In this article we study the problem of jointly deciding carsharing prices and vehicle relocations. We consider carsharing services operating in the context of multi-modal urban transportation systems. Pricing decisions take into account the availability of alternative transport modes, and customer preferences with respect to these. In order to account for the inherent uncertainty in customer preferences, the problem is formulated as a mixed- integer two-stage stochastic program with integer decision variables at both stages. We propose an exact solution method for the problem based on the integer L-Shaped method which exploits an efficient exact algorithm for the solution of the subproblems. Tests on artificial instances based on the city of Milan illustrate that the method can solve, or find good solutions to, moderately sized instances for which a commercial solver fails. Furthermore, our results suggest that, by adjusting prices between different zones of the city, the operator can attract significantly more demand than with a fixed pricing scheme and that such a pricing scheme, coupled with a sufficiently large fleet, significantly reduces the relevance of staff-based relocations. A number of issues, that remain to be addressed in future research, are pointed out in our conclusions.
Computers and Operations Research, forthcoming
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