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Optimizing the level of service quality of a bike-sharing system

Alvarez-Valdes R., Belenguer J.M., Benavent E., Bermudez J.D., Munoz F., Vercher E., Verdejo F.. 2016. Omega, 62 : p. 163-175.

DOI: 10.1016/j.omega.2015.09.007

Public bike-sharing programs have been deployed in hundreds of cities worldwide, improving mobility in a socially equitable and environmentally sustainable way. However, the quality of the service is drastically affected by imbalances in the distribution of bicycles among stations. We address this problem in two stages. First, we estimate the unsatisfied demand (lack of free lockers or lack of bicycles) at each station for a given time period in the future and for each possible number of bicycles at the beginning of the period. In a second stage, we use these estimates to guide our redistribution algorithms. Computational results using real data from the bike-sharing system in Palma de Mallorca (Spain) are reported.

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