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Mineta National Transit Research Consortium Releases Study [Travel & Leisure Close - Up]
[August 01, 2014]

Mineta National Transit Research Consortium Releases Study [Travel & Leisure Close - Up]


(Travel & Leisure Close - Up Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) The Mineta National Transit Research Consortium's latest peer- reviewed study, Understanding and Modeling Bus Transit Driver Availability, has examined three models and offered a series of recommendations to help transit agencies plan for a sufficient number of drivers without over-scheduling.

According to a media release, principal investigator was Kaan Ozbay, PhD, working with Ender Faruk Morgul, MSc.

Mineta Transportation Institute reported that to accommodate unplanned employee absences (illness, emergencies, etc.), transit agencies must employ a sufficient number of transit vehicle operators to meet the demands of scheduled service. Therefore, agencies employ extraboard operators, or on-call backups.


Overestimating the number of extraboard operators can be costly, and underestimating can cause service problems. This study proposes stochastic (i.e., random or probability) mathematical models so transit agencies can predict necessary staffing more accurately.

"Currently, decision makers estimate their staffing by using personal experience and intuition," said Dr. Ozbay. "However, our mathematical models account for measures of risk and reliability with probability distributions based on historical data. Implementing these models could allow agencies to realize meaningful cost reductions while maintaining proper staffing." The proposed models could also improve policies for daily transit operations, allowing agencies to better determine the minimum extra driver run hours for different levels of reliability while better understanding the relationship between social costs and operational costs. Social costs are defined using clearly identified measures estimated for the case study area, such as the value of riding per hour and the average number of passengers.

As seen in several US and European studies, average absenteeism among bus drivers is considerably higher than in other industry groups.

In this study the researchers consider the tactical planning problem, in which extra workforce numbers are determined daily, depending on schedule requirements and garage assignments.

The report's figures and tables include a TriMet daily extraboard profile, stochastic model graphs, garage location map, model results for cost scenarios, and more.

The Mineta National Transit Research Consortium (MNTRC) is composed of nine university transportation centers led by the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University.

The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) conducts research, education, and information transfer programs regarding surface transportation policy and management issues, especially related to transit.

Report information: transweb.sjsu.edu/project/1140.html More information: transweb.sjsu.edu/mntrc transweb.sjsu.edu ((Comments on this story may be sent to newsdesk@closeupmedia.com)) (c) 2014 ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.

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