Evaluation Study of the Bike Share Program in Fargo, North Dakota

The growing popularity of bike share programs in the United States has prompted many cities to implement bike share systems to enhance mobility and health in their communities. Major advantages of bike share program include increased transportation options for the public, improved health and fitness, reduced environmental impacts due to mode shift from automobiles to bicycles, affordability, and improved community connectivity. The advantages, applicability, and impact of bike share programs in large urban areas have been well studied and documented. However, because of the spread of this program in smaller cities and communities, there is a need to study the public attitudes toward bike share programs as well as the benefits, applicability, and use of the program in smaller communities. This study investigates the effectiveness of the Great Rides Bike Share program that was launched in 2015 in the small urban area of Fargo, North Dakota. Eleven bike share stations were installed in Fargo with 101 bikes. Stations were primarily concentrated on the North Dakota State University (NDSU) campus and downtown Fargo. Primary objectives of the study were to understand user opinions on the bike share program, analyze demand for the bike share program, study the impact of the program on NDSU student travel behavior and shifts in mode shares, analyze the livability benefits from the bike share program, and analyze origin-destination trip data to understand the user trips patterns and needs. Three online surveys were conducted, mostly of NDSU students. One survey was conducted before the launch of the program and two were conducted after the program was initiated. Regression analyses were conducted to estimate the impacts of weather and other factors on bike share use in Fargo and to estimate the impacts of bike share use on bus ridership. The study examined mode shifts and whether bike share has a substitute or complementary relationship with transit in Fargo. The program has proven to be highly successful in its first two years. A significant number of NDSU students chose bike share as a primary or secondary mode of transportation. The introduction of bike share in Fargo has increased overall mode shares for bicycling among NDSU students. Students who live closer to campus and have a bike share station accessible tend to choose the bike share program for traveling to and from campus. The program was also found to improve livability in Fargo by providing more travel options for NDSU students and riders and, at the same time, provides access to more locations than the transit service that was already available. Bus ridership decreased following the introduction of the bike share program. An analysis of the data indicated that bike share did have a negative impact on bus ridership, but other factors were more important contributors to the decline in bus use.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Maps; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 133p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01641094
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: SURLC 17-005
  • Created Date: Jul 6 2017 4:11PM