A framework for finding the optimal bus transit service coverage in an urban corridor is presented. The service variables considered are a combination of route length, route spacing, headway, and fare. The criterion for optimality is either operator profit or social welfare maximization. The social welfare, a sum of user and operator surplus, is optimized with both unconstrained subsidy and breakeven constraints. The equations for the optimal design variables that maximize operator profit and social welfare are derived analytically for a rectangular transit corridor with elastic demand, uniformly distributed passenger trip density, and many-to-one travel patterns. The equations provide considerable insight into the optimality conditions and interrelations among variables. These equations are also incorporated within an efficient algorithm that computes optimal values for the decision variables for a more realistic model with vehicle capacity constraints. The numerical results show that at the optimum the operator profit and welfare functions are rather shallow, thus facilitating the tailoring of design variables to the actual street network and particular operating schedule without substantial decreases in profit or welfare. The social welfare function is relatively flat near the optimum for a relatively large range of subsidies. This result implies that for a given set of input data the breakeven constraint may be an economically preferable objective because it eliminates subsidy, whereas it reduces social welfare only marginally. The sensitivities of the design variables to some important exogenous factors are also presented. The presented methodology is also applicable to the problem of optimal service coverage of feeder bus systems serving rapid rail line stations.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 12-22
  • Monograph Title: Public transportation 1994: current research in planning and development; management, marketing, and fare policy; and technology
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00675407
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309060591
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Mar 29 1995 12:00AM