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

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. View...

Public Bikesharing and Modal Shift Behavior: A Comparative Study of Early Bikesharing Systems in North America

Authors: Susan Shaheen, Elliot Martin, Adam Cohen Published: January 1, 2013 Abstract: Public bikesharing—the shared use of a bicycle fleet by the public—is an innovative mobility strategy that has recently emerged in major North American cities. Bikesharing systems typically position bicycles throughout an urban environment, among a network of docking stations, for immediate access. This paper discusses the modal shift that results from individuals participating in four public bikesharing systems in North America. We conducted an online survey (n =10,661 total sample), between November 2011 and January 2012, with members of four major bikesharing organizations (located in Montreal, Toronto, the Twin Cities, and Washington D.C.) and collected information regarding travel-behavior changes, focusing on modal shift, as well as public bikesharing perceptions. The survey probed member perceptions about bikesharing and found that a majority in the surveyed cities felt that bikesharing was an enhancement to public transportation and improved transit connectivity. With respect to modal shift, the results suggest that bikesharing generally draws from all travel modes. Three of the four largest cities in the study exhibited declines in bus and rail usage as a result of bikesharing. For example, 50% of respondents in Montreal reported reducing rail use, while 44% and 48% reported similar shifts in Toronto and Washington D.C., respectively. However, within those same cities, 27% to 40% of respondents reported using public transit in conjunction with bikesharing to make trips previously completed by automobile. In the Twin Cities, the dynamic was different, as 15% of respondents reported increasing rail usage versus only 3% who noted a decrease in rail use. In all cities, bikesharing resulted in a considerable decline in...

Understanding the Diffusion of Public Bikesharing Systems: Evidence from Europe and North America

Authors: Susan Shaheen, Adam Cohen Published: July 8, 2013 Abstract:  Since the mid-2000s, public bikesharing (also known as ‘‘bike hire’’) has developed and spread into a new form of mobility in cities across the globe. This paper presents an analysis of the recent increase in the number of public bikesharing systems. Bikesharing is the shared use of a bicycle fleet, which is accessible to the public and serves as a form of public transportation. The initial system designs were pioneered in Europe and, after a series of technological innovations, appear to have matured into a system experiencing widespread adoption. There are also signs that the policy of public bikesharing systems is transferable and is being adopted in other contexts outside Europe. In public policy, the technologies that are transferred can be policies, technologies, ideals or systems. This paper seeks to describe the nature of these systems, how they have spread in time and space, how they have matured in different contexts, and why they have been adopted. Researchers provide an analysis from Europe and North America. The analysis draws on published data sources, a survey of 19 systems, and interviews with 12 decision-makers in Europe and 14 decision-makers in North America. The data are examined through the lens of diffusion theory, which allows for comparison of the adoption process in different contexts. A mixture of quantitative and qualitative analyses is used to explore the reasons for adoption decisions in different cities. The paper concludes that Europe is still in a major adoption process with new systems emerging and growth in some existing systems, although some geographic areas have adopted alternative solutions. Private sector...

Bay Area Bike Share Casual Users Survey Report

Authors: Susan Shaheen, Ph.D., Matthew Christensen, Isabel Viegas de Lima Published: May 2015 Abstract: This report examines two groups of individuals who are inherently not well understood to Bay Area Bike Share and other public bikesharing operators: casual users and non-users (i.e., individuals who examine the system but choose not to use it). Using publicly available data from Bay Area Bike Share’s website, researchers conducted a preliminary analysis to determine when and where intercept surveyors should be stationed. Two survey instruments were tailored specifically to casual and non-users. From the survey instruments, the researchers were able to glean information regarding demographics, socioeconomics, common trip purposes, reasons for choosing or not choosing to use Bay Area Bike Share, and other related data. Findings suggest that Bay Area Bike Share casual users are similar to annual members in educational attainment, income, and race but they differ in trip purpose, trip duration, and home city. Furthermore, researchers found that the majority of casual users did not fully understand the pricing structure, specifically relating to the fees applied to trips over 30 minutes. The pricing structure and the limited distribution of bikesharing stations were the two most frequently cited issues with the system by users and non-users. Overall, casual user satisfaction with BABS was relatively high....