Does operation scheduling make a difference: Tapping the potential of optimized design for skipping-stop strategy in reducing bus emissions

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The idea of corporate social responsibility has promoted bus operation agencies to rethink how to provide not only efficient but also environmentally friendly services for residents. A study on the potential of using an optimized design of skip-stop services, one of the essential operational strategies in practice, to reduce emissions is conducted in this paper. The underlying scheduling problem is formulated as a nonlinear programming problem with the primary objective of optimizing the total costs for both passengers and operating agencies, as well as with the secondary objective of minimizing bus emissions. A solution method is developed to solve the problem. A real-world case of Route 16 in Beijing is studied, in which the optimal scheduling strategy that maximizes the cost savings and environmental benefits is determined. The costs and emissions of the proposed scheduling strategy are compared with the optimal scheduling with skip-stop services without considering bus emissions. The results show that the proposed scheduling strategy outperforms the other operating strategy with respect to operational costs and bus emissions. A sensitivity study is then conducted to investigate the impact of the fleet size in operations and passenger demand on the effectiveness of the proposed stop-skipping strategy considering bus emissions.