Increasing bike-share efficiency

bike sharing

As urban populations continue to grow, as well as congestion and commuter traffic, eco-friendly alternative transportation options are becoming increasingly popular. In cities around the world, bike-sharing programs have become an accessible method to travel from place to place quickly and efficiently. 

Researchers from Cornell University, Uber Technologies, Inc., and Lyft provided unique application of analytics and O.R. to improve the placement of bike docking stations and create an inventive approach to replenish and rebalance these docking stations. 

The researchers worked with Motivate, the operator of the largest bike sharing system found in New York, Chicago and San Francisco, to develop an initiative to improve the allocation of docks to stations, and then create an incentive scheme to crowd source rebalancing called Bike Angels. 

Both of these projects have been fully implemented to improve the performance of Motivate’s systems across the country: Motivate has moved hundreds of docks in its systems nationwide and the Bike Angels program now aids rebalancing in San Francisco and NYC. In NYC, Bike Angels yields improvement comparable to that obtained through Motivate’s traditional rebalancing efforts, at far less financial and environmental cost.