The motivations for using bike sharing during the COVID-19 pandemic: Insights from Lisbon

Urban mobility has been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, with public transport (PT) particularly affected due to infection risks and fears. The promotion of alternative modes of transport such as bike sharing systems (BSS) has gained a new drive as a possible way of providing an alternative to PT and limit a potential surge in private car use. In this study, the authors provide insights on the motivations for using bike sharing during the COVID-19 pandemic through a survey to the BSS users of Lisbon (entitled GIRA). Before the coronavirus pandemic, the most influential motivations were those connected to the BSS’ Service Coverage & Quality (such as the convenient location of BSS stations near the users’ destinations or the availability of shared e-bikes) as well as to the Personal Interests & Well-being of BSS users (namely the pleasure of cycling as well as the perceived environmental and health benefits). With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, although the motivations of Service Coverage & Quality continue to be the most valued by respondents, the motivations associated with using BSS to avoid PT and to maintain a social distance during the trip are now as important as the motivations linked to Personal Interests & Well-being. Furthermore, new users who have joined bike sharing during COVID-19 give more importance to the Social Influence (such as seeing other people using the system or the influence of their social circle) comparatively to those who were already users before the pandemic and continue to use BSS. This research provides evidence on the importance of bike sharing to the resilience of urban transport systems, particularly during disruptive public health crises. It supports that BSS should continue to operate during the coronavirus pandemic as such systems offer a transport alternative to PT that is perceived to be capable of preserving a physical distance.


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  • Accession Number: 01786549
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 28 2021 9:17AM