Author: Proulx, Darren Neil
Bicycle share systems, by providing the opportunity for the automobile’s spontaneous mobility without the destructive impacts, are seen as a low cost and critical tool for improving urban mobility while avoiding the problems of automobile oriented urban design. Public transportation systems are often hindered with the “final mile” problem, where transit agencies cannot attract patrons to due to the lack of high quality, reliable feeder transit services. Bike share systems can potentially extend the reach of core quality transit services. The bicycle share system “final mile” solution is often cited by planners, but with little empirical evidence. The planning industry also argues that separated cycling infrastructure encourages higher cycling rates. Existing literature indicates a positive relationship with general cycling, and between bicycle share systems and unseparated bicycle lanes. Minimal research has been undertaken using bicycle share system trip data to analyze the relationship between the number of trips and presence of separated cycling infrastructure. Washington D.C.’s Capital Bikeshare system is a pioneering and successful system in North America, with over two million trips annually. A multivariable statistical analysis and visualization of the publicly available empirical trip data from Capital Bikeshare finds a statistically significant positive relationship between the rates of cycling trips and separated cycling infrastructure for most trips, and between the rates of cycling trips and Metrorail high frequency transit services during morning and evening peak trips.
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