A structured flexible transit system for low demand areas

Seyed Mohammad Nourbakhsh, Yanfeng Ouyang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Public transit structure is traditionally designed to contain fixed bus routes and predetermined bus stations. This paper presents an alternative flexible-route transit system, in which each bus is allowed to travel across a predetermined area to serve passengers, while these bus service areas collectively form a hybrid " grand" structure that resembles hub-and-spoke and grid networks. We analyze the agency and user cost components of this proposed system in idealized square cities and seek the optimum network layout, service area of each bus, and bus headway, to minimize the total system cost. We compare the performance of the proposed transit system with those of comparable systems (e.g., fixed-route transit network and taxi service), and show how each system is advantageous under certain passenger demand levels. It is found out that under low-to-moderate demand levels, the proposed flexible-route system tends to have the lowest system cost.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-216
Number of pages13
JournalTransportation Research Part B: Methodological
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Flexible transit system
  • Hybrid network
  • Low demand
  • Optimal design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Transportation


Dive into the research topics of 'A structured flexible transit system for low demand areas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this