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Integrating Frequency Setting, Timetabling, and Route Assignment to Synchronize Transit Lines


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Synchronization of different transit lines is an important activity to increase the level of service in transportation systems. In particular, for passengers, transferring from one line to another, there may be low-frequency periods and transfer zones where walking is needed, or passengers are exposed to adverse weather conditions and uncomfortable infrastructure. In this study, we define the Bus Lines Synchronization Problem that determines the frequency for each line (regarding the even headway), the timetable (including holding times for buses at transfer stops), and passenger-route assignments to minimize the sum of passenger and operational costs. We propose a nonlinear mixed integer formulation with time-indexed variables which allow representing the route choice for passengers and different types of costs. We implement an iterative heuristic algorithm based on fixing variables and solving a simplified formulation with a commercial solver. We implement our proposed heuristic on the transit network in Santiago, Chile. Numerical results indicate that our approach is capable of reducing operating costs and increasing the level of service for large scenarios.

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