Fall 2014 (Vol. 53, No. 3)

Optimizing Strategic Allocation of Vehicles for One-Way Car-sharing Systems Under Demand Uncertainty

Abstract

Car-sharing offers an environmentally sustainable, socially responsible and economically feasible mobility form in which a fleet of shared-use vehicles in a number of locations can be accessed and used by many people on as-needed basis at an hourly or mileage rate. To ensure its sustainability, car-sharing operators must be able to effectively manage dynamic and uncertain demands, and make the best decisions on strategic vehicle allocation and operational vehicle reallocation both in time and space to improve their profits while keeping costs under control. This paper develops a stochastic optimization method to optimize strategic allocation of vehicles for one-way carsharing systems under demand uncertainty. A multi-stage stochastic linear programming model is developed and solved for use in the context of car-sharing. A seven-stage experimental network study is conducted. Numerical results and computational insights are discussed.

by Wei (David) Fan

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