Train timetable design under elastic passenger demand

Tomáš Robenek*, Shadi Sharif Azadeh, Yousef Maknoon, Matthieu de Lapparent, Michel Bierlaire

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


A passenger centric timetable is such a timetable that the satisfaction of the passengers is maximized. However, these timetables only maximize the probability of a passenger to take the train, but provide no insight on the actual choices of the passengers. Therefore, in this manuscript we replace the deterministic passenger satisfaction function with a probabilistic demand forecasting model inside of the passenger centric train timetable design. The actual forecasts lead to a realistic train occupation. Knowing the train occupation, we can estimate the revenue and to use pricing as a mobility management to further improve the level-of-service. We use a logit model that we calibrate to reflect the known demand elasticities. We further include a competing operator as an opt-out option for the passengers. Subsequently, we integrate the passenger centric train timetabling problem with a ticket pricing problem. We solve the elastic passenger centric train timetabling problem for various types of timetables using a simulated annealing heuristic on a case study of Israeli Railways. The results of our case study show that the generated revenues can be increased by up to 15% when taking into account the passengers’ behavior along with a specific pricing scheme. This study further confirms the advantages of hybrid cyclicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-38
Number of pages20
JournalTransportation Research. Part B: Methodological
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Hybrid cyclicity
  • Passenger centric train timetabling problem
  • Railway demand forecasting
  • Revenue
  • Ticket pricing


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