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Inventory Rebalancing through Pricing in Public Bike Sharing Systems

Zulqarnain Haider (zulqarnain***at***mail.usf.edu)
Changhyun Kwon (chkwon***at***usf.edu)
Alexander Nikolaev (anikolae***at***buffalo.edu)
Jee Eun Kang (jeeeunka***at***buffalo.edu)

Abstract: This paper presents a new conceptual approach to improve the operational performance of public bike sharing systems using pricing schemes. Its methodological developments are accompanied by experimental analyses with bike demand data from Capital Bikeshare program of Washington, DC. An optimized price vector determines the incentive levels that can persuade system customers to take bicycles from, or park them at, neighboring stations so as to strategically minimize the number of imbalanced stations. This strategy intentionally makes some imbalanced stations even more imbalanced, creating hub stations. This reduces the need for trucks and dedicated staff to carry out inventory repositioning. For smaller networks, a bi-level optimization model is introduced to minimize the number of imbalanced stations optimally. The results are compared with a heuristic approach that adjusts route prices by segregating the stations into different categories based on their current inventory profile, projected future demand, and maximum and minimum inventory values calculated to fulfill certain desired service level requirements. We use a routing model for repositioning trucks to show that the proposed optimization model and the latter heuristic approach, called the iterative price adjustment scheme (IPAS), reduce the overall operating cost while partially or fully obviating the need for a manual repositioning operation.

Keywords: bike-sharing; shared-mobility; rebalancing; pricing; heuristics; transportation

Category 1: Applications -- OR and Management Sciences

Category 2: Applications -- OR and Management Sciences (Transportation )

Category 3: Integer Programming ((Mixed) Integer Linear Programming )

Citation: Haider, Z.*, A. Nikolaev, J. E. Kang, C. Kwon, “Inventory Rebalancing through Pricing in Public Bike Sharing Systems”

Download: [PDF]

Entry Submitted: 10/27/2017
Entry Accepted: 10/27/2017
Entry Last Modified: 10/31/2017

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