School bus routing problem with a mixed ride, mixed load, and heterogeneous fleet

Mengyun Li, Joseph Y.J. Chow

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Special education students are usually routed on different buses than non-disabled general education students. To make the routes more efficient, this study proposes serving general students and special education students on the same bus at the same time (mixed ride) while allowing heterogeneous fleets and mixed loads. ESRI Location-Allocation tools and Google OR-Tools are used for bus stop selection, route generation, and bus stop optimization. Parallel cheapest insertion heuristic and metaheuristic, simulated annealing, are adopted to generate school bus routes. The effectiveness of the mixed ride approach is tested for three schools with 178 synthetic students’ locations data (including 12 with wheelchair) in New York City using a fleet of 14 buses spread over four types. The results show the mixed ride approach achieved 14.32% reduction in total travel distance and 10.46% reduction in total travel time. The mixed ride approach tends to return solutions with fewer vehicles and fewer bus stops, less average travel distance, and shorter average travel time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTransportation Research Record
PublisherSAGE Publications Ltd
Number of pages13
StatePublished - 2021

Publication series

NameTransportation Research Record
ISSN (Print)0361-1981
ISSN (Electronic)2169-4052

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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