How May Bike-sharing Choice Be Affected by Air Pollution? A Seasonal Analysis in Taiyuan, China
Nominated for The Neil Mansfield Award
Weibo Li, University College London, Maria Kamargianni, University College London
This research studies the choice behavior towards bike-sharing in a developing country by analyzing revealed preference travel behavior data and incorporating seasonality influence on the factors affecting choice behavior.
Bike-sharing has become a popular green transportation choice in many cities around the world. There has been a rapid expansion of bike-sharing schemes in developing countries at recent time. However, many of those were launched without the support of adequate scientific research and hence failed to create the expected demand. Given the increasingly significant urban transportation challenges in developing countries, such as congestion and air pollution caused by the continuously growing private vehicle usage, there is a great need to exploit the potential of the existing bike-sharing services. This research studies the choice behavior towards bike-sharing in a developing country by analyzing revealed preference travel behavior data and incorporating seasonality influence on the factors affecting choice behavior. Specifically, the recently discovered air pollution impact on mode choice behavior is further innovatively captured by revealing the impact difference under different natural environment conditions. A Chinese city Taiyuan, which operates one the most successful bike-sharing schemes in developing countries, is selected for case study. Two discrete choice models are developed to analyze the data collected in two different seasons. The results show that an increase in air pollution level has the expected significant negative impact on bike-sharing choice only when the air is polluted at relative severe levels. The results also show that many trip-related factors and socio-economic factors would also affect mode choice behavior differently under different air pollution levels and weather conditions. In the end, a number of policy implications are drawn for promoting the demand for bike-sharing in developing countries.
Association for European Transport