Modelling of User Behaviour for Static Rebalancing of Bike Sharing System: Transfer of Demand from Bike-Shortage Stations to Neighbouring Stations

Bike sharing systems are becoming more and more common around the world. One of the main difficulties is to ensure the availability of bicycles in order to satisfy users. To achieve this objective, managers of these systems set up rebalancing vehicles that displace bicycles to stations that are likely to be in a situation of bike shortage. In order to determine which stations must be supplied on a priority basis and the number of bicycles to be supplied (named in this paper as rebalancing plan), the aim is generally to reduce the lost demand for each station, i.e., the gap between the demand for bicycles and the number of bicycles at a station. On the one hand, this paper proposes an algorithm that evaluates the lost demand in a more realistic way, by describing the behaviour of users faced with a bike-shortage station. It takes into account the possibility that a proportion of users who cannot find bicycles will move to a neighbouring station that is not empty. This proportion depends on the distance between stations and corresponds to the number of users willing to walk a given distance to a neighbouring station. On the other hand, this algorithm provides the value of the objective function to be minimized to a static rebalancing plan algorithm based on a Random Search metaheuristic. The quantities of bicycles to be picked up and dropped off at each station are calculated in a static rebalancing context. The calculation of lost demand based on this algorithm, which simulates user behaviour, was compared with that one obtained by the classical method on a real numerical example obtained from the open data of Parisian Vélibʼ (more than 1200 stations). In addition, the efficiency of the rebalancing algorithm coupled with the user behaviour simulation algorithm was evaluated on this numerical example and allowed to obtain very good results compared to the rebalancing performed by the system operator.


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  • Accession Number: 01770228
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 19 2021 10:04AM