Vehicle fleet routing and timetable setting are essential to the enhancement of an inter-city bus carrier's operating cost, profit, level of service and competitiveness in the market. In past research the average passenger demand has usually served as input in the production of the final fleet routes and timetables, meaning that stochastic disturbances arising from variations in daily passenger demand in actual operations are neglected. To incorporate the stochastic disturbances of daily passenger demands that occur in actual operations, in this research, we established a stochastic-demand scheduling model. We applied a simulation technique, coupled with link-based and path-based routing strategies, to develop two heuristic algorithms to solve the model. To evaluate the performance of the proposed model and the two solution algorithms, we developed an evaluation method. The test results, regarding a major Taiwan inter-city bus operation, were good, showing that the model and the solution algorithms could be useful in practice. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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