Optimization Modeling in the Transportation Industry: The Case of Tanner Valley Transit
Keith A. Willoughby
University of Saskatchewan, Canada
Volume 9: 2015, pp. 49-66; ABSTRACT
Ken Wilson, operations analyst at Tanner Valley Transit Company, wants to determine the best number, location and size of transit centers (bus garages) to serve the company’s route network. He must consider the deadhead cost associated with bringing buses into and out of service, the construction cost of building new transit centers, and the revenue obtained should an existing facility be salvaged. Further, the allocations at all open bus garages need to fall with pre-determined capacity limits. Ken must decide how to model these sets of decisions. As described by transit company officials, the current bus garage and route structure is plagued by overcrowded facilities and inefficient deadheading. This case encourages students to explore the development of a non-trivial optimization model and analyze various “what-if” scenarios.