Using Auctions to Allocate Transportation Requests for Demand Responsive Transit Systems

Demand responsive transit (DRT) systems provide flexible transportation services where passengers request door-to-door rides by specifying desired pick-up and drop-off locations and times. Multiple shuttles service these requests in shared-ride mode without fixed routes and schedules. In this report, we define the online cost-sharing problem in DRT systems and describe typical cost-sharing mechanisms, focusing on proportional and incremental cost sharing and some of their shortcomings in the online setting, where knowledge of future arrivals of passengers is missing. We then determine properties of cost-sharing mechanisms that we believe make DRT systems attractive to both providers and passengers, namely online fairness, immediate response, budget balance and ex-post incentive compatibility. We propose a novel cost-sharing mechanism, called Proportional Online Cost Sharing (POCS); it provides passengers with upper bounds on their fares immediately after their arrival, allowing the passengers to accept or decline, reducing uncertainty about whether they can be serviced or how high their fares will be at most, while the DRT systems reduce their uncertainty about passengers dropping out. Some flexibility to optimize the routes and schedules after future arrivals is retained. The sum of the fares equals the operating cost, with no profit being made and no subsidies required.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This research was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    San Jose State University

    Mineta Transportation Institute, 210 North 4th Street
    San Jose, CA  United States  95192-0219

    California Department of Transportation

    1120 N Street
    Sacramento, CA  United States  95814

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Masabumi, Furuhata
    • Cohen, Liron
    • Koenig, Sven
  • Publication Date: 2013-6


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Bibliography; Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 33p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01490195
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Created Date: Jul 19 2013 11:33AM