A Bike Share Solution from Israel

Here’s a neat article one of my coworkers turned me onto…as bike-share schemes grow in interest and more cities adopt them, that growth leads to a number of problems. For one, popular spots around a given city with a bike-share program will have too many or not enough bikes available at checkout stations, and this can lead to user dissatisfaction. To combat this issue, researchers at Tel Aviv University in Israel have come up with a potential solution:

About seven percent of the time, users aren’t able to return a bike because the station at their journey’s destination is full. And sometimes stations experience bike shortages, causing frustration with the system.

To solve the problem, Dr. Tal Raviv and Prof. Michal Tzur of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Industrial Engineering are developing a mathematical model to lead to a software solution. “These stations are managed imperfectly, based on what the station managers see. They use their best guesses to move bikes to different locations around the city using trucks,” explains Dr. Raviv. “There is no system for more scientifically managing the availability of bikes, creating dissatisfaction among users in popular parts of the city.”

To read more about this mathematical model, please click here for the rest of the article.

1 Comment

  1. Mike Myers

    Bike share programs are great—in theory. They inevitably suffer lots of vandalism and bike theft. I saw the video of the hooligans in Paris doing stunts on the Velib(?) bikes. I just wonder if bike share programs would only work in areas with affluent residents. I’m sure Madison, Wisconsin would do quite well with a program(if they don’t already have one). But can they be profitable once abuse, vandalism, and theft are factored in?

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