Evaluating Public Transit Modal Shift Dynamics in Response to Bikesharing: A Tale of Two Cities

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Authors: Elliot Martin, Susan Shaheen

Published: July 24, 2014

Abstract: Public bikesharing—the shared use of a bicycle fleet—has recently emerged in major North American cities. Bikesharing has been found to decrease driving and increase bicycling. But shifts in public transit have been mixed. The authors evaluate survey data from two U.S. cities to explore who is shifting toward and away from public transit as a result of bikesharing. The authors explore this question by mapping geocoded home and work locations of respondents within Washington DC and Minneapolis. Respondents were mapped by their modal shift toward or away from bus and rail transit. The results show that in Washington DC, those shifting toward bus and rail transit live on the urban periphery, whereas those living in the urban core tend to use public transit less. In Minneapolis, the shift toward rail extends to the urban core, while the modal shift for bus transit is more dispersed. The authors analyze sociodemographics associated with modal shift through cross-tabulations and four ordinal regression models. Common attributes associated with shifting toward public transit include increased age, being male, living in lower density areas, and longer commute distances. The authors conclude with a discussion of the final results in the context of bikesharing’s impacts on other cities throughout North America.

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July 21, 2015

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