Mitigate “Bikeshare Desert” in Underserved Communities

Mitigate “Bikeshare Desert” in Underserved Communities

Bikeshare programs are increasingly popular in the United States and they are an important part of sustainable transportation systems, offering a viable mode choice for many types of last-mile trips. Most of the current research on bikeshare focuses on benefits (e.g. reducing greenhouse gas emissions by replacing auto trips with bike trips) and system management (e.g., bike repositioning between stations). Far less attention has been paid to bikeshare programs’ potential to provide greater access to jobs and essential services for underserved communities. To date, there is virtually no quantitative research on how to design bikeshare systems for underserved communities.

The purpose of this research is to develop a new quantitative methodology to fill this research gap. The expected outcomes are to: 1) quantify the physical barrier (the absence of docking stations), safety concern barrier, and financial barrier (membership and usage fees) for underserved communities; 2) provide an index to measure accessibility, capturing the destination selection of underserved population and bikeshare potential to diverse services for underserved areas; 3) facilitate the identification of priority areas for bikeshare investment based on cycling safety environment, current infrastructure and the potential for improving access to jobs or essential services.

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