Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) developed an algorithm that won a competition held by the Boston Public School District (BPS) to determine the best solution for busing 25,000 students to school every day.
The winning algorithm needed just 30 minutes to improve the efficiency of existing bus routes by 20%.
Previously, 10 school system routers needed thousands of hours to create custom routes for each child and school.
The MIT algorithm routes the entire system at once, providing a base for the human routers to adjust.
The algorithm assigned students to stops, put the stops in order to make no student's ride longer than an hour, and then utilized a multi-school routing approach.
Said BPS senior strategic projects manager Will Eger, "This is a positive example to show how we can use some of the unbelievable research potential that Boston has the offer."
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