Title: Bikesharing in Europe, the Americas, and Asia
Prepared By: Shaheen, Susan, University of California, Davis; Guzman, Stacey, University of California – Berkeley; Zhang, Hua, University of California – Berkeley
Prepared for: Transportation Research Board
Date: March 1, 2010
Summary: In this paper, the authors propose a fourth-generation: “Demand-Responsive, Multi-Modal Systems.” A range of existing bikesharing business models (e.g., advertising) and lessons learned are discussed including: 1) bicycle theft and vandalism; 2) bicycle redistribution; 3) information systems (e.g., real-time information); 4) insurance and liability concerns; and 5) pre-launch considerations. While limited in number, several studies have documented bikesharing’s social and environmental benefits including reduced auto use, increased bicycle use, and a growing awareness of bikesharing as a daily mobility option. Despite bikesharing’s ongoing growth, obstacles and uncertainty remain, including: future demand; safety; sustainability of business models; limited cycling infrastructure; challenges to integrating with public transportation systems; technology costs; and user convenience (e.g., limited height adjustment on bicycles, lack of cargo space, and exposure to weather conditions). In the future, more research is needed to better understand bikesharing’s impacts, operations, and business models in light of its reported growth and benefits.