Timetable integration in public transport planning

Joao Filipe Paiva Fonseca

Research output: Book/ReportPh.D. thesis

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Abstract

Recent years have seen a general increase in the demand for transport and mobility. As the transportation numbers rise, and with the increased eorts in reducing emissions on a global scale, public transport becomes an excellent alternative to private transport due to being cost efficient, environmentally friendly, and for its abilities to reduce congestion. In 2009, the Danish Parliament passed the transport policy agreement entitled \A green transport agreement", which states that the public transport system should be expanded and made more ecient so that the expected growth in person transport should be able to be captured by the public transport system. In Denmark, public transport holds a market share of 13% of all commuting, and in 2010 more than 290 million passengers used the railway network. Furthermore, in Copenhagen it was estimated that 65,000 hours are lost every day by passengers waiting for connecting services in public transport. In order to serve increased demand and provide an attractive service for the passengers at an affordable cost, public transport should be both time and cost efficient. Research has through a number of years clearly shown that operations research techniques can help make public transport systems more efficient and thereby increase its competitiveness compared to other transport modes.Public transport planning comprises a range of planning problems at the strategic, the tactical as well as the operational planning levels. Problems like line planning, timetabling, or vehicle scheduling are traditionally solved independently and sequentially. Today, several models and efficient solution methods for solving these exist. However, solving these problems independently will often result in suboptimal solutions for passengers with respect to the service level offered. Solutions with increased passenger service could be obtained by integrating different planning problems. However, due to the size of real world instances, solving the integrated problem is, usually, not possible without dedicated solution methods, which, in turn, requires huge computational efforts.

The goal of this thesis is to study the integration of timetabling with other planning problems such as line planning, passenger routing, and vehicle scheduling. We propose a number of advanced planning tools, which are able to find integrated solutions to the complex planning problems seen within public transport. We investigate the application of integrated models to real life case studies and we assess the quality of integrated solutionsin comparison to non-integrated solutions.

The thesis studies two problems in the bus transport domain and one problem in the rail transport domain. In the bus transport domain, we integrate timetabling with both vehicle scheduling and passenger routing. The relations between departure and arrival times and how passengers travel in the network are investigated, while taking into account the costs associated with operating the timetables. In the train domain, we investigate partial integration of timetabling and line planning. Specically, how timetables can be improved in terms of passenger service by allowing changes in train frequencies and changes in stops at stations included in the train journey. We formulate the problems using mathematical models, and we propose heuristic solution methods for all of them. The solution methods are tested in real life case studies of the Greater Copenhagen area for the bus transport problems, and of a subset of the intercity network in The Netherlands for the rail transport problem. We show that the timetables obtained with integrated models provide an increased passenger service while being able to keep operating costs at the same level or within a pre-dened budget.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages166
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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