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Telebus Berlin: Vehicle Scheduling in a Dial-a-Ride System

Please always quote using this URN: urn:nbn:de:0297-zib-2925
  • {\em Telebus\/} is Berlin's dial-a-ride system for handicapped people that cannot use the public transportation system. The service is provided by a fleet of about 100 mini-busses and includes aid to get in and out of the vehicle. Telebus has between 1,000 and 1,500 transportation requests per day. The problem arises to schedule these requests into the vehicles such that punctual service is provided while operation costs should be minimum. Additional constraints include pre-rented vehicles, fixed bus driver shift lengths, obligatory breaks, and different vehicle capacities. We use a {\em set partitioning\/} approach for the solution of the bus scheduling problem that consists of two steps. The first {\em clustering\/} step identifies segments of possible bus tours (``orders'') such that more than one person is transported at a time; the aim in this step is to reduce the size of the problem and to make use of larger vehicle capacities. The problem to select a set of orders such that the traveling distance of the vehicles within the orders is minimal is a set partitioning problem that we can solve to optimality. In the second step the selected orders are {\em chained\/} to yield possible bus tours respecting all side constraints. The problem to select a set of such bus tours such that each order is serviced once and the total traveling distance of the vehicles is minimum is again a set partitioning problem that we solve approximately. We have developed a computer system for the solution of the bus scheduling problem that includes a branch-and-cut algorithm for the solution of the set partitioning problems. A version of this system is in operation at Telebus since July 1995. Its use made it possible that Telebus can service today about 30\% more requests per day for the same amount of money than before.

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Author:Ralf BorndörferORCiD, Martin Grötschel, Fridolin Klostermeier, Christian Küttner
Document Type:ZIB-Report
Date of first Publication:1997/05/23
Series (Serial Number):ZIB-Report (SC-97-23)
Published in:Appeared in: Lecture Notes in Economics and Mathematical Systems, Proc. of the 7th Int. Workshop on Computer-Aided Transit Scheduling (N. Wilson, Hrsg.), Springer, Berlin (1999) 391-422
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