The Optibus Blog

Thoughts about scheduling, planning, mass transit, technology, algorithms and more.

Scenarios Are King: Scheduling And Planning For The Social Distancing Era (Part 1)

In the past several months, public transportation is facing a staggering amount of uncertainty. First, services were cut and ridership dropped. Then restrictions were eased and service changed some more. Funding, ridership and additional factors turned what was once a stable operation into a service that changes all the time. In this new world, agencies and operators must come to terms with a new reality: the reality of multiple scenarios.

U.S. Cities Get a New Tool to Improve Transit Equality

Cities coming out of lockdown have many big-picture transit issues to consider as they plan their COVID-19 exit strategies, such as how to bring riders back, how to match gradual changes in demand with gradual transit changes, and how to accommodate the need for social distancing. Now transit agencies and operators also have a better…

Under the Hood of Our New and Improved EV Module

For some time, we’ve been leading the industry in terms of planning and scheduling for electric fleets, both with regards to planning a mixed fleet (that uses both diesel and EVs) as well as all-EV fleets. This week we’ve released a new and improved EV module, with robust optimization that’s already yielding better results. To…

Optimizing Bus Service in Light of Changes to New Zealand’s Driver Break Rules

Recent amendments to New Zealand’s Employment Relations Act introduced detailed requirements with regards to meal and rest breaks for transportation employees. Scheduling for fixed-route services – and especially the creation of optimized crew schedules – requires compliance with meal and rest break rules. This is no trivial feat: vehicle and crew scheduling is a complex…
roster optimization

The Case for Roster Optimization

Bus operations are complex, and so is scheduling. It is a combination of craft and science, and transportation operators devote considerable energy to getting vehicle and crew scheduling (aka blocking and runcutting) right. They do this to ensure efficient operations, cost savings, on-time performance and regulatory (and labor rule) compliance. Yet, the same amount of energy isn’t always applied to rostering.
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