The Drivers Scheduling Problem (DSP) consists of selecting a set of duties for vehicle drivers, for example buses, trains, plane or boat drivers or pilots, for the transportation of passengers or goods. This is a complex problem because it involves several constraints related to labour and company rules and can also present different evaluation criteria and objectives. Being able to develop an adequate model for this problem that can represent the real problem as close as possible is an important research area.The main objective of this research work is to present new mathematical models to the DSP problem that represent all the complexity of the drivers scheduling problem, and also demonstrate that the solutions of these models can be easily implemented in real situations. This issue has been recognized by several authors and as important problem in Public Transportation. The most well-known and general formulation for the DSP is a Set Partition/Set Covering Model (SPP/SCP). However, to a large extend these models simplify some of the specific business aspects and issues of real problems. This makes it difficult to use these models as automatic planning systems because the schedules obtained must be modified manually to be implemented in real situations. Based on extensive passenger transportation experience in bus companies in Portugal, we propose new alternative models to formulate the DSP problem. These models are also based on Set Partitioning/Covering Models; however, they take into account the bus operator issues and the perspective opinions and environment of the user.We follow the steps of the Operations Research Methodology which consist of: Identify the Problem; Understand the System; Formulate a Mathematical Model; Verify the Model; Select the Best Alternative; Present the Results of the Analysis and Implement and Evaluate. All the processes are done with close participation and involvement of the final users from different transportation companies. The planner‘s opinion and main criticisms are used to improve the proposed model in a continuous enrichment process. The final objective is to have a model that can be incorporated into an information system to be used as an automatic tool to produce driver schedules. Therefore, the criteria for evaluating the models is the capacity to generate real and useful schedules that can be implemented without many manual adjustments or modifications. We have considered the following as measures of the quality of the model: simplicity, solution quality and applicability. We tested the alternative models with a set of real data obtained from several different transportation companies and analyzed the optimal schedules obtained with respect to the applicability of the solution to the real situation. To do this, the schedules were analyzed by the planners to determine their quality and applicability. The main result of this work is the proposition of new mathematical models for the DSP that better represent the realities of the passenger transportation operators and lead to better schedules that can be implemented directly in real situations.
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