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Balancing Bike Sharing Systems through Customer Cooperation


P. Aeschbach

Semester Thesis, HS14 (10392)

In recent years, public bicycle sharing (PBS) schemes have been booming worldwide. Many cities have installed such systems, where customers can rent bicycles as a means of transportation within the city. In general, PBS systems are unbalanced, where certain stations notoriously run full while others run empty. This is problematic, since customers trying to rent bikes at an empty station or return them to full stations cannot do so. Nowadays, system operators typically use trucks to manually reposition bikes, thus balancing the system. In this project a simulation framework developed by previous students was adapted and extended to analyze an alternative way of balancing the PBS system by involving customers. Given a start and end station desired by a customer, we develop an algorithm that slightly changes the journey, by determining more favorable stations to start and end the journey. By doing so, customers help balance the system, at the cost of having to change their planned journey. Our simulation results clearly indicate that changing the customers’ journeys is an effective way of balancing PBS systems. In fact, it is so effective that no repositioning trucks are required.

Supervisors: Xiaojing Zhang, Sergio Grammatico, John Lygeros


Type of Publication:

(13)Semester/Bachelor Thesis

X. Zhang

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% Autogenerated BibTeX entry
@PhdThesis { Xxx:2015:IFA_5089
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