Bike sharing systems are an increasingly common in cities around the world. But research teams have only lightly investigated their overall effects on urban transportation systems. This study uses data from the Capital Bikeshare system in Washington DC to analyze if bike share systems are potentially reducing traffic in urban environments.
Researchers at the University of Richmond collected a variety of data to estimate the effect of bike sharing on traffic congestion including detailed traffic count data, bike sharing location data, and demographic data. They then used this data to build a series of equations to estimate the "treatment effect" of having bike share systems in neighborhoods versus not having bike share systems.
At the neighborhood level, bike sharing systems appeared to reduce traffic congestion by three to four percent.
(Our website has many links to other organizations. While we offer these electronic linkages for your convenience in accessing transportation-related information, please be aware that when you exit our website, the privacy and accessibility policies stated on our website may not be the same as that on other websites.)