Understanding bike-sharing acceptability and expected usage patterns in the context of a small city novel to the concept: A story of ‘Greek Drama’

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Abstract

Developing initiatives that allow societies to embrace more sustainable travel behaviour patterns is a prerequisite for creating more livable urban futures. Bike-sharing, a measure designed to inspire modal shift from short car-trips, despite its recent exponential growth, is still understudied. This paper discusses a quantitative survey of 640 responses examining road users' attitudes towards bike-sharing and its possible introduction to Drama, a small Greek city resembling many others in terms of size, transport culture and socio-economic characteristics, which has never been exposed to a similar intervention. Most of the respondents recognised that bike-sharing is a mode with pro-environmental, cost-effective and health-improving qualities and the potential to promote a greener identity for the city. Evidence is provided that people would support a bike-sharing investment even in cases where the frequency of their current bicycle use and the regularity with which they intend to use an eventual scheme is low. Age, gender, the primary factor for modal choice, its perceived effectiveness in reducing traffic congestion and their usage expectations were all factors influencing the respondents’ acceptability of such an introduction. The lack of cycling infrastructure and road safety concerns were identified as possible usage barriers but the pro-social potential of bike-sharing combined with policy efforts to create a more pro-cycling culture could outweigh them. The present analysis suggests that bike-sharing can go beyond, what is typically regarded as its primary function, that of a last-mile solution for metropolitan areas, and be a publicly acceptable investment for smaller cities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-321
Number of pages16
JournalTransportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour
Volume56
Early online date12 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018

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