Improving service regularity for high-frequency bus services with rescheduling and bus holding

Konstantinos Gkiotsalitis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


In high-frequency bus services, maintaining the service regularity is a critical issue. The service regularity is directly related to the excessive waiting times (EWT) of passengers at bus stops. In a regular service, the EWT is minimized resulting in even headways between consecutive buses of the same line. In this study, we propose the combined use of rescheduling and bus holding to improve passengers' excessive waiting times. We model the dynamic rescheduling and bus holding problem as an integer nonlinear program (INLP) and we prove its NP-hardness. Our model considers the constraints of the original timetable – an issue that is usually neglected from most dynamic control methods. Given the NP-hardness of our mathematical program, we introduce a problem-specific heuristic to explore efficiently the solution space. The convergence rate of the proposed heuristic is tested against other solution methods, including simulated annealing with linear cooling, hill climbing and branch and bound with multi-start sequential quadratic programming. In addition, simulations with the use of actual operational data from a major bus operator in Asia Pacific demonstrate an up to 35% potential EWT improvement for a minor increase of 6% to the travel times of onboard passengers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)778-794
JournalJournal of traffic and transportation engineering
Issue number5
Early online date16 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


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