Solving the station-based one-way carsharing network planning problem with relocations and non-linear demand

Kai Huang, Goncalo Homem de Almeida Correia, Kun An

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

97 Citations (Scopus)


One-way station-based carsharing systems allow users to return a rented car to any designated station, which could be different from the origin station. Existing research has been mainly focused on the vehicle relocation problem to deal with the travel demand fluctuation over time and demand imbalance in space. However, the strategic planning of the stations’ location and their capacity for one-way carsharing systems has not been well studied yet, especially when considering vehicle relocations simultaneously. This paper presents a Mixed-integer Non-linear Programming (MINLP) model to solve the carsharing station location and capacity problem with vehicle relocations. This entails considering several important components which are for the first time integrated in the same model. Firstly, relocation operations and corresponding relocation costs are taken into consideration to address the imbalance between trip requests and vehicle availability. Secondly, the flexible travel demand at various time steps is taken as the input to the model avoiding deterministic requests. Thirdly, a logit model is constructed to represent the non-linear demand rate by using the ratio of carsharing utility and private car utility. To solve the MINLP model, a customized gradient algorithm is proposed. The application to the SIP network in Suzhou, China, demonstrates that the algorithm can solve a real world large scale problem in reasonable time. The results identify the pricing and parking space rental costs as the key factors influencing the profitability of carsharing operators. Also, the carsharing station location and fleet size impact the vehicle relocation and carsharing patronage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalTransportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • Logit mode choice
  • Non-linear demand
  • One-way carsharing
  • Relocations
  • Stations location

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