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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Texas A&M: First Study Evaluating Free-floating Bike-share System on a University Campus

A new study in the journal Preventive Medicine Reports led by Dr. Debra Kellstedt, recent graduate of the Texas A&M School of Public Health, evaluated the use of a free-floating bike-share program on a large public university campus in Texas. Dr. Kellstedt and colleagues examined bike-share use and factors predicting bike-share adoption.

In 2018 the free-floating bike-share program was piloted with an initial 850 bicycles and more added later. Researchers analyzed bicycle GPS tracking data and mobile application use from the bike-share company to determine how many people used the system, how many times the bikes were used and how many total miles were covered. They also analyzed data from an email survey sent to university students, faculty and staff that asked age, gender, bike-share usage, current bicycle use, cycling confidence, class rank and campus residency. Focus group were also conducted.

They found that in three months, students, faculty and staff had taken more than 160,000 rides totaling nearly 86,000 miles, with average trip distances and times of half a mile and about eight minutes. The statistics showed that more men reported using the bike-share system than women and that the system was more popular with respondents who rode bicycles regularly and felt confident about riding safely on campus. Younger students and those living on campus were also more likely to use the bike-share program. Focus groups identified issues with bike safety, bike-share program knowledge, costs and savings and various unintended consequences such as bicycles being left outside of proper areas or taking up limited space in existing bike racks.

These findings point to ways to improve existing programs and better implement free-floating bike-shares.

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