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Bike-share rebalancing strategies, patterns, and purpose

Médard de Chardon, Cyrille


Cyrille Médard de Chardon


We provide a first spatio-temporal exploration of bicycle sharing system (BSS) rebalancing patterns from data extracted for individual stations at a fine temporal scale and operator interviews. Analyzing rebalancing operations for nine BSS, we describe implications for operators, municipalities, and future optimization work. We find that stations adjacent to transit hubs receive disproportionate amounts of rebalancing relative to trips and that rebalancing is more often responding to morning and afternoon demand exceeding station dock capacities rather than longer term accumulations of bicycles. More importantly, we observe some operator’ rebalancing behaviors constrained between opposing goals of maximizing trips, profits, and service level agreements. Many BSS have no explicitly defined purpose, but existing rebalancing strategies can support or clash with the purpose or suggested benefits of a BSS.


Médard de Chardon, C., Caruso, G., & Thomas, I. (2016). Bike-share rebalancing strategies, patterns, and purpose. Journal of transport geography, 55, 22-39.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 5, 2016
Online Publication Date Jul 17, 2016
Publication Date 2016-07
Deposit Date Sep 12, 2019
Journal Journal of Transport Geography
Print ISSN 0966-6923
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 55
Pages 22-39
Keywords Bike-share; Bicycle sharing systems; Rebalancing; Spatial analysis
Public URL
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