a particular vehicle schedule. A shift is the work scheduled to be performed by a driver in one day, while a block is a sequence of trips made by a single bus. Blocks can be divided between different drivers if they begin or end at relief points, providing the opportunity for change. The goal is to make the schedule as efficient as possible, therefore minimizing the amount of changes that need to be made.

In determining the ideal schedule, local and national labor rules must be considered. These involve restrictions specified by the user, including, but not limited to, total time worked per day; total time worked per week; the length of time that may be worked without a meal break; the total spreadover, which is the duration between beginning and ending a shift; and/or the number of days off per week (Wren and Rousseau, 1995).

The problem of vehicle scheduling involves determining the optimal route structure, span of service, and service frequencies for the transit agency and assigning vehicles to the routes. This involves considering cycle times, number of vehicles, timed transfers, layover time and locations, recovery time, and any difference in weekday and weekend services (Wren and Rousseau, 1995). Knowing the blocks of work that must be satisfied, vehicles must be assigned to each of the blocks and given departure and arrival times with a goal of optimizing the number of hours the vehicle is transporting passengers, known as platform hours.

The research contained herein describes work undertaken by the research team, including literature review and a survey of existing methodologies. Preliminary programming code was created to act as a benchmark for future endeavors in this area and elaboration of the complicating factors led the team to conclude that in order to fully complete a comprehensive working scheduling technique, substantially greater resources would be needed.

Keywords: Driver Scheduling, Vehicle Scheduling, Optimal Route Structure, Transit Platform Hours

ENTIRE REPORT (Adobe Acrobat File – 255 KB)