Examining the Challenges of Optimising Investment in Bike Share Scheme Redistribution Systems
James Datson, Atkins
This paper examines some of the inherent challenges associated with optimising a redistribution system and the role that Open Data could play in helping authorities design and operate Bike Share Schemes in the future.
The Bike Share Scheme market is developing at pace in the UK with a step change in Local Authority funding for the design, build and operation of Bike Share Schemes. This increase in interest provides a great opportunity to examine Bike Share Schemes to gain a deeper understanding of opportunities and constraints to improving their operation, such that future investments can be optimised. At the forefront of UK Bike Share Scheme investment, is Transport for London (TfL) which has over 11,000 bikes making 9 million journeys per year, having recently expanded the scheme for a second time. Atkins has examined the challenges faced by the TfL scheme operator in terms of redistributing stocks of bikes to suit user demand across the scheme area. This paper examines some of the inherent challenges associated with optimising a redistribution system and the role that Open Data could play in helping authorities design and operate Bike Share Schemes in the future. The challenges examined in this paper include managing the requirements of complex journey patterns between user groups, time period and geography, as well as the mathematic complexities of modelling the dynamic nature of demand for resources to maintain the availability of bikes across a scheme area. Finally the paper looks to the future and examines how the availability of Open Data policies could promote the innovation of new products to further improve the customer experience of using Bike Share; which could include services to enhance the users’ experience in terms of locating, navigating and then docking a bike at their destination.
Association for European Transport