Public transportation, also called mass transit, or transit, is a shared surface transportation mode that provides mobility for the general public. It carries a higher number of passengers than automobiles, is more energy-efficient, produces a lower impact on the environment, promotes sustainable development, and supports economic growth. Considering that transit is a labor-intensive service with expenses that can add up quickly, there is a need for efficiency in planning and scheduling. Transit planners and schedulers play a key role in the delivery of transit services. Their tasks and assignments, when done well, can improve the efficiency and quality of transit service. Hence, there is a need for a practical manual that includes key concepts for assisting transit professionals in performing the job efficiently and effectively.
This manual is intended to provide the basic principles, methods, concepts and techniques for transit planners and schedulers. It is envisioned to serve as a guidance manual for many different users at transit agencies, consulting companies, and at universities for educational purposes. This manual is composed of two main parts: planning and scheduling. The planning portion of the manual emphasizes the process of exploring a number of opportunities for providing an efficient public transit service. It focuses on techniques that can help optimize the delivery of a sustainable transit service, based on existing conditions and available resources. The scheduling portion of the manual, on the other hand, accentuates the process where public transit vehicles are assigned at specific times to be at specific locations along a route. Each part of the manual contains several sections that cover specific topics related to its respective subjects to facilitate the utilization of this manual. For instance, the transit scheduling part of this manual covers many different aspects of transit scheduling, including external factors such as union contracts that the scheduler should consider when implementing a transit schedule.
This transit manual is also intended to help its users stimulate innovative thinking and foster career development. The manual stresses the integration of service planning and scheduling. The service planner must understand the fundamentals of scheduling, as the schedulers need to be familiar with the service planning process. It is important that service planners and schedulers interact with each other through the entire service and schedule development process rather than being two disconnected functions. References and a glossary of terms are included at the end of the manual to provide information on useful transit documents and common key term definitions.