Creating Robust Schedules to Enhance Service

DB E.C.O. North America partnered with a California regional rail authority to address challenges in their rail and bus operations. The goal was to enhance service reliability, reduce delays, and increase ridership. Through an iterative and collaborative approach, DB engaged with multiple stakeholders, swiftly adapting to their unique requirements. The result was a co-developed, efficient timetable that provided consistent service intervals, mitigated cascading delays, and operated within the existing fleet constraints. This strategic effort streamlined the transportation network, fostering more efficient state-wide travel and reflecting the rail authority’s expansion goals.


Our client, a regional rail authority in California, aimed to improve its existing rail and bus operations by expanding service, increasing ridership, and facilitating state-wide travel. The rail authority experienced regular delays and on-time performance issues due to their non-optimized schedule and low equipment availability and faced pressure to improve reliability while also decreasing travel times. They sought a schedule that provides regular-interval service, reduces the cascading impact of delays, and works within the limitations of their current fleet availability. The timetable changes had to be accepted by state transportation agencies and host railroads while coordinating with the schedules of other rail services. With multiple stakeholders involved, ensuring alignment and meeting all these objectives was a complex task.


DB utilized a collaborative and iterative methodology to quickly develop a solution that met all stakeholder requirements. Development sprints were completed in between regular stakeholder meetings to assess results and identify and accommodate each party’s needs and constraints. The goal was to center the efforts on designing concepts that met both stakeholders’ preferences and feasibility criteria.


Within a short period, DB E.C.O. North America successfully co-developed and implemented a schedule concept in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders. The new schedule achieved regular-interval service at times that facilitate state-wide travel, minimized cascading delays by placing schedule recovery times at key locations, and efficiently operated within the constraints of current fleet availability. The result was a significantly optimized rail and bus network that aligned with the service expansion objectives of the regional rail authority.

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