Optimizing Schedules for School Bus Routing Problem: the case of Dar Es Salaam Schools

Allen Mushi, Beatha Ngonyani, Egbert Mujuni


The School Bus Routing Problem (SBRP) deals with transportation of students to and from their schools. Given a set of fleet of buses of a school, a set of bus stops, the time matrix and the number of students at each stop, the task is to determine the schedule of buses that minimizes amount of time students spend in the buses on the way to and from school. The school bus routing problem is a special case of the Vehicle Routing Problem (VRP) and is known to be NP-hard. This NP-hardness implies that it is very unlikely that the problem can be solved in polynomial time. The common methods used to solve NP-hard problems are heuristic algorithms which gives quick and good solutions without guarantee that the solution obtained is optimal. In this paper a Tabu search based heuristic for SBRP is developed. The algorithm has been implemented using Borland C++ 4.5 programming language and tested using data from Tusiime Nursery and Primary School in Dar es salaam, Tanzania. The proposed implementation results in reduction of students’ travelling time by 19.24%.


Keywords: Optimization, Bus Scheduling, Routing Problems, Tabu Search, Vehicle Routing

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.26483/ijarcs.v6i1.2399


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