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China's Hangzhou Public Bicycle

  • Author(s): Shaheen, Susan A
  • Zhang, Hua
  • Martin, Elliot
  • Guzman, Stacey
  • et al.

Published Web Location

https://doi.org/10.3141/2247-05
Abstract

Over the past 20 years, China has experienced a steady decline in bicycle use. To address this trend, China's central and local government for urban transportation created the "Public Transit Priority" to encourage public transport initiatives. As part of this effort, the Hangzhou government launched “Hangzhou Public Bicycle” in 2008. This service allows members to access a shared fleet of bicycles. As of March 2011, it operated 60,600 bicycles with 2,416 fixed stations in eight core districts.

To understand factors leading to bikesharing adoption and barriers to adoption, the authors conducted an intercept survey in Hangzhou between January and March 2010. Two separate questionnaires were issued to bikesharing members and non-members to identify key differences and similarities between these groups. In total, 806 surveys were completed, including 666 members and 140 non-members. The authors found that bikesharing is capturing modal share from bus transit, walking, autos, and taxis. Approximately 30% of members had incorporated bikesharing into their most common commute. Members indicated that they most frequently used a bikesharing station closest to either home (40%) or work (40%). These modal shifts suggest that bikesharing acts as both a competitor and a complement to existing public transit. Members exhibited a higher rate of auto ownership in comparison to non-members, suggesting that bikesharing is attractive to car owners. Recommendations for improving bikesharing in Hangzhou include: adding stations and real-time bike/parking availability technologies, improving bike maintenance and locking mechanisms, and extending operational hours.

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