Identifying Bikeshare Station Locations to Improve Underserved Communities’ Accessibility

Bikeshare programs are increasingly popular in the United States, and they are an important part of sustainable transportation systems. They offer an alternative mode choice for many types of last-mile trips. Most of the current research on bikeshare focuses on benefits (e.g., how to replace auto trips with bike trips and reduce greenhouse gas emissions) and system management (e.g., bike repositioning between stations). Far less attention has been paid to the potential for bikeshare programs to provide greater access to jobs and essential services for underserved communities. To date, there is virtually no quantitative research aimed at designing bikeshare systems for underserved communities. To address this research gap, this study of two cities (Chicago and Philadelphia) first, examines whether bikeshare systems have targeted specific populations, and second, quantitatively assesses the potential for bikeshare systems to provide greater accessibility for underserved communities.