Solving Large Real-Life Bus Driver Scheduling Problems with Complex Break Constraints
When scheduling drivers for public transport, in addition to covering the demand and dealing with the spatial dimension, a range of legal requirements, collective agreements and company policies need to be respected. The level of concentration required while driving leads to strict rules for break assignments. This results in a complex problem where creating cost-efficient and employee-friendly schedules is challenging. This paper deals with bus driver scheduling using the rules of the Austrian collective agreement for private omnibus providers. The contributions are the formalization of the complex Austrian rules for bus drivers, a new set of publicly available instances based on the characteristics of real-life instances, and a metaheuristic solution approach for the problem. The algorithm was able to significantly improve the solutions of real-life instances and is evaluated on the generated instances. Further we provide insight in the necessity of objectives for employee satisfaction and their effects. Our method can even be successfully applied to improve results on a problem with very different constraints from Brasil.