Twice in one day! From Ken Ohrn:
There is a new name in the bike-share business — “Motivate” — who were Alta Bicycle Share.
With the company’s new management and more solid financial backing, perhaps at last the City of Vancouver will be able to get past the mandatory helmet law and get Motivated.
Are there any sponsors out there? Hello Lululemon, hello Telus, Goldcorp? Teck Resources? HSBC Bank Canada? Ledcor? MDA? Anyone?
Bill Steele writes in Phys.org about recent work around the rebalancing of bike-share stations during the day, to ensure that both bikes and empty docks are available to customers. The work involves developing algorithms and data analysis tools to help the Citi Bike system operate as efficiently as possible
It’s an interesting look behind the scenes at the operational complexities and logistics of a bike-share system.
Citi Bike deploys 6,000 bikes throughout the city that are often taken on more than 10 trips each day. In the morning, commuters pick up a bike near home and drop it off near their job. Near home, supplies dwindle, while midtown stations fill up, sometimes leaving few places to dock. During the day, similar imbalances occur across town. The solution is to “rebalance,” using trucks to move bikes from crowded locations to empty ones. …
David Shmoys, the Laibe/Acheson Professor and Director of the School of Operations Research and Information Engineering, and graduate student Eoin O’Mahony have developed algorithms and data analysis tools to help rebalance the Citi Bike system as efficiently as possible. …
“We first needed to analyze massive quantities of data to determine usage patterns and determine how many bikes would be found at each station at key times during the day,” Shmoys said. “The next step is to figure out how many bikes should be at each station at key times, so riders would find bikes available as well as open docks to put them in at the end of a ride.”
Here’s another look at the situation.
One wonders about dear old Soggyville’s system that will need to contend with a mandatory helmet law. The operator will need to cycle helmets through a cleaning and replenishment process, and also ensure that sufficient numbers of helmets are available at all stations. It’s a similar, but more complex problem. All this brings added cost to a system where ridership (and revenue) will likely be significantly lower than in cities without mandatory helmet laws.