Who is in the Near Market for Bicycle Sharing? Identifying Current, Potential, and Unlikely Users of a Public Bicycle Share Program in Vancouver, Canada

Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Scholarly level: 
Graduate student (Masters)
Final version published as: 

Hosford K, Lear SA, Fuller D, Teschke K, Therrien S, Winters M. Who is in the near market for bicycle sharing? Identifying current, potential, and unlikely users of a public bicycle share program in Vancouver, Canada. BMC Public Health. 2018 Dec;18(1):1326. doi: 10.1186/s12889-018-6246-3

Date created: 
Bicycle share
Active transportation
Social marketing

Background: Public bicycle share programs in many cities are used by a small segment of the population. To better understand the market for public bicycle share, this study examined the socio-demographic and transportation characteristics of current, potential, and unlikely users of a public bicycle share program and identified specific motivators and deterrents to public bicycle share use. 

Methods: We used cross-sectional data from a 2017 Vancouver public bicycle share (Mobi by Shaw Go) member survey (n = 1272) and a 2017 population-based survey of Vancouver residents (n = 792). We categorized non-users from the population survey as either potential or unlikely users based on their stated interest in using public bicycle share within the next year. We used descriptive statistics to compare the demographic and transportation characteristics of current users to non-users, and multiple logistic regression to compare the profiles of potential and unlikely users. 

Results: Public bicycle share users in Vancouver tended to be male, employed, and have higher educations and incomes as compared to non-users, and were more likely to use active modes of transportation. The vast majority of non-users (74%) thought the public bicycle share program was a good idea for Vancouver. Of the non-users, 23% were identified as potential users. Potential users tended to be younger, have lower incomes, and were more likely to use public transit for their main mode of transportation, as compared to current and unlikely users. The most common motivators among potential users related to health benefits, not owning a bicycle, and stations near their home or destination. The deterrents among unlikely users were a preference for riding their own bicycle, perceived inconvenience compared to other modes, bad weather, and traffic. Cost was a deterrent to one-fifth of unlikely users, notable given they tended to have lower incomes than current users. 

Conclusion: Findings can help inform targeted marketing and outreach to increase public bicycle share uptake in the population. 

Document type: 
City of Vancouver
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)