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Open Access Publications from the University of California

High Impact Prioritization of Bikeshare Program Investment to Improve Underserved Communities’ Access to Jobs and Essential Services

  • Author(s): Niemeier, Debbie
  • Qian, Xiaodong
  • et al.

Bikeshare programs are increasingly popular in the United States, and they are an important part of sustainable transportation systems. They offer an important alternative mode choice for many types of last mile trips. Most of the current research on bikeshare focuses on bikeshare benefits (e.g., how to replace auto trips with bike trips and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions) and bikeshare system management (e.g., bike repositioning between stations). Far less attention has been paid to the programmatic potential for providing greater access to jobs and essential services for underserved communities. To date, there is virtually no quantitative research aimed at designing bikeshare systems for underserved communities. The authors develop a new spatial index that identifies bikeshare station locations exhibiting a high potential for providing service for underserved communities. The index can: 1) facilitate the identification of priority areas for bikeshare investment based on current infrastructure and the potential for increased job or essential service access; 2) inform the siting of bikeshare stations and investment in bike infrastructure to better assist underserved populations, and finally 3) provide an estimate of the potential for improved job and social services access via bike‐to‐transit.

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