Optimizing first-mile ridesharing services to intercity transit hubs

Ping He, Jian Gang Jin*, Frederik Schulte, Martin Trépanier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Travel to intercity transportation hubs, such as railway stations and airports, can be the most troublesome and inefficient part of the entire air/railway travel journey, as travelers often carry large luggage and have stringent arrival time requirements. Taking public transportation, such as metro and bus services, is inconvenient to carry luggage and less reliable in arrival time while taking taxi services could be less economical. As a result, providing reliable and convenient yet economical on-demand first-mile services for travelers to intercity transportation hubs is essential. This paper proposes a ridesharing approach for the first-mile transport system for travelers heading towards the intercity transportation hub and develops a mixed-integer linear programming (MILP) model with the objective of minimizing the total operating costs for ridesharing service operators. The MILP model considers (1) large luggage that may occupy seats when the car trunk is not large enough to place them; (2) passengers’ requirements on arrival time and ride time; and (3) travel time uncertainty ensuring that riders’ arrival time and ride time can be satisfied. A tailored adaptive large neighborhood search algorithm with an acceleration strategy is developed for obtaining robust near-optimal solutions within a reasonable time. To assess the solution quality, the MILP model is reformulated as a set-partitioning model, and the column generation algorithm is leveraged to determine a tight lower bound; a greedy algorithm is introduced to obtain an upper bound. Computational experiments on Shanghai South Railway Station demonstrate that ridesharing is an effective strategy for reducing overall travel costs while meeting the first-mile travel demand. In addition, it is essential to consider luggage and travel time uncertainty for determining ridesharing schemes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104082
Number of pages19
JournalTransportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • First-mile ridesharing
  • Intercity transportation hubs
  • Public transportation
  • Routing with large luggage
  • Travel time uncertainty


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