Sustainability in bicycle sharing systems: evidences of travel mode choice changings in Rio de Janeiro
Bike sharing systems are now a well established component of many urban transport system around the world. These systems allow users to rent bikes for a short period of time, for a small period of time, and return them to fixed locations in the cities.
A research team based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil studied if bike sharing in their city reduced greenhouse gas emissions significantly. For their study, the team gathered data from Itaú Bike (the bike sharing company operating in Rio), stated preference interviews, and from online trip planning tools. They then used these data to estimate a series of discrete models to estimate the number of trips that would be made by bus, TNC [Transportation Network Company], or walking if bike sharing was not available. The team then used additional emissions data to estimate the reduction in emissions from the bike sharing system.
- The models estimated that bike sharing reduced CO2 emissions in Rio by 206 tons in 2018.
It should be noted that the net environmental benefits of bicycle sharing depend on whether the system is considered a good substitute for the ownership and use of private vehicles, and whether it is well integrated with public transport, cycling and pedestrian infrastructure, so that it improves rather than replaces walking and public transport.