Service bid comparisons by fuzzy ranking in open railway market timetabling
In an open railway access market, the Infrastructure Provider (IP), upon the receipts of service bids from the Train Service Providers (TSPs), assigns track access rights according to its own business objectives and the merits of the bids; and produces the train service timetable through negotiations. In practice, IP chooses to negotiate with the TSPs one by one in such a sequence that IP optimizes its objectives. The TSP bids are usually very complicated, containing a large number of parameters in different natures. It is a difficult task even for an expert to give a priority sequence for negotiations from the contents of the bids. This study proposes the application of fuzzy ranking method to compare and prioritize the TSP bids in order to produce a negotiation sequence. The results of this study allow investigations on the behaviors of the stakeholders in bid preparation and negotiation, as well as evaluation of service quality in the open railway market.