Elise Miller-Hooks

Smart Algorithms for Managing Ridesharing Services

Project 35

Paratransit services such as taxi and Dial-A-Ride (or DAR) are intended to provide more direct and personal transportation for passengers than the “mass” transit provided by conventional public transportation modes, such as bus and rail transit. Unlike conventional services, paratransit services do not rely on fixed routes and schedules, and thus allow riders and service providers much greater flexibility. Although the higher quality of paratransit services may be costlier to provide (especially in labor costs per passenger) than conventional transit services, there is a very substantial market for paratransit services throughout most of the world. A public transportation system designed for ridesharing (e.g. a Dial-A-Ride system) should seek to improve upon the productivity of taxi services by serving multiple riders simultaneously and by efficiently combining trips whose paths are somewhat aligned or overlapping. Such a DAR system should provide door-to-door travel at significantly lower cost than taxis and higher service quality than conventional transit operations, provided it relies on efficient resource management tools.

The purpose of this project is to develop improved algorithms for routing and scheduling ridesharing vehicles to support paratransit operators in efficiently matching passengers and vehicles, scheduling and routing the vehicles, and satisfying various service quality expectations. In addition to improving efficiency, the developed algorithms will address practicalities of actual operations, explicitly taking into account and satisfying various requirements and special cases that arise in the real world.


Award Period:
Source of Funding:
Maryland Industrial Partnerships and IT Curves
Paul Schonfeld
Total Award Amount:

Project 35


Elise Miller-Hooks, Ph.D.
Bill & Eleanor Hazel Chair in Infrastructure Engineering

Phone: 703.993.1685
Email: miller@gmu.edu

Office: 4614 Nguyen Engineering Building

Sid and Reva Dewberry Department of Civil, Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering
George Mason University
4400 University Drive, MS 6C1
Fairfax, VA 22030


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