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Journal of Advanced Transportation
Volume 2017, Article ID 7058789, 15 pages
Research Article

Integrated Optimization of Bus Line Fare and Operational Strategies Using Elastic Demand

1School of Transportation & Logistics, Dalian University of Technology, 2 Linggong Road, Ganjingzi District, Dalian, Liaoning 116024, China
2Transportation Research Centre, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 20 Symonds Street, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
3Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, 32000 Haifa, Israel
4College of Transport & Communications, Shanghai Maritime University, 1550 Haigang Avenue, Pudong, Shanghai 201306, China
5School of Transportation & Logistics, Faculty of Infrastructure Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Avishai (Avi) Ceder;

Received 6 December 2016; Revised 11 March 2017; Accepted 30 March 2017; Published 20 April 2017

Academic Editor: S. C. Wong

Copyright © 2017 Chunyan Tang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


An optimization approach for designing a transit service system is proposed. Its objective would be the maximization of total social welfare, by providing a profitable fare structure and tailoring operational strategies to passenger demand. These operational strategies include full route operation (FRO), limited stop, short turn, and a mix of the latter two strategies. The demand function is formulated to reflect the attributes of these strategies, in-vehicle crowding, and fare effects on demand variation. The fare is either a flat fare or a differential fare structure; the latter is based on trip distance and achieved service levels. This proposed methodology is applied to a case study of Dalian, China. The optimal results indicate that an optimal combination of operational strategies integrated with a differential fare structure results in the highest potential for increasing total social welfare, if the value of parameter related to additional service fee is low. When this value increases up to more than a threshold, strategies with a flat fare show greater benefits. If this value increases beyond yet another threshold, the use of skipped stop strategies is not recommended.