Tel Aviv University researchers have developed a scheduling tool that will shorten the travel time for passengers who use commuter trains. The Service Oriented Timetable is designed to use computers and algorithms to schedule trains in a way that is fair to all commuters. Professor Tal Raviv, assisted by graduate student Mor Kaspi, studied train timetables to determine how to optimize the scheduling system so passengers make it to their destinations faster. Train planners traditionally focus on the frequency of trains passing through certain stops, but Raviv and Kaspi take into consideration the total travel time of passengers, including their waiting time at transfer stations. "We can find a way to synchronize trains to minimize the average travel time of passengers," Raviv says. Raviv and Kaspi simulated their system on Israel Railway, and it reduced the average travel time per commuter from 60 minutes to 48 minutes. "Our solution is useful for any metropolitan region where passengers are transferring from one train to another, and where train service providers need to ensure that the highest number of travelers can make it from point A to point B as quickly as possible," Raviv says.
From American Friends of Tel Aviv University
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