Bikeshare's impact on active travel: Evidence from the United States, Great Britain, and Australia

Fishman, Elliot, Haworth, Narelle, & Washington, Simon (2015) Bikeshare's impact on active travel: Evidence from the United States, Great Britain, and Australia. Journal of Transport & Health, 2(2), pp. 135-142.

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Over 800 cities globally now offer bikeshare programs. One of their purported benefits is increased physical activity. Implicit in this claim is that bikeshare replaces sedentary modes of transport, particularly car use. This paper estimates the median changes in physical activity levels as a result of bikeshare in the cities of Melbourne, Brisbane, Washington, D.C., London, and Minneapolis/St. Paul. This study is the first known multi-city evaluation of the active travel impacts of bikeshare programs. To perform the analysis, data on mode substitution (i.e. the modes that bikeshare replaces) were used to determine the extent of shift from sedentary to active transport modes (e.g. when a car trip is replaced by bikeshare). Potentially offsetting these gains, reductions in physical activity when walking trips are replaced by bikeshare was also estimated. Finally a Markov Chain Monte Carlo analysis was conducted to estimate confidence bounds on estimated impacts on active travel given uncertainties in data sources. The results indicate that on average 60% of bikeshare trips replace sedentary modes of transport (from 42% in Minneapolis/St. Paul to 67% in Brisbane). When bikeshare replaces a walking trip, there is a reduction in active travel time because walking a given distance takes longer than cycling. Considering the active travel balance sheet for the cities included in this analysis, bikeshare activity in 2012 has an overall positive impact on active travel time. This impact ranges from an additional 1.4 million minutes of active travel for the Minneapolis/St. Paul bikeshare program, to just over 74 million minutes of active travel for the London program The analytical approach adopted to estimate bikeshare’s impact on active travel may act as the basis for future bikeshare evaluations or feasibility studies.

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4 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 82983
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1016/j.jth.2015.03.004
ISSN: 2214-1405
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING (120500) > Transport Planning (120506)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Deposited On: 31 Mar 2015 23:27
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2017 11:01

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