Optimising stopping patterns in railway schedules is a cost-effective way to reduce passengers’ generalised travel costs without increasing train operators’ costs. The challenge consists in striking a balance between an increase in waiting time for passengers at skipped stations and a decrease in travel time for through-going passengers, with possible consequent changes in the passenger demand and route choices. This study presents the formulation of the skip-stop problem as a bi-level optimisation problem where the lower level is a schedule-based transit assignment model that delivers passengers’ route choices to the skip-stop optimisation model at the upper level, and where the upper level in return provides an improved timetable to the lower level. A heuristic method for large-scale urban networks is presented to solve this extremely complex bi-level problem, where the skip-stop optimisation is a mixed-integer problem, whereas the route choice model is a non-linear non-continuous mapping of the timetable. The method was tested on the suburban railway network in the Greater Copenhagen Region (Denmark): the reduction in railway passengers’ in-vehicle travel time was 5.5%, the reduction in passengers’ generalised travel cost was 3.2% and, at the system level, the yearly consumer surplus amounted at 76.7 million DKK (about 10.3 million EUR or 12.7 million USD) when compared to the existing stopping patterns.
Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice – Elsevier
Published: Jul 1, 2018
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