A More Sustainable Minivan? An Exploratory Study of Electric Bicycle Use by San Francisco Bay Area Families

This study focuses on family users of electric bikes, including electrified cargo bikes to learn how e-bikes are substituted for a family car. No previous studies on e-bikes look at family travel or use. Through semi-structured interviews of 20 San Francisco Bay Area e-bicyclists, this study sought to understand who family e-bike users are, their motivations for purchasing an e-bike, and the challenges they encounter. While larger studies are still needed, findings suggest that e-bikes, including electrified cargo bikes, are a viable alternative for cyclists with children. This study also supports previous research findings on travel behavior that the arrival of children does not always result in the end of biking. Major challenges participants identified were price, parking, and perceptions. Recommendations to address these issues include providing subsidies to offset costs, increasing parking infrastructure to accommodate diverse bicycle types, and disseminating more information on electric bikes to overcome misconceptions and to provide parents with an alternative to cars.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee ANF20 Standing Committee on Bicycle Transportation. Alternate title: A More Sustainable Minivan? Exploratory Study of Electric Bicycle Use by San Francisco Bay Area Families
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Authors:
    • Thomas, Alainna
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2016


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 15p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 95th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01587792
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 16-1289
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jan 12 2016 4:34PM