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Algorithm helps transit agencies schedule reserve drivers

Metro Transit buses

More than Metro Transit buses 25 percent of a typical transit agency’s bus drivers do not have regular work assignments. These reserve drivers cover work resulting from both planned and unplanned work assignment changes.

A dispatcher assigns planned open work to reserve drivers a day in advance, but unplanned work is assigned as it becomes available without knowledge of which pieces of work may become available later that day—giving rise to the challenging problem of online interval scheduling.

Making assignment decisions is a balancing act that requires choosing between reserve operators or regular operators receiving overtime pay. To help address this trade-off, U of M researchers designed an algorithm that increases the amount of work covered by same-day reserve drivers.

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Posted in Economics, Planning, Public transit, Workforce development

Summer interns gain real-world transportation experience

Interns This year, eight U of M undergrads spent ten weeks at the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) as part of the Summer Transportation Internship Program. The program, in its third year, is offered in partnership by CTS and MnDOT. It is designed to provide students with the opportunity to gain professional experience and skills that will complement their academic pursuits.

Here, this year’s students share thoughts on their experiences.

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Posted in Workforce development
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