Create travel tables

Travel tables describe the amount of travel time that students and resources require between particular zones or locations. Enterprise Timetabler uses travel tables during scheduling, to ensure that an activity is assigned a location and time that gives the activity's students, staff, and equipment enough time to travel there from prior activities.

You might use travel tables to constrain scheduling when an institution consists of geographically spread buildings, or has multiple campuses. You might also need to create multiple travel tables that each specify the travel times for a particular group. For example, staff might travel by car and require less travel time than students, who travel on foot. Additionally, students that have mobility issues might require extra travel time.

You can add travel times that prevent students or staff from having to travel between campuses. For example, applying a constraint that includes a travel time of 8 hours between two campuses (even though the journey might actually take only 1 hour) would have the effect of keeping staff or students on the same campus for a whole day.

To create a travel table, follow these steps:

  1. In the main EDRDM window, find the Time Constraints area.
  2. In that area, click Show in the Travel Tables row.
  3. Click the plus icon below the list of travel tables. EDRDM adds a row to the list and moves the text cursor to the Name box.

    A red square that indicates the position of the "plus" icon

    Figure 45: The "plus" icon below the item list

  4. In the new row, enter the new travel table's properties, such as its name. If a property that you want to use is not present, add it to the table.
  5. To specify the travel times that comprise this travel table, follow these steps:
    1. In the Journeys column, click the down arrow (see 1, below).
    2. Click the plus icon (2) below the list of travel times. EDRDM adds a row to the list.
    3. In the new row, use the Start Location, Start Zone, End Location, and End Zone cells to select a start and end for the journey. To display a list of locations or zones, click the down arrow (3) in the applicable cell in the row; then, you can select an item (4). You can describe a journey between two zones, two locations, or a location and zone. However, you cannot describe a journey that begins in both a location and a zone, or ends similarly.
    4. In the Minutes column, enter the amount of travel time required between the locations or zones. To specify different travel times for each direction of a journey, create two rows. For example, if the journey is uphill, one direction might take longer to walk. In the table below, the journey from West Site to North Site takes 5 minutes longer than the reverse.

      Note: The impact of journey times on the timetable is influenced by the institution's period length. For example, if the institution uses 30 minute periods, the 35 minute journey from North Site to West Site occupies 2 periods; consequently, the timetable will contain at least a 1 hour gap between pairs of activities that require students to make that journey. If the institution uses 15 minute periods, the journey occupies three 15 minute periods, so the gap is at least 45 minutes.

      Also, note that where more than one travel time can be deduced from the table for a particular journey, the scheduling engine will use the most specific journey. For example, if a location-to-location time is set, this will be used in preference to the less specific zone-to-zone travel time.

    A number allocated screenshot that supports instructions about creating travel tables

    Figure 46: Create a travel table

  6. If necessary, add more journeys to the travel table.
  7. To close the journey editor, click the cross Dark cross at its bottom corner.
  8. To save the new travel table, click Apply. Or, to save it and close the list, click OK.
  9. Note: If you have not yet clicked Apply and you do not require the new item, click Discard; the new item is deleted. Or, to discard the item and close the window, click Cancel.

What to do next: Apply the travel table constraint to resources.