The Design of Rapid Transit Networks

  • Gilbert Laporte
  • Juan A. MesaEmail author


Metros and other rapid transit systems increase the mobility of urban populations while decreasing congestion and pollution. There are now over 210 cities with a metro system in the world. The design of a rapid transit system is a hard problem involving several players, multiple objectives, sizeable costs and a high level of uncertainty. Operational research techniques cannot fully solve the problem, but they can generate alternative solutions among which the decision makers can choose, and they can be employed to solve some specific subproblems. The scientific literature on rapid transit location planning has grown at a fast rate over the past 25 years. This chapter provides an account of some of the most important results. It first describes the main objectives and indices used in the assessment of rapid transit systems. It then reviews the main models and algorithms used to design such systems. The cases of a single alignment and of a full network are treated separately. Then follows a section on the location of stations on an already existing network.


Metro Rapid transit Network design Modal competition Stations Location 



This work was partially supported by the Canadian Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council under grant 2015-06189, and by project MTM2015-67706-P (MINECO/FEDER, UE).


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GERAD & Canada Research Chair in Distribution ManagementHEC MontréalMontréalCanada
  2. 2.Departamento de Matemática Aplicada II, Escuela Superior de IngeneríaUniversidad de SevillaSevillaSpain

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