An overview of optimization approaches for scheduling and rostering resources in public transportation

Lucas Mertens, Lena-Antonia Wolbeck, David Rößler, Lin Xie, Natalia Kliewer

Research output: Working paperPreprintAcademic

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Public transport is vital for meeting people's mobility needs. Providers need to plan their services well to offer high quality and low cost. Optimized planning can benefit providers, customers, and municipalities. The planning process for public transport involves various decision problems, such as vehicle and crew planning. These problems are usually solved by providers. More and more studies suggest that integrated solution approaches for these problems are better than sequential and iterative ones. Integrated optimization of multiple planning phases allows more flexibility in planning, which can reduce operational costs and improve service quality. This paper reviews solution approaches for integrated optimization using operations research techniques for the vehicle scheduling, crew scheduling, and crew rostering problems. It also covers some relevant related approaches from other industries. The paper analyzes existing optimization approaches based on different aspects such as mathematical modeling, optimization objective and method, and data source and scope. Moreover, the paper examines the problem dimensions that are often required in practical applications. The paper identifies some directions for future research, such as focusing more on objectives other than cost-minimization like robustness, schedule regularity, or fairness.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2023


  • math.OC


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