Optimal Bus Stops’ Allocation: A School Bus Routing Problem with Respect to Terrain Elevation

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Abstract

The paper addresses the optimal bus stops allocation in the Laško municipality. The goal is to achieve a cost reduction by proper re-designing of a mandatory pupils’ transportation to their schools. The proposed heuristic optimization algorithm relies on data clustering and Monte Carlo simulation. The number of bus stops should be minimal possible that still assure a maximal service area, while keeping the minimal walking distances children have to go from their homes to the nearest bus stop. The working mechanism of the proposed algorithm is explained. The latter is driven by three-dimensional GIS data to take into account as much realistic dynamic properties of terrain as possible. The results show that the proposed algorithm achieves an optimal solution with only 37 optimal bus stops covering 94.6 % of all treated pupils despite the diversity and wideness of municipality, as well as the problematic characteristics of terrains’ elevation. The calculated bus stops will represent important guidelines to their actual physical implementation.

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