CIT Laurentides, the agency in charge of planning the bus service in the Montréal northern suburbs, hired CSched to help in the process of the major revision of their network. CSched tasks were to calibrate existing route runtimes and layover requirements through HASTUS-ATP analysis, to write timetables under strict synchronization constraints and to produce a vehicle blocking solution using current contract requirements.

The project was planned in two phases. The first one, which started in May 2015, was aimed at a smaller portion of the network and was used as a proof of concept to validate the methodology and data used for runtime calibration. This first phase worked on the CITL main route and the West sector which sums to 30 buses and 10 routes. The second phase, due to start in the first quarter of 2016, is an extension of the first one and will apply the proven method to the whole network.

First, CITL provided runtime measurement data from their AVL system, NextBus, which were processed and imported into the CSched Hastus version. CSched’s staff used Hastus-ATP to calculate the runtime and layover requirements in order to provide more reliable and realistic route runtimes and layover requirements. Runtimes were calculated while taking into account route synchronization at mid-route terminals, which helped secure connections for clients. This process identified a few routes with excess runtime/layover and others with deficiencies. Prior to this process, much of the work was done based on supervisor and operator’s complaints and did not merely reflect the actual operations.

CSched incorporated the revised runtimes to write more realistic timetables and improve punctuality. Through cycle time analysis, an increase in service has been implemented without increasing the cost of vehicle hours. Using these new timetables, CSched intentionally provided a conservative blocking solution to address the excess runtime/layover with operational feedback. The potential savings identified here will be used in the next phase of the project.