Demand-Anticipatory Flexible Public Transport Service

Matti van Engelen, Oded Cats, Henk Post, K.I. Aardal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Development in vehicle automation and the shared economy contribute to a growing interest in introducing flexible services. This paper investigates how archived passenger data can be used in the form of demand forecasts to improve routing of vehicles in a Dail-a-Ride problem. Two improvements to the Dail-a-Ride problem are investigated. Empty vehicle rerouting deals with the relocation of idle vehicles. We also introduce a new type of online dynamic insertion algorithm with demand forecasts, which can be incorporate demand forecasts in determining which vehicle serves which passenger.
The performance of these algorithms is tested in a simulation model for a case study network in the Netherlands. The inclusion of empty vehicle rerouting reduces passenger rejections by 98% and reduces passenger travel and waiting times by 5 and 16% respectively. This induces an increase in vehicle distance driven per passenger by 25%. The insertion algorithm with demand forecasts reduces travel and waiting times by 6 and 30% respectively, with only a very minor increase in vehicle distance driven. The main conclusion of this paper is that if both measures are applied simultaneously, the strength of both are combined. Passenger rejections are all but eliminated, while travel and waiting time are reduced by up to 10 and 50% respectively. This causes a 25% increase in vehicle distance driven per passenger. A sensitivity analysis tested the robustness of the proposed routing measures to variations in operational and demand conditions. Demand forecasts proved to be a very strong instrument in improving the solution to Dail-a-Ride problems.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Transportation Research Board 97th Annual Meeting
Subtitle of host publication7-11 Januari 2018, Washington DC, United States
PublisherTransportation Research Board (TRB)
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventTRB 2018: 97th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board - Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington D.C., United States
Duration: 7 Jan 201811 Jan 2018
Conference number: 97


ConferenceTRB 2018: 97th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board
Abbreviated titleTRB 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWashington D.C.


  • Dial-a-Ride
  • Demand Responsive Transit
  • Vehicle Routing


Dive into the research topics of 'Demand-Anticipatory Flexible Public Transport Service'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this