Open Access Article

Title: A conceptual model to minimise operational cost for free shuttle buses: a case study in Macau

Authors: Sen Qiao; Xiangnan Tao; Rufei Ma; Xin-long Xu; Hsing Hung Chen

Addresses: School of Business, Macau University of Science and Technology, Macau, 999078, China ' Business School, Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, 210000, China ' School of Business, Macau University of Science and Technology, Macau, 999078, China ' College of Business, Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha, 410128, China ' School of Business, Macau University of Science and Technology, Macau, 999078, China

Abstract: To facilitate more convenient travel as the economy of Macau expands, the government of Macau has allowed casinos to add free shuttle buses (FSB) and drivers. In this paper, we optimise the operation cost of FSB based on the number of FSB and FSB's driver population in Macau. Firstly, we investigate the operational conditions of the FSB in each depot, including the transit time of FSB and the number of passengers. Then, we propose a series of integer programming models to optimise the population of FSB and FSB drivers. Finally, through a practical demonstration using Excel to solve the linear programming (LP) model, this paper concludes that the numbers of FSB and drivers have a reduction of 43.68% and 33.6%, respectively. It implies that the operation cost of FSB could be reduced by 270,900,000 HKD in purchasing of FSB and 38,678,400 HKD/year in employing drivers of FSB.

Keywords: cost reduction; bus scheduling; optimisation; free shuttle buses; FSB numbers; conceptual modelling; operational costs; a case study; Macau; transit time; passenger numbers; integer programming; driver numbers.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHVS.2016.074626

International Journal of Heavy Vehicle Systems, 2016 Vol.23 No.1, pp.40 - 59

Available online: 08 Feb 2016 *