Impact of a Public Transit Strike on Public Bicycle Share Use: An Interrupted Time Series Natural Experiment Study

Promoting active transportation is an important public health objective. Limited research has examined the potential of interventions that highly constrain transportation and their potential impact on cycling. From November 1-7th, 2016, Philadelphia's transit workers went on strike, stopping all transit services in the city. The authors used the strike event as a natural experiment to examine the impact of public transit strikes on use of Philadelphia's bicycle share program. The authors estimated the impact of the strike using two separate approaches, interrupted time series and Bayesian structural time series models. The authors estimated the impact of the intervention overall and stratified by membership type (members and non-members). Models controlled for the weather in Philadelphia (daily temperature and precipitation), and the rate of bicycle share use per 100,000 people in Washington, Boston, and Chicago. The authors estimate the strike caused an increase of between 86 and 92 trips per 100,000 population (57% increase in use) on average in Philadelphia during the strike period. After the strike ridership quickly returned to baseline, decreasing by 80 trips per 100,000 population after the strike. Similarly, members and non-member ridership increased by 41 and 49 trips per 100,000 population on average during the strike period and quickly returned to baseline, respectively. The results suggest that interventions that highly constrain transit can increase active transportation but the behavior may not be sustained after transit becomes available again.


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  • Accession Number: 01706008
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 13 2019 3:04PM