Balanced scheduling of school bus trips using a perfect matching heuristic [article]

Ali Shafahi, Sanaz Aliari, Ali Haghani
2018 arXiv   pre-print
In the school bus scheduling problem, the main contributing factor to the cost is the number of buses needed for the operations. However, in the case of subcontracting the transportation of pupils, unbalanced tours can increase the costs significantly as the lengths of some tours can exceed the daily fixed driving goal and will result in over-hour charges. This paper proposes a Mixed Integer Programming (MIP) model and a matching-based heuristic algorithm to solve the balanced school bus
more » ... ing problem in a multi-school setting. The heuristic is guaranteed to find the minimum number of buses. The effectiveness of the heuristic algorithm is tested by comparing its solutions with the solutions obtained from the MIP whenever the MIP could find a good solution. For larger cases where the MIP cannot find a good solution, we illustrate the performance of the heuristic by showing how it affects the durations of the tours. To illustrate the performance of the MIP and heuristic, we examine 12 different problems with different numbers of trips which are all based on two real-world problems. A California case study with 54 trips and the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) with 994 trips. The numerical results of testing our approach indicate that the proposed algorithm can find reasonable solutions in a significantly shorter time. The balanced solutions of our algorithm can save up to 16% of school bus operation costs compared to the best solution found from the MIP model after 40 hours. The balancing stage of the heuristic decreases the Standard Deviation of the tour durations by up to 47%.
arXiv:1708.09338v3 fatcat:ime6umw27nd3dbequexy5rhkla