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Bicycle sharing system ‘success’ determinants

Médard de Chardon, Cyrille; Caruso, Geoffrey; Thomas, Isabelle


Cyrille Médard de Chardon

Geoffrey Caruso

Isabelle Thomas


Many municipalities assert bicycle sharing systems (BSS) as having many benefits, justifying their adoption, yet few explicitly state the purpose of their system making comparison or determination of success impossible. In addition, the apprehension of many BSS operators to share data further hinders comparison. This paper estimates the number of daily trips from publicly available data for 75 BSS case studies across the world and provides trips per bike per day scores as a comparison of performance and success. Results reveal that a third of case studies have fewer than the psychologically important one trip per bicycle per day. To ascertain what factors are associated with this metric we estimate models with independent variables related to system attributes, station density, weather, geography and transportation infrastructure. Our analysis provides strong evidence undermining the ‘network effect’ promoted by influential BSS policy makers that expanding system size increases performance. Finally our results describe and discuss causal variables associated with higher BSS performance.


Médard de Chardon, C., Caruso, G., & Thomas, I. (2017). Bicycle sharing system ‘success’ determinants. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 100, 202-214.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 21, 2017
Online Publication Date May 2, 2017
Publication Date 2017-06
Deposit Date Sep 12, 2019
Journal Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
Print ISSN 0965-8564
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 100
Pages 202-214
Keywords Bicycle-sharing systems; Bike-share; Success; Determinants; Performance
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