Two-phase stochastic program for transit network design under demand uncertainty

Kun An, Hong K Lo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


This paper develops a reliability-based formulation for rapid transit network design under demand uncertainty. We use the notion of service reliability to confine the stochastic demand into a bounded uncertainty set that the rapid transit network is designed to cover. To evaluate the outcome of the service reliability chosen, flexible services are introduced to carry the demand overflow that exceeds the capacity of the rapid transit network such designed. A two-phase stochastic program is formulated, in which the transit line alignments and frequencies are determined in phase 1 for a specified level of service reliability; whereas in phase 2, flexible services are determined depending on the demand realization to capture the cost of demand overflow. Then the service reliability is optimized to minimize the combined rapid transit network cost obtained in phase 1, and the flexible services cost and passenger cost obtained in phase 2. The transit line alignments and passenger flows are studied under the principles of system optimal (SO) and user equilibrium (UE). We then develop a two-phase solution algorithm that combines the gradient method and neighborhood search and apply it to a series of networks. The results demonstrate the advantages of utilizing the two-phase formulation to determine the service reliability as compared with the traditional robust formulation that pre-specifies a robustness level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-181
Number of pages25
JournalTransportation Research, Series B: Methodological
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Transit network design
  • Service reliability
  • Robustness
  • Stochastic demand

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