Spatio-temporal resource allocation in bus-integrated freight transport systems
This study investigates the potential of utilizing the spare capacity of bus systems in off-peak hours to transport freight. Public transport systems, such as buses, trams, subways, and metros, are typically under-utilized in non-commuting hours. One promising attempt to make full use of the vacant capacity is to integrate public transport systems into freight transport networks, i.e., using public transit to also carry freight. The questions arise how to effectively coordinate and synchronize public transport systems and existing logistics transportation systems such that the integrated network can accommodate the Spatio-temporal varying passenger and freight flows. In this study, we consider routing and scheduling a fleet of trucks to transport a set of freight transfer requests among a set of distribution centers, where part of the journey can be carried out via scheduled bus lines. The deterministic and stochastic bus travel times are considered respectively. The resulting problem is modeled as a variant of the classic pickup and delivery problem and thus formulated using mixed-integer linear programming. An Adaptive Large Neighbourhood Search (ALNS) based algorithm is then introduced to solve the problem. Finally, extensive numerical experiments are conducted to uncover the effectiveness of the integrated system.
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