Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

On the Design of an Optimal Flexible Bus Dispatching System with Modular Bus Units: Using the Three-Dimensional Macroscopic Fundamental Diagram

Version 1 : Received: 28 June 2020 / Approved: 28 June 2020 / Online: 28 June 2020 (20:13:46 CEST)

How to cite: Dakic, I.; Yang, K.; Menendez, M.; Chow, J.Y. On the Design of an Optimal Flexible Bus Dispatching System with Modular Bus Units: Using the Three-Dimensional Macroscopic Fundamental Diagram. Preprints 2020, 2020060349 Dakic, I.; Yang, K.; Menendez, M.; Chow, J.Y. On the Design of an Optimal Flexible Bus Dispatching System with Modular Bus Units: Using the Three-Dimensional Macroscopic Fundamental Diagram. Preprints 2020, 2020060349

Abstract

This study proposes a novel flexible bus dispatching system where a fleet of fully automated modular bus units, together with conventional buses, serves the passenger demand. These modular bus units can either operate individually or combined (forming larger modular buses with a higher passenger capacity). This provides enormous flexibility to manage the service frequencies and vehicle allocation, reducing thereby the operating cost and improving passenger mobility. We develop an optimization model used to determine the optimal composition of bus units and the optimal service frequency at which the buses (both conventional and modular) are dispatched across each bus line. We explicitly account for the dynamics of traffic congestion and complex interactions between the modes at the network level based on the recently proposed three-dimensional macroscopic fundamental diagram (3D-MFD). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first application of the 3D-MFD and modular bus units for the frequency setting problem in the domain of bus operations. Numerical results show the improvements in the total system cost made by adapting the number of combined modular bus units and their dispatched frequencies to the evolution of both, the car and the passenger demand. A comparison with the commonly used approach that considers only the bus system (neglecting the complex multimodal interactions and congestion propagation) reveals the value of the proposed modeling framework.

Subject Areas

Optimal bus dispatching system; Modular bus units; Frequency setting problem; 3D-MFD

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