Integrated design of a bus-bike system considering realistic route options and bike availability

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bike, mode - bus, ridership - demand, planning - integration, planning - methods, planning - service improvement


Bike availability, Integrated bus-bike system, Route choice, Stylized analysis


This paper examines the design of a transit system that integrates a fixed-route bus service and a bike-sharing service. Bike availability – the average probability that a traveller can find a bike at a dock – is modelled as an analytical function of bike utilization rate, which depends on travel demand, bike usage and bike fleet size. The proposed system also recognizes the greater flexibility provided by biking. Specifically, a traveller can choose between the closest bus stop and a more distant stop for access, egress or both. Whether the closest stop is a better choice depends on the relative position of the traveller’s origin and destination, as well as system design parameters. This interdependence complicates the estimation of average system cost, which is conditional on route choice. Using a stylized analysis approach, we construct the optimal design problem as a mixed integer programme with a small number of decision variables. Results from our numerical experiments show the integrated bus-bike system promises a modest but consistent improvement over several benchmark systems, especially in poorer cities with lower demand density. We find a large share of travellers, more than 20% in nearly all cases tested, opt not to use the nearest bus stop in an optimally designed system. The system also tends to maintain a high level of bike availability: the probability of finding a bike rarely drops below 90% except in very poor cities.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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