A B C D 1 hour 45 min. 45 min. 45 min. 45 min. $20 $40 x 1 $20 x 1 $? x 6 $? x 7 [ 2pm ] [ 10am, 1pm ] [ 12pm ] [ 11am, 11:15am ] $125.50 From A To B On Thu. Dep. bet. 10am and 1pm Path Provider Price Direct --- --- Via C --- --- Via D --- --- Enter new bid Enter new bid From A to B On Thursday. Arrival Time 2:00pm Departure between 10:00am and 1:00pm Bid $20 Save Enter new bid From A to C On Thursday. Arrival Time 12:00pm Departure between 11:00am and 11:15am Bid $40 Save


Mass transit reservation software

How it works

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How it works:

Say we have a network of four cities with different travel times between each ones, as schematised on the graph below:

You are traveller 1 ...

  • You need to travel from A to B next Thursday.
  • You need to be in B at 2:00 pm at the latest.
  • You can leave up to three hours earlier than necessary.
  • You think that $20 would be a reasonable fare for this journey.
  • You want to hold this offer until Wednesday
    at noon.

You are traveller 1 ...

  • There is currently no ongoing offer from A to B for this departure time range, so ...
  • ... you key-in your bid

Meanwhile, there is traveller 2 ...

  • Who also travel Thursday, but from A to C
  • He needs to be in C at 12:00pm
  • His time schedule is stricter: he doesn't want to start his journey more than 1/4 hour earlier than necessary
  • In order to meet this stricter requirement, he is ready to bid up to $40 for this journey.
  • He also keeps his offer valid until Wednesday morning.

Meanwhile, there is traveller 2 ...

  • Then, he also keys in his plan and bid.

On the other side, here is provider 1 ...

  • She owns a minivan of 8 passengers capacity.
  • She plans to be in A Thursday morning
  • The system informs her of a potential deal of $60 with 2 passengers from A to B via C if she leaves from A between 11:00 am and 11:15 am

For provider 1 ...

  • The potential income of $60 is slightly below her cost
  • but until the departure time, she could sell the six remaining seats from A to C...
  • .. and/or the 7 remaining seats from C to B.
  • However, Provider 1 does
    not accept the contract yet:
    she needs a reliable estimate
    of her income before deciding.

Provider 1 income estimate

  • How many more travellers will jump in? How much will they pay?
  • Based on historical and contextual data, the system can estimate what is the optimal fare for this time frame and for each segment...
  • ...and inform Provider 1 of her total income estimate.

Providers Demands Listing

So, here is how the global state of demand appear on Provider 1's dispatch terminal

Depart Time Income min Expected Route
--- --- --- ---
--- --- --- ---
[11:00 - 11:15] $60 $125.50 A - C - B
--- --- --- ---

The same state of demand appears differently on the screens of other registered providers according to their seat capacity.

Let's say Provider 1 grabs the route and choose 11:10 as departure time ...

Provider 1 confirms departure at 11:10am

  • At this moment, initial bidders receive a message confirming their seat and departure time and the fare is taken from their credit.
  • Then, other passengers can join in at the fare decided by Provider 1 (and suggested by the system). Here is how their search for A - B ride appears: telephone portable

Provider 1 confirms departure at 11:10am

  • Other providers' terminal are changed accordingly. This ride offer disappears from all demand listing, until new passengers show up for the same departure time and destination and Provider 1 is filled-up.
  • Any passenger, either original bidders or late comers, can list their place to sell at their chosen price if they need to change their plans.


Any comments? Suggestions?

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