Economic Benefits of Capital Bikeshare: A Focus on Users and Businesses

This study investigates potential economic benefits of bike sharing on the neighborhood level. Using a sample of five Capital Bikeshare (CaBi) stations in Washington, DC, the authors conducted an intercept survey of 333 bikeshare users at five CaBi stations and a door-to-door survey of 140 local businesses within 0.1 miles of the five CaBi stations. It was found that many CaBi riders are motivated to use the system due to travel time (73% of users) and cost (25% of users) savings. In addition, 16% of riders report making new trips because of Capital Bikeshare. Meanwhile, 23% of users reported spending more money because they used bikeshare. Income level was positively associated with new trips, spending levels, and spending during new trips. Joining CaBi to save money had a significant positive association with new trips. The business survey showed that 20% of the businesses in our sample report a positive impact of bike sharing on sales, and 70% identify a positive impact on the neighborhood. In addition, 61% would have either a positive or neutral reaction to replacing car parking in front of their business with a bikeshare station. Businesses that perceive a positive impact on sales from the bikeshare system are more likely to support the expansion of the system and the replacement of car parking with bikeshare stations. Overall, the findings suggest bike sharing may generate benefits among both users and businesses.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This document was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Alexandria

    Department of Urban Affairs and Planning, 1021 Prince Street, Suite 200
    Alexandria, VA  United States  22314

    Mid-Atlantic Universities Transportation Center

    Pennsylvania State University
    201 Transportation Research Building
    University Park, PA  United States  16802-4710

    Research and Innovative Technology Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Buehler, Ralph
    • Hamre, Andrea
  • Publication Date: 2014


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 40p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01529366
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: VT-2013-06
  • Contract Numbers: DTRT12-G-UTC03
  • Created Date: Jun 13 2014 4:34PM