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A global comparison of bicycle sharing systems

James Todd, Oliver O'Brien and James Cheshire

Journal of Transport Geography, 2021, vol. 94, issue C

Abstract: Increasing urban populations have created pressures on the transportation networks that serve them. Bicycle sharing systems (BSS) have seen a dramatic increase in popularity as cities around the world begin to implement and see significant use and benefit from this growing mode of urban micro-mobility. As a result, the research surrounding bicycle sharing systems has also increased, although this has been primarily focused on the analysis of individual systems. There is therefore a need for a global comparison of systems, particularly given that prior research often omits China, which is currently the largest BSS market in the world. This paper therefore marks a major step forward through its analysis of data from 322 schemes situated on all major continents. Conducting such analysis, there appear to be 5 main types of BSS: very large, high use BSS, large BSS in major cities, medium BSS with extensive cycling infrastructure, small to medium efficient BSS and small to medium inefficient BSS. From these major cluster groups, we are able to group schemes by usage, contextual indicators and the behavioural characteristics of their users. This not only facilitates a global comparison of scheme performance, but also offers a basis to new schemes to identify established BSS with similar characteristics that can be used as a template for anticipating the likely demand from users.

Keywords: Bicycle sharing systems; Micro-mobility; Metric creation; Clustering (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2021.103119

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