Model 24: Busing Problem

Recent federal regulations strongly encourage the assignment of students to schools in a city so that the racial composition of any school approximates the racial composition of the entire city. Consider the case of the Greenville city schools. The city can be considered as composed of five areas with the following characteristics:

Area Fraction Minority Number of Students
1 .20 1,200
2 .10 900
3 .85 1,700
4 .60 2,000
5 .90 2,500

The ruling handed down for Greenville is that a school can have neither more than 75 percent nor less than 30 percent minority enrollment. There are three schools in Greenville with the following capacities:

School Capacity
Bond 3,900
Washington 3,100
Pierron 2,100

The objective is to design an assignment of students to schools so as to stay within the capacity of each school and satisfy the composition constraints while minimizing the distance traveled by students. The distances in kilometers between areas and schools are:

School Area
1 2 3 4 5
Bond 2.7 1.4 2.4 1.1 0.5
Washington 0.5 0.7 2.9 0.8 1.9
Pierron 1.6 2.0 0.1 1.3 2.2

There is an additional condition that no student can be transported more than 2.6 kilometers. Find the number of students which should be assigned to each school from each area. Assume that any group of students from an area have the same ethnic mix as the whole area.