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Strategic sourcing selection for bike-sharing rebalancing: An evolutionary game approach

Wei Gu, Meng Li, Chen Wang, Jennifer Shang and Lirong Wei

Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, 2021, vol. 156, issue C

Abstract: Bike-sharing systems (BSSs) offer convenient transportation services with environmental and social benefits. However, they also bring operational complexity, with rebalancing bikes being a very challenging one. The importance and difficulty of building the reverse logistics for BSSs are evident from the data obtained from Mobike, one of the largest dockless bike-sharing platforms in China. This paper proposes an evolutionary game theoretic approach to identify the best bike-sharing sourcing strategies, including self-operation, joint venture, and outsourcing. We show that the self-operation mode is an evolutionary stable strategy to rebalance Mobike. However, if bike-sharing firms cannot achieve economies of scale and significantly reduce the variable costs of the self-operation mode, the outsourcing mode will become the optimal choice. From a long-term perspective, the joint venture mode is never an attractive strategy for the bike-sharing firms under study. Our model can select the optimal sourcing strategy to rebalance bikes in BSS to maximize profit when competition and cooperation are jointly considered.

Keywords: Reverse logistics; Evolutionary game theory; Bike-sharing systems; Sourcing strategy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.tre.2021.102522

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