Optimization of the location and capacity of shared multimodal mobility hubs to maximize travel utility in urban areas

Stavros Xanthopoulos, Marieke van der Tuin, Shadi Sharif Azadeh, Gonçalo Homem de Almeida Correia, Niels van Oort, Maaike Snelder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Nowadays, urban areas are exposed to various challenges such as climate change, social inequalities, and congestion. Shared mobility hubs present the opportunity to reshape our cities and mitigate the previously mentioned challenges by contributing to a more sustainable transport system. These are places where shared cars, mopeds, and e-bikes are offered to improve connectivity in urban areas. In this paper, we investigate the impact of efficiently allocating multimodal shared mobility hubs on modal split, service level, and environmental factors while assuring economic feasibility. Given a limited budget, cities would like to optimize the hubs’ locations to maximize the population's benefits. For that purpose, we introduce a multi-stage design algorithm model that distributes the hubs and allocates fleets of shared cars, mopeds, and e-bikes to maximize travel utility for all the population traveling using traditional and/or shared modes while accounting for multimodal trips. The model is divided into several modules: computational modules that calculate the demand for the hubs; an optimization module to optimize the hubs’ capacities, availability, and relocation of shared vehicles; and finally, a genetic algorithm to find the optimal hub distribution. Our proposed model is one of the first that optimizes the location and capacity of multimodal hubs by considering multimodal trips in a large network. Additionally, it allows to assess mobility, spatial, and environmental impact of shared modes. The model is applied to the case of Amsterdam, the capital of The Netherlands, with around 800,000 inhabitants. After running several scenarios with different budgets allocated to build the hubs, results show that having more hubs with a lower number of shared vehicles is more beneficial than having fewer hubs with higher capacity. That is because the travel time savings increase considerably when investments lead to complete coverage of the area by the hubs network. A modal split of 5% for the shared modes is expected when Amsterdam is covered by 288 hubs. From an environmental point of view, only 32% of the shared trips replace trips previously made by ICE and electric cars, leading to a limited CO2 emissions reduction of 1.27%. Hence, introducing shared modes and mobility hubs without push measures for the use of private cars appears to offer limited benefits to decrease the negative impacts of private car usage.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103934
Number of pages24
JournalTransportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Demand-supply interaction
  • Genetic Algorithm
  • Mathematical Optimization
  • Mobility Hubs
  • Shared Modes
  • Transport Modeling


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